The Film Music of Howard Shore

Performed By: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Since he began composing musical scores for movies in 1979, Canadian composer Howard Shore has been the go to guy for famous directors like David Cronenberg, Martin Scorsese and Peter Jackson.  He has received numerous awards for his work, including four Academy Awards.  Shore is a versatile composer, having created scores for films in such diverse genres as science fiction, drama, animated feature, fantasy, comedy and more.  In celebration of Howard Shore’s career as a film score composer, Silva Screen Records has released The Film Music of Howard Shore.

                A twelve track collection of what Silva Screen describes as some of his best work, The Film Music of Howard Shore features over an hour of musical score from films like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit, The Silence of the Lambs, Hugo and more.  The album is available on CD and digital album.

                Now, I know that Howard Shore has received a great deal of accolades for the music he composed for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit, but starting the album with thirty-five minutes of music from those movies was a mistake.  In my opinion, the arrangers of this album should have interspersed some of Shore’s other works in between the music from LOTR and The Hobbit.  And speaking of Shore’s other works, with so many to choose from, why pick the tracks that they did?  Yes, Hugo is one of Shore’s other award winning scores, but why choose The Thief as the track to represent the movie?  Of all of the tracks he created for the third film in the Twilight Saga, why Jacob Black/As Easy As Breathing?

                Quite honestly, I feel that this album doesn’t do Howard Shore justice.  Half of the album is devoted to LOTR and the rest doesn’t express what a brilliant composer Howard Shore really was.  That’s not to say that The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra didn’t do a great job with each of the tracks on the album.  I just think that the album might have been better if other examples of Shore’s compositions had been used.  I disagree with the PR material describing this album as containing the very best music themes created by Howard Shore.  There are much better albums featuring way better examples of Shore’s compositions to chose from.


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