Paul Corfield Godfrey's "The Silmarillion, Part Three: The Children of Hurin" Demo Recording
This musical work was composed before the publication of The Children of Hurin by J R R Tolkien, ed. C R Tolkien, in 2007 and is not associated with it.
The literary work is © The Tolkien Estate Limited and C R Tolkien 2007.
It is with great pleasure that we can announce that our Demo Recording of Paul Corfield Godfrey’s operatic work “The Children of Hurin" after the mythology of J. R. R. Tolkien will be released by ASC Records & Prima Facie Records in April 2020.
Artwork for the release provided by Ted Nasmith.
All artists appear by arrangement with Welsh National Opera.
Below is the press release from Prima Facie:
Prima Facie Records is pleased to announce the release of The Children of Hurin (complete demo recording) PFCD126/127
THE CHILDREN OF HURIN
Following on from our successful releases of both Beren and Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin, Parts Two and Four of a series of “epic scenes” drawn from J R R Tolkien’s posthumous writings for The Silmarillion, Prima Facie Records in collaboration with Volante Opera Productions now presents a recording on 2 CDs of The Children of Húrin, the third part of Paul Corfield Godfrey’s cycle.
The Children of Húrin was in 1982 the first part of the cycle to be composed, and employed a variety of posthumously published texts by the author with permission of the Tolkien Estate and the assistance of the late Christopher Tolkien - one of the people to whom this work is dedicated.
As before, the singers are all professional artists from Welsh National Opera, and the set makes available for the first time a fully representative recording of the music with the complete lyrics by Tolkien. Because of budgetary and other constraints, the orchestra is represented by sampled sets (using the sounds of real instruments) which have been carefully balanced and adjusted in collaboration with the composer to obtain as close a result to the sound of an actual orchestra as possible.
Commenting on this aspect, Brian Wilson in a review of The Fall of Gondolin for Music Web International remarked “I wondered how well this would work, but need have had no apprehensions; it works very well and it’s the only way such a project could have been realised. I need only say that the music is often hauntingly beautiful.” The booklet with this set of The Children of Húrin explains the methods of production in greater detail, and also includes an essay by the composer on the manner in which the author’s text has been adapted for music.
Chris Seeman in his review of Beren and Lúthien for the Tolkien Music List described the work as “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”. In a comment on the earlier release of The Fall of Gondolin he described that work as “a superb rendition of an unparalleled story [whose] greatest virtue lies in its ability to enhance rather than overshadow that story.”
The first sample is the beginning of the Prologue where Morgoth is tormenting Hurin.
The second sample is the Choral introduction to Scene Four.
The third sample is from the love duet for the cursed Turin and Nienor.
"The Silmarillion Part Three: The Children of Hurin" is composed for thirteen characters, full chorus and orchestra.
The characters are as follows (in order of singing):
Morgoth, the enemy (Bass): Laurence Cole
Húrin Thalion, Lord of the House of Hador (Spoken): Julian Boyce
Túrin, his son (Tenor): Simon Crosby Buttle
Morwen Eledhwen, wife of Húrin (Mezzo-Soprano): Helen Greenaway
Saeros, a councillor of Doriath (Tenor): Michael Clifton-Thompson
Mablung of the Heavy Hand, a Captain of Doriath (Bass): Stephen Wells
Beleg Cúthalion, a Captain of Doriath (Baritone): Philip Lloyd-Evans
Gwindor, a Lord of Nargothrond (Baritone): Julian Boyce
Finduilas, daughter of the King of Nargothrond (Soprano): Emma Mary Llewellyn
Glaurung, first and greatest of dragons (Bass): George Newton-Fitzgerald
Niënor, daughter of Húrin (Soprano): Angharad Morgan
Dorlas, a woodsman of Brethil (Tenor): Michael Clifton-Thompson
Brandir, Lord of the men of Brethil (Baritone): Philip Lloyd-Evans
Chorus of unseen voices and peoples of Doriath, Nargothrond and Brethil: Angharad Morgan/Emma Mary Llewellyn/Louise Ratcliffe/Helen Greenaway/Michael Clifton-Thompson/Simon Crosby Buttle/Julian Boyce/Jasey Hall
For more information and analysis please visit the composer's website (link at the bottom of this page)
Morgoth has captured Húrin of the house of Hador in battle. He lays a curse upon Húrin’s family and binds him to a high place to witness their doom.
