Arwen encounters Aragorn and the hobbits in the forest. In introducing Arwen’s theme, Shore stresses the dulcet tones of female voices—the characteristic choral sound of the elves. Arwen picks up Frodo and, with Ringwraiths in pursuit, makes for Rivendell with all her might. She defeats the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen, but the ride has taken its toll on Frodo. Arwen offers him a blessing and the score returns to its Elvish vein, repeating Arwen’s theme then echoing her words in female chorus.
Shore wrote several versions of the Flight to the Ford chase. Originally the piece concluded with a brief spate of stillness followed by mounting strings and chorus phrases (set to a text entitled “Flood at the Ford of Bruinen”) and a timpani statement of the Mordor Outline. This take was abandoned before the chorus was ever recorded. In its place, Shore recorded an ending that included a wild panic of aleatoric French horns heard just as the Wraiths reach the river’s edge.
In the film, Peter Jackson decided to use Shore’s first approach, but to dissolve the music as the river’s waters rushed in. (No attempt was ever made to record the choral line once it was decided that passage was not to be included in the final film.) “Pete liked the quiet,” Shore recalls, “just the sound of the standoff.” Heard on this CD is Shore’s preferred setting, including the French horns.
Text by Philippa Boyens
FIRST HEARD: DISC TWO | TRACK THREE
What Grace is given me, let it pass to him. Let him be spared. Mighty Valar, save him.
© The Annotated Score (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films)
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