Reader Review From:Vanessa Aisha M, posted on 7 June at 6:02 PM
7 June at 6:02 PM

The Lord Of The Rings - The Two Towers 2014 Singapore

I adore music composed for film and television. And Friday’s performance of The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers orchestral production by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, the Vocal Associates Festival Chorus and Children’s Choir, with soloists Rosalind Waters and Samuel Yuen and conducted by Justin Freer did not fail to engulf all my senses and pull at my heartstrings in cloak of breathtaking beautiful elf magic in music.

Held at the Star Theatre in Singapore, it was the second of a trilogy of LOTR touring concerts; the first one being The Fellowship Of The Ring, held last year.

Playing The Complete Recordings Of The Two Towers spanning three hours against a big screen playing the film of the same name, it was as if there was magic shrouded in the air the moment the reel was played, New Line Cinema appeared and the first notes were hit in Glamdring. As the strings came in… Chills… Absolute chills…

The dynamism and passion of watching Freer conduct through three hours of almost continuous music with just a short twenty minute interval was spellbinding. Such energy and focus. The stance and the swift yet graceful movements. The mental stamina more so than the physical one. Each note in sync to the film. The precision of it almost an art form on its own.

My favourite piece was One Of The Dúnedain, which included an excerpt of Evenstar. Sung by British vocalist Rosalind Waters, with the orchestra and choir playing and singing respectively, the piece pulled and tore at my heartstrings and covered it with so much beauty, like the break of dawn filled with the faintest but most beautiful glimmer of hope after a long night of war. Painful yet iridescently beautiful. The voice of Waters like dawn itself.

I have been always fascinated by the strings section in a concert. One of my favourite strings bit of this performance included a small segment in Retreat, which featured short staccato-like bow strokes followed by longer legato ones. Another was in Fangorn which was fast, like the undercurrents in the sea, leaving me holding my breath because it made my heart dance and gasp at the same time.

Overall, most of the pieces were brassy and full of percussion like drums and wonderful dynamics for the epic fight sequences and threats as depicted on screen. The Battle Of Hornburg and The Breach Of The Deeping Wall, for instance. Watching the conductor during these pieces was mesmerizing. At times, I was torn between watching the synchronicity of the orchestra, the conductor and the film on the screen.

The Last March Of The Ents which contained an excerpt of Isengard Unleashed featured the Singaporean boy soprano Samuel Yuen and the chorus. The quaint and ethereal Sindarin Elvish lyrics sung by the vocalists and the angelic voice of Yuen breaking in was like crystal of rain on the window pane.

I was most taken by the chorus who performed their part in the whole production brilliantly. Each member’s voices complementing the other so well, to create a nice rich and wonderful tone like wine from a good harvest. I feel tempted to join the chorus now!

Indeed, as the night came to an end, perhaps my only disappointment was that the performance was not executed in a concert hall. The huge number of artists looked rather too compact on stage, and I believe that a proper concert would have added that extra acoustic magic accentuating their performance even more.

Nevertheless, it was an exciting orchestral night, filled with the waving of a baton, a sword, an axe, hobbits, elves, humans, ethereal voices and strange languages and music from another kingdom…

My wish list for the next concert with a concept similar to this one: LOTR: The Return Of The King, The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular and Star Trek: Live In Concert.

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