Morwen, the wife of Húrin and heavy with child, is with their son Túrin. The pair debate the fate of Húrin, with Túrin believing that he is dead. Morwen decides to send Túrin away to the Elven Realm of Doriath for protection from the Easterlings that now rule their land. She bids him farewell.
Once Túrin reaches Doriath Morwen gives birth to a daughter, Niënor. Túrin grows and becomes a fierce warrior, but is forever touched by sorrow and worry for his mother and sister. Saeros, a friend of King Thingol, mocks Túrin and insults Morwen. Túrin overpowers him and forces him to run for his life whilst he chases him. Mablung tries to stop Túrin but a fearful Saeros leaps from a cliff and dies. Mablung attempts to take Túrin before the King but Túrin scorns his judgement and leaves. Beleg, Túrin’s friend, enters having sought the truth of the encounter. The King pardons TúHe takes with him the Black Sword Anglachel, a gift from the King. Beleg vows to find his friend and bring him back. rin, deeming him wronged and provoked.
Beleg searches for Túrin and comes across Gwindor, an elf of Nargothrond, unconscious by a tree. Beleg wakes Gwindor, who tells him that he escaped from capture in Angband and that he recently saw a company of Orcs passing with a man in chains. Beleg, followed by Gwindor, chases after the Orcs through a wild storm and comes upon their camp. There he finds an unconscious Túrin and attempts to free him using Anglachel. This wakes Túrin, who jumps to his feet and in the darkness takes the sword and slays Beleg, believing him to be an Orc. A flash of lightning reveals Beleg’s face and Túrin realises his mistake.  A grieving Túrin learns from
Gwindor of a rumour from Angband about a curse upon Húrin’s family.
Gwindor brings an incognito Túrin to Nargothrond. He tells Túrin that he will be safe there but Túrin believes it would be better for all of the host of Nargothrond to take the fight to the enemy. Finduilas, the daughter of King Orodreth, betrothed of Gwindor, finds her heart turned towards the stranger. Gwindor, realising he has lost his love, has turned sullen and distant towards Túrin. Gwindor tries to confess his love to Finduilas and warns her not to trust Túrin. He reveals all he knows of Túrin’s family and curse. Finduilas confesses to Gwindor that, while she loves him, her love for Túrin is greater. She admits that she knows that Túrin does not love her in return, seeing her like a mother and a Queen. She greets Túrin by his name and berates him for not telling her himself. Túrin blames Gwindor for bringing his curse back upon him but Gwindor believes that the curse lies on the man, not his name.
The host of Nargothrond, under Túrin’s command, goes forth into battle against Morgoth. The dragon Glaurung lays siege to Nargothrond and succeeds in destroying it. Gwindor is killed and Finduilas is captured. Túrin rushes back to the ruins, only to be intercepted by the dragon, who holds him in his bewitching gaze whilst Finduilas is taken away. Once the dragon’s spell breaks, Túrin rushes away after Finduilas.
Morwen and Niënor, now under the protection of Mablung, come in search of Túrin. Morwen attempts to leave Niënor behind and go on alone. However, her daughter insists on staying with her and searching for her brother. As Morwen decides to search for Túrin at
Nargothrond, Mablung attempts to stop them going any further. He cannot fulfil his duty to protect them if they continue. Morwen and Niënor carry on without his escort. Morwen becomes separated and lost in the ruins of Nargothrond. Niënor comes upon Glaurung, who casts a spell of forgetfulness upon her. She runs off into the forest.
Scene Seven :
Túrin comes into the forest of Brethil, encountering a group of men led by Dorlas. Túrin learns that Finduilas was slain by the Orcs and that Dorlas spoke to her as she lay dying. Dorlas recognises Túrin as the great captain of Nargothrond. The chieftain of the men of Brethil, a lame man named Brandir, approaches and berates Dorlas for greeting the cursed man. Túrin determines to forget his name and kin, which have only brought evil to others, and takes the name Turambar.
