Lord of the Rings soundtrack voted nation’s favourite film music

Howard Shore’s score beat out several classic film scores to win the heart of the UK

Inga Parkel
Monday 28 August 2023 19:00 BST

Related: ‘You shall not pass’ scene from Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings soundtrack has stolen the heart of the nation, beating out several classic film scores to top the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame 2023 list.

During a day of exciting programmes, the top 100 pieces of film music were played on Classic FM radio, with presenter Jonathan Ross revealing UK listeners’ number one movie score on Monday (28 August).

“I’m so thrilled to see The Lord of the Rings make it to number one in this incredible celebration of history’s greatest film scores, in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame,” Ross announced on-air.

“JRR Tolkien’s adventures are beautiful, spectacular films, but the experience is so enhanced by the incredible score that I’m delighted to see Howard Shore’s music getting this much love,” he said.

The winner was determined after 10,000 votes were cast by the public.

“Many thanks to all the Classic FM listeners. I’m very happy that I was able to bring you a little closer to JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth,” the 76-year-old Canadian composer said of the honour.

Shore’s iconic symphonic ensemble topped other classic movie scores, such as the previous chart-topper Schindler’s List, composed and conducted by John Williams.

Sean Astin and Elijah Wood in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’

The 91-year-old American composer, however, was once again the nation’s most favourite composer of film music. In addition to his score for the 1993 war drama, his other soundtracks for Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were also in the top 20.

Williams was followed by Hans Zimmer and the late John Barry, both of whom landed on the list more than once too. Zimmer’s Gladiator and Interstellar compositions landed at number five and number 17, respectively, while Barry’s Out of Africa was voted number five and his Dances with Wolves score was named number seven.

The full 2023 list of Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame is available to view or listen to on Global Player.

Based on JRR Tolkien’s best-selling novels of the same name, The Lord of the Rings trilogy – which premiered in 2001 – has since seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to Amazon Prime Videos’ recent spin-off series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which stars Morfydd Clark, Robert Aramayo and Sophia Nomvete.

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