Shore’s scores

The CD of the Return of the King soundtrack showed up yesterday, courtesy of a little birthday gift certificage from the brother. (“Because it’s my birthday, and I wants it.”) Howard Shore’s stuff is fun to listen to — your usual movie soundtrack symphonic score with signature themes à la Wagner, only it’s a kindler, gentler Wagner, just like Tolkien, whose own Ring saga is much more humane. (The Silmarillion, on the other hand, is just as brutally operatic.) And if they release a CD of the two-hour, eight-movement symphonic version — as in it’s structured as a symphony, not just played by a symphony orchestra — which had its North American premiere in Montreal last night, I’ll snap that up too.