Niënor, still under the spell of forgetfulness, also comes to Brethil, where she is discovered by Dorlas and Túrin. Túrin and Niënor find themselves irresistibly attracted to one another. Túrin gives her the name Niniel and the two fall quickly in love. They marry and Túrin vows to never go to war again, unless to protect her or their home. She becomes pregnant and for the first time in Túrin’s life he is at relative peace.
Brandir warns his people that Glaurung is coming to destroy them. Túrin vows to kill the dragon and goes forth with Dorlas. Dorlas and Túrin approach Glarung’s location but Dorlas, turning to flee when he sees the dragon, falls into a ravine and dies. Túrin presses on alone and succeeds in killing the great worm. Brandir approaches with Niënor in search of Túrin. They find him unconscious at the feet of the dying dragon, who with his final breath removes the spell of forgetfulness from Niënor. In horror at the realisation that she is pregnant with her brother’s child, she throws herself to her doom in the river. The men of Brethil come in search of her, but Brandir tells them all of Túrin and Niënor. Túrin awakes and when Brandir tries to tell him the truth he calls him a liar and slays him. Mablung approaches, hailing the slayer of Glaurung. Túrin asks him for tidings of his family. He is told the truth, that Morwen is lost and Nienor was bewitched and ran off into the wilds. Túrin calls upon his sword, Anglachel, to end his life and throws himself upon the blade.
Húrin, freed from captivity, comes to Túrin’s grave. There he finds a dying Morwen. She asks him what happened to their children and he cannot answer.
Texts are employed by permission of the estate of the late John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and HarperCollinsPublishers for use by Paul Corfield Godfrey.
The libretto for this work is compiled from the following sources:
The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales (all edited by Christopher Tolkien).
The Curtain rises on a scene in total darkness. Out of this unlight the comes a gignatic voice, hugely amplified and seeming to come from all around the auditorium.
I am the Elder King, who was before the world and made it; the shadow of my purpose lies upon it, and all that is in it bends slowly and surely to my will.
A sudden beam of light illumines the blackness. Pinpointed by this beam, Húrin is seen standing totally alone,
proud and defiantly erect.
But upon all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Whenever they speak, their words shall bring ill-counsel.
Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death.
HÚRIN [standing proudly erect]
You speak in vain.
For you cannot see them, nor govern them from afar; not while you keep this shape, and desire still to be a King visible upon the earth.
Yet I may come at you, and all your cursed house; for you shall be broken on my will, though you all were made of steel.
Húrin sinks abruptly to his knees, as though felled by a sudden swordstroke.
The shadow of my thought shall pursue them, even to the ends of the world.
HÚRIN [bowed, but still defiant]
You are not the Lord of Men and shall not be, though all Earth and Heaven fall in your dominion.
Beyond the Circles of the World you shall not pursue those that refuse you.
Beyond the Circles of the World I shall not pursue them. For beyond the Circles of the World in Nothing.
But within them they shall not escape me, until they enter into Nothing.
HÚRIN [hardly breathed, prostrate]
You shall see, and you shall confess I do not lie!
The section of the stage on which Húrin lies prostrate rises rapidly to a great height; here he will remain throughout
Sit now there! and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those whom thou lovest.
And with my eyes shalt thou see, and with my ears shalt thou hear;
and never shalt thou move from this place until all is fulfilled unto the bitter end.
The voice ceases. Húrin alone remains, unmoving on his pinnacle of rock.
Interlude and Scene One
Slowly light spreads across the remainder of the stage; as it does so the blinding light on Húrin abates somewhat,
although his gaze remains fixed on the action. On the remainder of the stage there stand two other rocky monoliths
in the form of a gateway.
Morwen the wife of Húrin remained alone, silent in grief. Her son Túrin was yet young, and she was again with child.
The Easterlings came into the land; they dealt cruelly with the people of Hador,
robbed them of all they possessed and enslaved them.
