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With an electrifying burst of Fellowship fragments, Strider intercepts the Wraiths, and Shore introduces the Heroics of Aragorn’s next stage of development. Rising shapes in French horns recall the shady cello phrase that accompanies Aragorn in Bree, now emphasizing a bolder heroism. “He saves Frodo,” says Shore. “He’s Aragorn the hero—Aragorn the savior of Frodo. He’s so essential to the Fellowship.”

The defeated Wraiths skulk back into the night while the Threat of Mordor hisses curses at their vanquishers. The collective dangers of Middle-earth, however, are far from conquered. Isengard has been ripped to shreds, converted into a deadly collection of machines and malice. The score introduces the Five Beat Pattern as the soulless drive of the once beautiful land, and the Isengard/Orc theme as its call to arms. “Here’s all that metal percussion (see instruments list, The Orcs),” Shore says, ominously. “It’s the industrial might of Middle-earth.”

Also debuting here is material from the opposite end of the spectrum: Nature’s Reclamation, sung by boy soprano Edward Ross. This theme’s first appearance is flanked on either side by the Orcs’ bellicose Five Beat Pattern. Although the pattern fades when the Nature theme enters, the score actually calls for the London Philharmonic (see instrumentalists list, The London Philharmonic Orchestra) percussion section to continue playing the entire time. Shore wrote this way, fully intending to dissolve a section of the Five Beat Pattern so that that this rhythm would never lose its energy. In the film, the Pattern reenters after the vocals with a ruthless sense of continued drive.

The Orcs’ unique instruments are particularly important to this base and uncivil race. Here Shore represents the ferocity and anger that melody would be far too eloquent to articulate. The Five Beat Pattern is designed to showcase these joltingly sharp industrial tones of pounded metal and stretched skins.

Listening Example: Disc Two| Track Two| 1:27
Bell plates are similar to anvils, but they constructed of comparably thinner sheets of metal, and are generally suspended when played.

Listening Example: Disc Two| Track Two| 2:36
The music of composer Henry Cowell (1897–1965) brought to the general public daring new ideas in piano performance techniques. In works such as Aeolian Harp and The Banshee, Cowell called for the pianist to reach inside the piano and strike the strings inside. Shore’s Orc music follows in this tradition, as he requires his pianist to violently strike the wires inside the instrument with metal chains.

Text by Philippa Boyens
Quenya Translation by David Salo
I cemen nurrua… ar i sure…i súre naina! | The earth groans… and the wind… the wind is crying!


Listening Example: Disc Two | Track Two | 2:04
Edward Ross sang all the boy soprano solos in The Fellowship of the Ring, including “In Dreams” and the first appearance of the Nature theme.

© The Annotated Score (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films)

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