The Lord of the Rings Score Analysis Project
view by track | view by theme | what's new

The Return of the King, disc 1, track 4:

The Foot of Orthanc

[00:00-00:17] Isengard/Orc Theme
From the Annotated Score: "Saruman emerges to hurl taunts at Théoden and the Fellowship. The Isengard theme, which was once imbued with an overpowering militaristic weight, appears beneath string harmonics, now whisper-soft, but still in the darkest registers of the London Philharmonic's low woodwinds. A subtle pulsing in the strings adds a sense of urgency to the proceedings."
[00:41-00:58] The Threat of Mordor accompaniment
From the Annotated Score: "A static variation on the Threat of Mordor announces this cache of evil power from deep in the orchestra's throat"
[01:06-01:10] The Threat of Mordor accompaniment

[01:26-01:43] The Threat of Mordor accompaniment *
From the Annotated Score: "Saruman reveals his palantír to the crowd, maniacally grinning as aleatoric horns thicken the texture."
Magpie notes: "The Threat of Mordor lies on top of the aleatoric horns. Or under..."
[01:50-02:04] Isengard/Orc Theme
From the Annotated Score: "With the conversation's power shifting to Saruman, brass again state the Isengard theme, now more robustly."
[02:08-02:18] The Realm of Gondor (in Decline)
From the Annotated Score: "Saruman knows, too, of Aragorn's right to Gondor's throne. Mocking him as a mere Ranger, French horns eviscerate the Gondor theme, swallowing it into their lowest, darkest possible register."
[04:06-04:10] The Threat of Mordor accompaniment
From the Annotated Score: "As [Grima] approaches Saruman, the orchestra convulses with a short statement of the Threat of Mordor in the lowest possible range—as if Mordor, foreseeing Gríma's next step, were suddenly recalling all power issued to Saruman on loan."

<< Previous track | Next track >>