The light has now disclosed a bare and windswept hillside, upon which the gateway stands; all else is shrouded in mist. Beneath the stones of the gateway are seen standing Morwen with her son Túrin; they remain awhile motionless, until Túrin suddenly starts to pace angrily to and fro.
When will my father come, to cast out these ugly thieves? Why does he not come?
I do not know. It may be that he is slain, or that he is held captive;
or, again, it may be that he was driven far away, and cannot yet return through the foes that divide us.
Then I think that he is dead; for nothing could keep him from coming back to help us, if he were alive.
I do not think that either of these things is true, my son.
Both remain motionless, brooding in silence.
Who knows now the counsels of Morgoth? Who can measure the reach of his thought,
who sat now, a Dark Lord upon a Dark Throne in the north, weighing in his malice all the tidings of the earth?
Morwen stirs suddenly from her brooding, and turns with impatience towards her son.
And yet he does not come; so you must go, and go soon.
Go? Whither shall we go? Over the mountains?
Yes, over the mountains, away south. But I did not say we, my son. You must go, but I must stay.
I cannot leave you; I will not leave you! The heir should stay in Húrin’s house to guard it!
The heir should stay! To be a thrall? If you wish to be a man, you will do as I bid, and take heart!
I will follow you, if things grow worse...and if I can.
But how will you find me, lost in the wild?
I know whither you are going; and if you come there, and if you remain there, I will find you, if I can.
For I am sending you to Doriath, to the court of the Elvenking Thingol and of his great Captains,
Mablung of the Heavy Hand and Beleg Cuthalion.
Túrin covers his eyes and appears to weep.
It is hard, Túrin my son. Not hard for you only. It is heavy on me in evil days to judge what is best to do.
But I do as I think right; for why else should I part with the thing most dear that is left to me?
Túrin embraces his mother with sudden violence. Then he turns away from her and advances slowly towards the very front of the stage. The increasing light on his face shows the agony in his expression. Morwen, standing within the gateway, grips the posts of the door with whitening knuckles.
Morwen, Morwen, when shall I see you again?
At once total darkness engulfs the door where Morwen still stands. Túrin remains unmoving at the front of the stage; his father watches motionlessly from his raised pillar far above.
Interlude and Scene Two
During the following, shadows flit across the rear of the stage like sunlight shafting through leaves.
And Morwen gave birth to her child, the daughter of Húrin; and she named her Niënor, which is, Mourning.
But Túrin, passing through great perils, came at last to the Girdle of Doriath.
The gradually increasing light shows that the lintel posts have been transformed, and now resemble the trunks of forest trees.
And there he was befriended by Beleg Cuthalion;
and he grew fair and strong, but he was touched with sorrow, filled with fear for his mother and his sister,
and grew in grimness of heart and great anger.
Túrin at the front of the stage turns with a gesture, so that his back is towards the audience.
Are all the women of Hithlum wild and loveless, uncouth and unkempt as their cast-off sons?
Now Saeros, one high in the counsels of the King, begrudged to Túrin the honour he received; and he waylaid Túrin,
The play of shadows at the rear of the stage reflects the narrative of the chorus.
But Túrin overcame him, and set him to run naked as a hunted deer through the woods.
Morwen! now shall you mocker pay for his scorn!
As he enters into the shadow-play individual characters are seen: the fleeing Saeros and, in the further distance, other Elves led by Mablung.
Hold, Túrin, hold! this is Orc-work in the woods!
Orc-work in the woods for Orc-words from a thrall!
The fleeing Saeros has turned back towards Túrin, but at this moment he falls headlong to the ground. Túrin comes quickly behind him; but Saeros is dead. At the same time Mablung comes swiftly forward. All remain motionless. There is a long tense silence.
The King must judge these deeds.
If the King were just, why choose a heart of malice for his friend? I abjure his law and his judgement.
One death is enough. I bid you return with me, as a friend. When the King learns the truth, you may hope for pardon.
I refuse your bidding. I will not seek pardon. I will go now where the King’s doom cannot find me.
Fare free! for that is your wish. But well I do not hope for, if you go in this way.
