I know what you mean. I really enjoyed the up-tempo also.
Howard Shore is a genious! There is no arguments involved. He created the largest and most complex epic score ever written.
I know what you might think, there were other epics, and they had great music too.
You have to think about the individual songs. Before LOTR, most movies had a couple of songs, but mainly one theme repeated in different ways.
A great example of this is Pirates of the Carribean. Great music, but it is one song presented differently various times.
What is great about the score in LOTR, it has so many different songs, carefully crafted to match certain moods, characters, emotians, and locations. I have never seen anything like it.
Shore definately deserves every one of the awards he was nominated for!