Shore’s Fellowship

Leslie Barcza, barczablog.

The Toronto Symphony, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, The Canadian Children’s Opera Company in partnership with tiff presented a concert performance of Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films. If you think that sounds like a lot of people, you’d be right, and that’s not even including the big-screen presentation of the film, with its cast of thousands of humans, orcs, elves, dwarves, hobbits, uruk-hai, and assorted birds. Considering that I consider the first film to be the weakest of the three, I did not expect such an overwhelming experience, and am a little gaga imagining what the other two might be like, in a live concert version.

It’s not at all the same experience as the films we’ve seen in the theatres or at home on DVD or Blue-Ray. We have subtitles for the dialogue, which was often drowned out by the powerful musical forces arrayed around and behind the screen.

I’ve made analogies to try to describe this experience after seeing several other tiff—TSO co-productions, and I realize that my words fail to adequately capture the true magic of the experience. It needs to be said that

  • Each one of these concert presentations is sold-out
  • The TSO now has seen some competition in town from other promoters offering films with live accompaniment
  • The reception at the end was overwhelming, suggesting that anyone there on a lark will be back again if they get the chance.
  • And the TSO brought their A-game. For some previous films they’ve not used all their big-name soloists, but tonight, there was Jonathan Crow, Joseph Johnson, and Neil Deland.

Read the full review on barczablog.