A shadow lies on your heart. When we meet again, may it be no darker.
Túrin turns scornfully away from them and passes swiftly from the stage. Mablung turns to his companions.
How shall we harbour one who scorns the law, or pardon one who will not repent?
BELEG [suddenly appears from the shadows at the back of the stage]
Lord, may I yet speak?
You come late.
Truly, Lord; but I was delayed. I sought the truth...
All turn towards Beleg; he begins silent to explain the actions of Saeros and Túrin.
Then all was searched and told; but the net was cast over Túrin, and he was enmeshed in it, and led away.
Such fault as can be found in Túrin the King pardons, holding him wronged and provoked.
But where can he be found? for he has left our land, and the world is wide.
He shall be found; for if he lives or walks still abroad, I shall find him, though all others fail.
At this parting, Beleg Cuthalion, ask for any gift, the King will not deny it to you.
I ask then for a sword of worth. I choose the blade of Anglachel.
There is malice in that blade. It will not love the hand it serves; neither will it remain with you long.
Nonetheless I will wield it while I may.
I will seek Túrin if I can until I find him, and bring him back to Doriath; and gladly will I welcome his return.
For I love him well.
He turns to follow Túrin; darkness envelops the scene.
Interlude and Scene Three
The darkness which has covered the stage is lit by fiery flashes, as of a distant but slowly approaching thunderstorm.
So Beleg departed from Doriath, following the track of the Orcs;
and as he passed by night through the land he came on one who lay asleep at the foot of a great dead tree.
In the increasingly steady illumination one of the great pillars can once more be discerned; it now assumes the form of a massive dead tree, overhung with ivy and moss. The scene remains but dimly visible in the intermittent flashes of lightning; all is dark, still and brooding. Through the murk Beleg Cúthalion approaches; he sees Gwindor unconscious at the foot of the tree. He bends over him, rousing him solicitously.
My friend, my friend, who are you? What fate has brought you to this terrible place?
I name myself Gwindor son of Guilin, that lord of Nargothrond whom Morgoth captured,
escaped by secret tunnels known only to myself, thus spent and bewildered in the mazes of this forest.
But as I lay and lurked among the trees I saw a great company of Orcs passing northwards;
among them was a man whose hands were chained, and they drove the man onward with whips.
That is Túrin, whom I seek; and whom I will release.
You will but join the man in the torment that awaits him!
Beleg has already hastened away, and makes no response. The storm grows steadily closer and the thunder is now clearly heard. In the lightning flashes Túrin himself can now be seen, chained to the other pillar of the stage.
The storm rode up out of the west; and lightning glittered on the mountains far away.
When all in the camp were sleeping, silently in peril they entered in;
and found Túrin, and carried him out to a thicket of sharp thorns a little way above.
The action proceeds as described by the chorus.
And now the storm grew very near. And Beleg drew his sword Anglachel, and with it he cut the bonds that bound Túrin;
but Túrin was roused into a sudden wakefulness of rage and fear.
The Orcs are come again to torment me! Give me the sword!
And slew Beleg Cuthalion, thinking him a foe.
Túrin stands, with the sword Anglachel in his hands, looking down at the body of Beleg while the storm and lightning crash and flash upon the scene.
And in the lightning he looked down on Beleg’s face.
The face of Túrin suddenly lights up with recognition and horror. The storm reaches its climax; Gwindor turns away and crouches down with his hands over his eyes. Húrin on his pillar reaches out his hands towards his stricken son, and again remains motionless. A long pause, while the storm slowly dies down. Gwindor rises and approaches Túrin cautiously.
Who are you?
A thrall escaped, whom Beleg met and comforted, who once was Gwindor son of Guilin,
and now returns to Nargothrond where Finduilas daughter of the King awaits me.
There I may forget my captivity in Angband.
Then you have seen Húrin of the House of Hador, the warrior of men?
I have not seen him.
But rumour of him runs through Angband that he still defies Morgoth; and Morgoth has laid a curse upon him and all his kin.
That I well believe.
