Thanks for that RS link. Quite enjoyable.
For a few days last week, score samples were available here
(the previews have since been taken down). I did get the chance to listen to all of the previews once. And while there were a couple of moments when I was reminded of Hugo
, it was thoroughly enjoyable, despite the lack of context. There were enough returning themes (Hobbits/Shire; Mordor; Rivendell; etc.) to make it familiar, while expanding the palette. Tonally, it's not very different from LOTR - which says, to me at least, that the films themselves will be tonally similar.
Still with the addition of the diagetic tracks, there's a small, but significant enough difference to provide a unique personality for the Hobbit Soundtrack, as compared to LOTR.