independent

Friday 18 April 2014

A musical journey in the company of some hobbits

Howard Shore

The Hobbit OST

(Decca)

HHHHI

Howard Shore has become one of a handful of go-to guys for big Hollywood productions and his soundtrack work for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy played a part in making them such cross-generational box office hits.

He's back working with the New Zealand director after the two fell out during the making of the disappointing, forgettable King Kong – and it's proving once more to be a fruitful union.

I haven't seen this latest Tolkien adaptation yet, but the soundtrack certainly stands on its own feet. Shore's orchestrations flit from the delicate to the epic and there is something heart-warming and utterly rousing when he goes down a maximalist route.

And, let's face it, a big-thinking movie maker like Jackson is not going to be averse to a score that gives a cinema audience the full surround-sound treatment

Like Shore's excellent work for Martin Scorsese's Hugo, there is no shortage of playful moments – or flights of Wagnerian fancy.

KEY TRACKS Brass Buttons; An Ancient Enemy

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