Gwindor slowly picks up the sword Anglachel, placing it in Túrin’s hand; and leads him slowly out. Húrin, on his pillar, allows his arms to drop once more loosely to his side. The lights fade and the Curtain falls.
Prelude and Scene Four
The Great Gate of Nargothrond extends across the width of the stage. Beyond the Gate, to the back, lies the darkness of the Hidden Caves; before it, there is sunlight and the road leading from the refuge. The Gate is here reached by a stone-wrought bridge which, it is suggested, spans the mighty river flowing past the Gate to the front. At first the scene is shrouded in darkness, and the voices of Elven women are heard. The lights rise; across the bridge come Túrin and Gwindor. They halt on the bridge, turning into the sunlight.
Thus did Túrin come to Nargothrond.
All is well now. Our enemies are still surprised, and afraid. And still good days lie before us...for a while.
And what then?
Winter. And after that another year, for those who live to see it.
And what then?
The wrath of Angband. We have but touched the fingertips of the Black Hand...no more. It will not withdraw.
Yet victory is victory, however small, not is its worth only in what follows from it.
Better is it to win a time of glory, though it be short-lived; for the end shall be no worse.
Petty victories will prove profitless in the end. In secrecy alone now lies any hope; until the End come.
You speak of secrecy, and that therein lies the only hope;
but could you ambush and waylay every scout and spy of Morgoth to the last and least,
yet from that he would learn that you lived and guess where.
Though mortal men have little life beside the span of the elves, they would rather spend it in battle than fly or submit.
The defiance of Húrin Thalion is a great deed; and, though Morgoth slay the doer, he cannot make the deed not to have been.
Even the Lords of the West will honour it; and is it not written into the history of the world, which neither Good nor Evil can unwrite?
He and Gwindor turn and pass through the Gate into Nargothrond. Darkness descends on the scene, and the passage of time is suggested.
And Finduilas daughter of Orodreth the King knew them and welcomed them;
but her heart was turned from Gwindor, and against her will her love was given to Túrin.
Túrin and Finduilas are seen, walking before the Gate.
I had a sister once, or so I called her; and of her you put me in mind.
But she was a yellow flower in the green grass of spring; and had she lived she would now perhaps be dimmed with grief.
But you are queenly, and as a golden tree; I would I had a sister so fair.
But you are kingly, and yet grave; I would I had a brother so valiant.
And I do not know your true name; but I will call you Thúrin, the Secret.
That is not my name; and I am not a King.
Your heart and mind are elsewhere, by rivers in springs long past.
Do not let the words of Gwindor fright you.
He has suffered in the darkness of Angband; and needs all solace, and longer time for healing.
I know it well.
But we shall win that time for him! Nargothrond shall stand!
Never again will Morgoth the craven come forth from Angband, and all his reliance must be on his servants.
They are the fingers of his hands; and we will smite them, and cut them off, until he draws back his claws. Nargothrond shall stand!
Again there is darkness across the stage, and the light suggests the further passage of time. Gwindor stands on the bridge, looking out across the river. Túrin comes quietly behind him.
Gwindor, dear friend, you are falling back into sadness; do not so!
for your healing will come in the houses of your kin, and in the light of Finduilas.
Gwindor looks at him but makes no reply.
Why do you look at me like that? Often your eyes have gazed strangely at me of late; how have I grieved you?
I would that we were one in mind; for to you I owe a great debt, and I shall not forget it.
Will you not? Nonetheless your deeds and counsels have changed my home and my kin.
Your shadow lies upon them. Why should I be glad, who have lost all to you?
Once again darkness. The lights rise to disclose Gwindor in converse with Finduilas.
Daughter of the King, let no grief lie between us; for though Morgoth has laid my life in ruin, you still I love.
Go whither love leads you; but beware! A doom indeed lies upon this man, as seeing eyes may well see in him; but a dark doom.
Enter not into it! and, if you will, your love shall betray you to bitterness and death. For hearken to me!
Though he be indeed of secret birth, his name in Túrin, the son of Húrin whom Morgoth holds in Angband
and whose kin he has cursed. Doubt not the power of Morgoth Bauglir! Is it not written in me?
