The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Live to Picture

Dan Poland (2010)

The big finale for the festival was the third and last concert – a screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, with live music accompaniment for the entire film.  This has been done before – Shore has been doing it for the trilogy starting a few years ago, but I never had the opportunity to see it in this manner.

The huge orchestra, choir, boys choir, and soloists delivered a tour-de-force performance over the four hour show (including intermission), and it was a monumental experience.  The quality of the performance was about 90% there, which is damn impressive for such a difficult undertaking- there’s almost 3.5 hours of music! My only complaint is that the mix was so low with the sound effects – but dialogue was clear – so that it felt more like a music and dialogue-only performance. You can really miss out on a lot, especially during the battle scenes where you get some great action that is only supplemented with music and ADR groans, grunts and screams.  But it was ultimately about the music, and it was one hell of a night.  Howard said I should make it to the performance this fall at the Royal Albert Hall in London, since it will include almost all of the original performers… I just might try to do that!

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was well after 2am, and since I was being picked up in the morning at 9am to be taken to the airport, I had to pack and hit the sack. Long day tomorrow!