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Tolkien in music


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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2021, 03:45:21 am »

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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2021, 04:35:51 am »

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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2022, 11:40:01 am »

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Gauk
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2022, 12:50:47 pm »

Well, I listened to the Johan De Meij 1st Symphony in the original version. How is this meant to be redolent of Middle Earth? Or any other fantasy realm? Frankly, World of Warcraft does it better. If he had called it "Wagon Train" it would be none the worse. I was frequently reminded of Ferde Grofé, to be honest.
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paul corfield godfrey
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2022, 04:21:47 pm »

THE SILMARILLION CYCLE COMPLETED

With the release of Fëanor on a new double CD, Prima Facie Records and Volante Opera complete their recording of Paul Corfield Godfrey’s cycle of “epic scenes from The Silmarillion” after the mythology of J R R Tolkien. The nine hours which constitute the complete cycle form the largest work of classical music written in Wales in the twentieth century, and are performed by singers from Welsh National Opera together with a sampled (not synthesised) orchestra. The booklets which come with each of the four double albums contain detailed explanations of the manner in which the recording have been made, as well as track listings, synopses, and an essay on each of the relevant parts by the composer.

Quite apart from the sheer scale of the work, the “epic scenes from The Silmarillion” are also unique in that (unlike nearly all of the Tolkien-influenced music available) the texts are drawn entirely from the words of Tolkien himself, with the agreement and permission of the Tolkien Estate. This certainly makes the score the most substantial vocal setting of any Tolkien material available.

The completion of the recording of this massive cycle is of course a major event, and we would very much hope that it will receive widespread attention. Full and vocal scores are also available for purchase, and the complete texts (including where relevant translations from Elvish) and musical analysis are all available from www.paulcorfieldgodfrey.co.uk

Earlier releases in the cycle:
Beren and Lúthien   PFCD 110/111
“Godfrey’s libretto freely alternates among the different extant versions of the story. The result, textually speaking, is a patchwork; from an operatic standpoint, however, it’s a tour de force of words delivered with passion and epic grandeur. This is hands-down the most potent actualization of Tolkien’s writing I have heard to date.”   Tolkien Music [Chris Seeman]

The Children of Húrin   PFCD 126/127
“CD2 opens with [a] Prelude worthy of mention in the same sentence as that of Sibelius, and closes with music of loss shot through with hope and tenderness. The detailed notes aptly refer to gentle benediction and an unravelling of the web of myth through which the tragic history has been viewed. Húrin’s final words are significant: ‘She was not conquered’. It’s a very different ending from that of Götterdämmerung, but it’s worthy of mention in the same sentence – and there’s not much that is, in my book.”   MusicWeb International [Brian Wilson]

The Fall of Gondolin  PFCD 092/093
“A thing that stands out from the moment you put the CD onto your audio system is the sheer professionalism with which the singers do their respective parts; all are singers with Welsh National Opera, and at times they allow themselves to show the fun they had creating this marvel.”   Unquendor [Jeroen Bakker]
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2022, 05:04:07 am »

THE SILMARILLION CYCLE COMPLETED

With the release of Fëanor on a new double CD, Prima Facie Records and Volante Opera complete their recording of Paul Corfield Godfrey’s cycle of “epic scenes from The Silmarillion” after the mythology of J R R Tolkien. The nine hours which constitute the complete cycle form the largest work of classical music written in Wales in the twentieth century, and are performed by singers from Welsh National Opera together with a sampled (not synthesised) orchestra. The booklets which come with each of the four double albums contain detailed explanations of the manner in which the recording have been made, as well as track listings, synopses, and an essay on each of the relevant parts by the composer.

Quite apart from the sheer scale of the work, the “epic scenes from The Silmarillion” are also unique in that (unlike nearly all of the Tolkien-influenced music available) the texts are drawn entirely from the words of Tolkien himself, with the agreement and permission of the Tolkien Estate. This certainly makes the score the most substantial vocal setting of any Tolkien material available.

The completion of the recording of this massive cycle is of course a major event, and we would very much hope that it will receive widespread attention. Full and vocal scores are also available for purchase, and the complete texts (including where relevant translations from Elvish) and musical analysis are all available from www.paulcorfieldgodfrey.co.uk

Earlier releases in the cycle:
Beren and Lúthien   PFCD 110/111
“Godfrey’s libretto freely alternates among the different extant versions of the story. The result, textually speaking, is a patchwork; from an operatic standpoint, however, it’s a tour de force of words delivered with passion and epic grandeur. This is hands-down the most potent actualization of Tolkien’s writing I have heard to date.”   Tolkien Music [Chris Seeman]

The Children of Húrin   PFCD 126/127
“CD2 opens with [a] Prelude worthy of mention in the same sentence as that of Sibelius, and closes with music of loss shot through with hope and tenderness. The detailed notes aptly refer to gentle benediction and an unravelling of the web of myth through which the tragic history has been viewed. Húrin’s final words are significant: ‘She was not conquered’. It’s a very different ending from that of Götterdämmerung, but it’s worthy of mention in the same sentence – and there’s not much that is, in my book.”   MusicWeb International [Brian Wilson]

