The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
There’s an unmistakable Wagnerian ambition and sweep to Canadian composer Howard Shore’s soundtracks to Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. All three were composed, scored, and conducted by Shore himself. The Fellowship of the Ring is the first in the trilogy, a film that sees hobbit Frodo Baggins inheriting the One Ring and setting out on his quest to destroy it where it was first forged. Shore’s music begins in the green valleys of the Shire with its Irish folk influences, before accompanying darker times with rich string textures, ethereal vocal writing, and a powerful use of “leitmotifs” (or small melodies) that describe characters, moods, or landmarks. The most famous of these is the Lord of the Rings theme that appears in all three films. Shore deservedly won both an Oscar and a Grammy for The Fellowship of the Ring and went on to win another Oscar for his music for the final installment, The Return of the King.