St. Paul, Minn. —
The score Inon Zur wrote for Lord of the Rings: War in the North quickly became one of my picks for best video game scores of 2011.
My only complaint is that the developer, Snowblind, didn't allow Inon to write longer tracks.
Lord of the Rings: War in the North is a role-playing game, and if you have any familiarity with LoTR at all, you can guess what the story entails.
Inon had the opportunity to record with the Philharmonia in London at Abbey Road studios. The collector's edition of the game comes with a DVD of the recording session.
One of the reasons I adore this soundtrack so much is that you just can't fake the sound of a huge orchestra. To me, it's the difference between feeling full after lunch at McDonald's compared to feeling full after Thanksgiving dinner. Both meals accomplish the same goal, but with different levels of fulfillment.
And Inon can write for a full orchestra, complete with choir, brass, percussion (listen to "Echoes of Angmar"), but he can also write gorgeous and tender string chamber music (hear "Halls of Valor").
Listen to our conversation with composer Inon Zur on the new episode of Top Score from Classical MPR.
INTRO: LoTR: WitN - Echoes of Angmar
LoTR: WitN - Between Hammer and Anvil
LoTR: WitN - Nordinbad
LoTR: WitN - Echoes of Angmar
LoTR: WitN - In the Footsteps of Kings
Igor Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring
LoTR: WitN - Halls of Valor
Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 2
LoTR: WitN - Before the Citadel Gate
LoTR: WitN - Ghosts of the Grey Mountains
LoTR: WitN - Men of Carn Dum
Howard Shore - Lord of the Rings, "A Storm is Coming"
In-flight entertainment: cello and beatbox
En route to Denver, a cellist and a flight attendant teamed up to treat the other passengers to an improvised cello/beatbox duet of a piece by Bach. Watch a video of the performance.