Lord of the Rings in concert review: Tolkien comes alive with Howard Shores epic score

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As part of the Films in Concert series this year, the Royal Albert Hall has brought The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring back for the first time since 2009, when it was the original movie to be played with a live orchestra at the venue. Rescheduled from 2020 due to the pandemic, the long-awaited return to Middle Earth took place at the weekend to packed audiences.

Considering how loved Howard Shore’s Oscar-winning score for the Lord of the Rings trilogy is, the film is more than a worthy choice for a Films in Concert series reprisal.

Before the final performance on Sunday evening, fans were treated to an introduction from Gollum star Andy Serkis himself, who even indulged the audience in a couple of lines of squeaky dialogue as Sméagol.

He then handed over to not just the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted enthusiastically by Ludwig Wicki, but also the accompanying Crouch End Festival Chorus.

The sheer scale of the live performers before us perfectly complemented the epicness of The Fellowship of the Ring, with its millennia-spanning backstory. 

Aside from male and female singers, there was even a group of children for the highest sections, plus a couple of accomplished soloists.

With a bigger emphasis on the music than when normally watching what was the theatrical cut of first Lord of the Rings film, the audience really felt not only the emotional moments of Frodo’s journey but also the thunderous battle scenes.

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Our personal highlight had to be the Fellowship fleeing from Orcs in the Mines of Moria, before Gandalf’s last stand against the Balrog. Sheer joy.

Here’s hoping they follow up with The Two Towers and The Return of the King in the next couple of years.

In the meantime, the Films in Concert 2022 series also includes Superman, Titanic, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

To book tickets for the Royal Albert Hall, click here.

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