The Fall of Gondolin  PFCD 092/093
“A thing that stands out from the moment you put the CD onto your audio system is the sheer professionalism with which the singers do their respective parts; all are singers with Welsh National Opera, and at times they allow themselves to show the fun they had creating this marvel.”   Unquendor [Jeroen Bakker]

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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2022, 04:34:13 am »

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Vandermolen
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« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2022, 09:23:24 am »

I liked Thomas Newman's soundtrack to the recent film about Tolkein. I'm old enough to remember listening to the original BBC radio dramatisation of LOTR (with Michael Hordern as Gandalf). It had fine accompanying music by the sadly short-lived Stephen Oliver. I have the LP but AFAIK the music was never released on CD which is regrettable:
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paul corfield godfrey
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« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2022, 12:58:40 pm »

In fact Stephen Oliver's music for THE LORD OF THE RINGS was issued on CD, as an additional disc to the 13-disc set of the complete BBC production in a luxurious presentation box. However the BBC subsequently remastered their original tapes, adjusting the layout to fit onto twelve CDs corresponding to the original books and films (with some additional material added to cover the revised order, I believe) and the CD would have disappeared at that time. The additional CD was especially valuable as it included full-length recordings of some of the items that only featured in the BBC dramatisation in parts, together with some useful booklet notes on the music itself.

The BBC themselves seem to be unaware of this CD's existence, as about a year ago when they broadcast an extract from Stephen Oliver's music on Radio 3 (following a request from a listener) they employed an LP version of the music.

The main problem with Stephen Oliver's music was that he was heavily restricted, presumably for financial reasons, in the orchestral forces he was able to employ: just strings, percussion and a solo horn. This seriously underchanged some of the more dramatic moments in the action. Nor, judging even by the results on the CD version, was much rehearsal time made available. Might I tentatively suggest that as a setting, for example, of Sam's song "In western lands" a more emotional response can be gained by listening to the same lyric when it appears in my own setting of "Beren and Lúthien" scored with a much larger ensemble and dramatic scope? Another "Lord of the Rings" poem will appear on next year's issue of "The
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paul corfield godfrey
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« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2022, 01:04:01 pm »

(My previous post was unexpectedly truncated!)

I was only going to remark that my setting of Legolas's song "To the sea" (from "The Return of the King") is featured as part of the text in "The War of Wrath", my newly-composed conclusion to the "Silmarillion" cycle which is due for issue next year. That also includes a complete setting of Bilbo's "Lay of Earendil" (from "The Fellowship of the Ring", the longest single poem in "The Lord of the Rings") where Tolkien's text is expanded for full chorus as a framework for the dramatic action describing that episode from the mythology. Other songs from "The Lord of the Rings" also featured on my album "Akallabeth and other Tolkien works" issued back in 2017.
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« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2022, 02:47:06 pm »

Thanks very much Paul, that's really most interesting and best wishes for your own compositions.
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2022, 03:15:41 am »

Great forgetfulness from me,animated film of 1978 was Bakshi's masterwork and it is truly a pity that it has not been followed up,Rosenman's soundtrack is one of 70's best where the techniques of the musical avant-garde integrated with those of the great classical tradition were used effectively


I must say that making the beauty and complexity of the novel on the screen is an arduous undertaking in particular it is very difficult to mark the difference between the first volume, fairytale and similar to "the Hobbit" and the remaining two with a historical and epic tone
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« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2022, 11:24:15 am »

Great forgetfulness from me,animated film of 1978 was Bakshi's masterwork and it is truly a pity that it has not been followed up,Rosenman's soundtrack is one of 70's best where the techniques of the musical avant-garde integrated with those of the great classical tradition were used effectively


I must say that making the beauty and complexity of the novel on the screen is an arduous undertaking in particular it is very difficult to mark the difference between the first volume, fairytale and similar to "the Hobbit" and the remaining two with a historical and epic tone
I saw the film when it first came out and was puzzled that it ended 2/3 of the way through the book (did they run out of money?) The soundtrack was very good and I snapped up the CD.
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2022, 02:43:13 am »

Great forgetfulness from me,animated film of 1978 was Bakshi's masterwork and it is truly a pity that it has not been followed up,Rosenman's soundtrack is one of 70's best where the techniques of the musical avant-garde integrated with those of the great classical tradition were used effectively


I must say that making the beauty and complexity of the novel on the screen is an arduous undertaking in particular it is very difficult to mark the difference between the first volume, fairytale and similar to "the Hobbit" and the remaining two with a historical and epic tone
I saw the film when it first came out and was puzzled that it ended 2/3 of the way through the book (did they run out of money?) The soundtrack was very good and I snapped up the CD.

unfortunately it did not achieve the commercial success it deserved
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2022, 05:51:24 pm »

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