If there is a king among fantasy stories, then J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy bears the crown. Moreso, it defined the genre itself both on screen and on paper. The Odyssey of Frodo Baggins and his Fellowship of the Ring baffled readers and film critics alike with the thoroughly structured world of the Middle-Earth and the most detailed races’ descriptions mainstream fantasy ever received. Lord of the Rings spread its wings even to people otherwise not interested in Dungeons and Dragons theme. But, all that has been known for some time now. In 2017, the movies are as much of a classic as the original books. What is it then, that gives the ring power to bind us with its spell once more?
The answer is named Howard Shore, the music composer for the LOTR and Hobbit trilogies. It’s one thing listening to his ingenuity from the recording. It is something completely different experiencing it come alive through hands and voices of 250 member Orchestra live. Witnessing such spectacle take place is positively breathtaking. Needless to say, they did it justice.
Especially Ride of Rohirrim, the most dominant theme of the Two Towers, made the hair on the back of my neck stand to attention. The intensity of electrifying performance as a sole violinist carried the piece with escalating support of the basses cannot be described here. The whole song slowly unfolded like a river Aragorn fell into on his trip to Helm’s Deep.
However, it wasn’t just the theme of Rohan that sent one into the almost trance-like state. The whole soundtrack was mastered with elegance and magic it represents. The Orchestra dutifully played every tune to the very last note of the end credits without losing vigor or lightness Shore’s masterpiece is composed of.
In terms of space, it was hard to imagine turning O2 arena’s casual concert vibe into the hybrid of cinema and music hall. Yet, it worked great. The audio was not too loud, either too quiet. And good acoustics of the building made sure to carry each tune clearly even to the most distant seats.
All in all, reliving the classic was nothing short of magnificent. It felt as if I was seeing it for the first time again. And it has proven to me, once again, that it is and probably will be the most spectacular transition of the fantasy books to screen. There is one thing left to say: Hannon le, JV Agentura. Hannon le.
The last part of Frodo’s journey is coming to Prague on December 2, 2017. Be sure to not miss the Return of the King in his full glory. I sure won’t.
Photo courtesy of JV Agentura