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Vocal Melody by Billy Boyd.

A funereal march sets an airy line for strings, woodwinds and chorus (singing “The Last Son”) over a strum of percussion as Faramir and his troops begin their march out of Minas Tirith in their futile attempt to reclaim Osgiliath. The pan flute returns, again vainly sorting through scraps of Gondor’s theme, trying to reform it. As percussion continues its stride, the harmonic momentum of the strings and chorus subside, each chord freezing, drawing itself reluctantly forwards. Again the pan flute strains to bolster Gondor’s pride, but illustrates little other than the grave of a once proud kingdom—a lineage come to its bitter end. Gandalf pleads with Faramir, but, shamed by his father, Faramir feels he must obey his orders. Horns pick up the Realm of Gondor in Decline, while a low string counterline and the martial percussion keep up the pace.

Minas Tirith’s gates part, and the troops move towards Osgiliath, their horses quickening their steps. The score increases its tempo slightly, tightening its fateful noose. Now in the Orcs’ sight, the steeds begin to gallop as Orkish archers draw back the black, feathery fletching of their arrows.

But no choral requiem follows. No grand orchestral eloquence speaks. Only the unaccompanied voice of a hobbit marks this tragedy. As Pippin, Billy Boyd sings “The Edge of Night,” a mournful reflection on the distances, both geographical and emotional, war asks its participants to travel. Gently, the orchestra enters, building tearing dissonances behind Pippin’s simple hobbit tune. Shore’s chromatic cluster builds, overwhelming the song with its murky cloud. The Orcs release their first volley of arrows, and the orchestra suddenly cuts off, abandoning Pippin to finish his final syllable alone. The hobbits’ clarinet enters and reiterates the opening pitches of Pippin’s song—the same perfect fifth that begins Gondor’s theme—in a mournful echo. Solo fiddle answers the clarinet, likewise lonely and unembellished.

TEXTS
THE LAST SON
Text by J.R.R. Tolkien
Adapted by Philippa Boyens
Sindarin Translation by David Salo
FIRST HEARD: DISC TWO | TRACK FOUR
Boe le henio | You must understand.
E si car a thad yn | He does the duty of two sons now.
Ane ah a phen | For himself; and for the One
I ú athelitha | Who will not return.

THE EDGE OF NIGHT
Text by J.R.R. Tolkien
Adapted by Philippa Boyens
FIRST HEARD: DISC TWO | TRACK FOUR
Home is behind.
The world ahead.
And there are many paths to tread
Thru shadow to the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight
Mist and shadows, cloud and shade.
All shall fade.
All shall fade.

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

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