Tracking Surround: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on DVD-Audio
|The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Complete Recordings Reprise CDs+DVD-Audio |
Music ••••• DVD-Audio Mix •••••
Waste no time in tracking down this boxed set, the final installment in an amazing series. Howard Shore's complete music for King (nearly 4 hours) is on 4 CDs - but as before, the real attraction is the bonus DVD-Audio program, here with all 4 hours on a two-sided disc. And both the fidelity and Peter Cobbin's 6-channel mix are breathtaking. The surround sound is entirely immersive, with the rear a perfect blend of primary sonics and ambience. Solos blossom from the center channel, be they instrumental (James Galway's flutes and tin whistles), vocal (the purity of Renée Fleming, the bell-clarity of Annie Lennox), or poignant songs from the cast (especially the soothing Liv Tyler). The drums in "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields," from evocatively distant to subwoofer-strong, are a marvel. As are Doug Adams's theme-by-theme notes, where we learn of spider Shelob's 8-note motif, and the appearance of that other guy's Ring.