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Back in the early aughts, when moviegoers counted on an annual trip to Middle-earth, thanks to Peter Jackson and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, one of the first signals that you were headed back to the realm of hobbits and dwarves was Howard Shore's string-driven score, playing over the series' title.

It's only fitting that for Jackson's and our collective return to Middle-earth for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Shore will once again provide the music that takes us there, and with a little more than a month to go, Empire has given us a great way to prepare: the entire score online.

Listen to the whole thing after the jump!


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The HobbitWhen it was announced a week and a half ago that Peter Jackson had been rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer, it seemed like the bad news and continued delays surrounding "The Hobbit" were fated to never end. The film has seemingly been in flux for the past decade, and it had never really been able to find its footing. But Jackson was released last week and finally, finally it looks like we have some good news that means this film will actually be completed some time this year (knock on wood). So here goes...

Cameras start rolling on Monday, March 21. Finally!

Jackson said in a statement released by production company 3Foot7 Ltd that "despite some delays we are fully back on track and very excited to get started." 3Foot7 added that the date was chosen following "practical considerations of the filming schedule requirements, actor availability and the New Zealand seasons."

Though news is looking up at the moment, with all the major actors on board and Jackson in the director's chair, things weren't always looking so bright. This story starts a long, long time ago back in the mid-1990s...


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Gollum in Lord of the RingsLooks like the gang's almost all back together! In an unsurprising turn of events, Howard Shore (not pictured) has announced to The Province that he will be returning to score both parts of the "Lord of the Rings" prequel "The Hobbit."

"We've talked about making these movies for many years, at least since 2002," he told the newspaper. "It looks like finally it's going to be happening. I'll be working on it for the next three years -- it's going to consume a lot of my time and work now."

Shore won three Academy Awards for his work on the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and the powerful music he created for the films definitely helped cement their status as some of the finest fantasy flicks of all time. With "Rings" director Peter Jackson back on board for both prequels as well, it looks like our dreams of seeing "The Hobbit" be a seamless part of the "Lord of the Rings" universe have finally come to fruition. Read More...

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Lord of the Rings symphony--By Kristen Shalbinkski

"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" returned to the silver screen at Radio City Music Hall this October 8 and 9 for a special two-night-only engagement. The best part? The screenings featured a live symphony orchestra playing the entire score along with the movie. Ludwig Wicki conducted the orchestra, which included over 300 musicians from the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Youth Choir and Dessoff Symphonic Choir.

Now after seeing the film with live musical accompaniment, I have to say this is what a 3-D movie should be like. Forget about cool special effects jumping out at you. Having the orchestra perched directly beneath the screen and playing the score to perfection added another layer of emotion to the film to accompany the already eye-popping 2-D visuals. The "Two Towers" soundtrack is amazing alone, but hearing it performed live in person gives you a greater appreciation for both the music and the movie. Read More...

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Lord of the Rings symphony"The Lord of the Rings" trilogy had it all: gripping story, epic action, groundbreaking special effects, stellar performances and one heck of a kickass musical score. For two nights only -- Friday and Saturday, October 8 and 9, at 7:30 p.m. -- "LOTR" fans can experience all of that as they never have before. New York City's famed Radio City Music Hall is presenting two special screenings of "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" accompanied by live concert performances of Howard Shore's Grammy-winning score.

Under a 60-foot-wide screen, 300 musicians -- Switzerland's 21st Century Symphony Orchestra, the Grammy-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the Dessoff Symphonic Choir and famed soprano Kaitlyn Lusk, all directed by Maestro Ludwig Wicki -- will perform the entire rousing, spine-tingling "Two Towers" soundtrack while Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli slay Orcs at Helm's deep, Merry, Pippin and the Ents attack Isengard, and Sam and Frodo trek toward Mount Doom (while sharing plenty of sentimental moments, of course). Read More...

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There's a cool happening coming up at Radio City Music Hall this week for you "Lord of the Rings" fans. This Friday and Saturday, October 9 and 10, the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra, The Collegiate Chorale and Brooklyn Youth Chorus (conducted by Ludwig Wicki) will perform Howard Shore's score to "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" live with the film. Tickets are still available, so head over to the Radio City Music Hall website and place your order now before it's too late!

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Last night, MTV's Kurt Loder sat down with "The Lord of the Rings" composer Howard Shore and Pippin the Hobbit actor Billy Boyd at The Paley Center for Media. Kurt was there to moderate a panel called Shore on the Score: The Music of "The Lord of the Rings," which featured Shore, Boyd and The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films author Doug Adams.

The event kicked off a week long "Lord of the Rings" celebration which will culminate with live performances of the "Fellowship of the Ring" score at Radio City Music Hall on October 9 and 10. Read More...

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In just a few short weeks, New Yorkers will get a rare treat. Howard Shore's Oscar-winning score for "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" will be performed live at Radio City Music Hall by more than 300 musicians while the movie plays on a 60-foot screen above them. The performances -- spanning two evenings -- are the centerpiece of a week-long series celebrating the trilogy.

I'm here today to tell you about a cool panel that's happening on October 1 at The Paley Center for Media, located at 25 West 52nd St. MTV's own Kurt Loder will moderate Shore on the Score: The Music of "The Lord of the Rings," featuring Shore, The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films author Doug Adams and actor/musician Billy Boyd, who played the hobbit Pippin in the trilogy. As a special treat, MTV is happy to extend readers an offer to purchase tickets to the event at 50% off. That's a mere $10, a hard-to-resist offer even in these troubled economic times if you're a "Lord of the Rings" fan.

Follow this link for your savings!

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