Your eyes are dimmed, Gwindor. You do not see nor understand this thing that is here come to pass.
For I love you, Gwindor, and I am ashamed that I love you not more; but I have taken a love yet greater, from which I cannot escape.
I did not seek it, and long I put it aside. But if I have pity on your hurts, have pity on mine:
for Túrin son of Húrin loves me not, nor will. He also needs solace, and is bereaved of his kin.
He seeks me out, and sits long with me, and comes ever more glad away; you both have your needs.
But what of Finduilas?—if any of us three be faithless, it is I! And what of your doom and rumours of Morgoth?
What of death and destruction?
For Túrin is mighty in the tale of the world, and his stature shall reach further in some far day to come.
He is proud, but he is merciful. He is not yet awake, but still pity can ever pierce his heart, and he will never deny it.
Pity maybe shall be the only entry. But he does not pity me. He holds me in awe, as were I both his mother and a Queen!
Cast the stones of your pride into the loud river, than the creeping evil may not find the Gate.
Túrin comes from the Gate in haste, and in full armour. Finduilas runs to his side.
Túrin son of Húrin, why did you hide your name from me?
Had I known who you were, I should not have honoured you less; but I should better have understood your grief.
TÚRIN [to Gwindor]
You call my doom upon me, from which I would lie hid!
Your doom lies in yourself, not in your name.
Darkness descends across the stage.
Interlude and Scene Five
Flashing fire and smoke flicker in the darkness, growing ever and ever more impenetrable.
Then the warriors of Nargothrond went forth; but greater far was the armament of Morgoth,
and none but Túrin could long withstand the approach of Glaurung.
In a sudden burst of flame the mask of Glaurung, as a great golden dragon, is seen.
On that day all the pride and the host withered away, and Gwindor son of Guilin was wounded to the death;
and even as Túrin sped back in search of Finduilas, the dreadful sack of Nargothrond was achieved.
Through the mist and wreck the Gate of Nargothrond is seen, in ruin and destruction. Túrin strides across the bridge with drawn sword. In the murk are dimly discerned shadowy figures bearing away the spoil and captives out of the caves behind the Gate.
Finduilas! Finduilas! Finduilas!
Leaves fall from the trees in a great wind. The autumn passes to a cold winter.
GLAURUNG [suddenly appears through the Gate]
Hail, son of Húrin! Well met!...Evil indeed have been all thy ways, son of Húrin.
Slayer of thy friend, thief of love, captain foolhardy, betrayer of thy kin!
Túrin stands still, seeing himself as in a mirror misshapen by malice, and loathing that which he sees. More captives are brought from the Gate; among them is Finduilas.
FINDUILAS [being dragged rapidly away]
Túrin! Túrin! Túrin!
He may not stop his ears against that voice that will haunt him hereafter.
Túrin starts to himself, drawing his sword, and leaps at Glaurung who draws himself swiftly backwards and higher, as if rearing to strike.
If thou wilt be slain, I will slay thee swiftly. But small help will that be to Niënor or Morwen.
No heed didst thou give to the cries of the elf-woman. Wilt thou deny also the bond of thy blood?
Glad shall thy father be to learn that he hath such a son; as learn he shall
Until this moment Húrin has been again motionless upon his pillar; now, as before, he raises his hand as if in supplication towards his son. Túrin, as if bereft of his own will, turns abruptly away and rushes across the bridge as if in pursuit. It begins to grow dark and mists arise from the river.
Haste thee now, son of Húrin! or never shalt thou see Morwen again,
and never shalt thou see at all Niënor thy sister; and they shall curse thee.
Darkness has already shrouded the scene; the fires of Glaurung disappear into the mist.
Interlude and Scene Six
The mists continue to swirl across the stage and totally obscure the scene. Through the mists which shroud the stage Morwen and Niënor are seen wearily stumbling. They are intercepted by Mablung, together with a small company of guards.
Then Morwen was distraught, and she rode forth with Niënor into the wild to seek her son, or some true tidings of him.
And Mablung was sent from Doriath to guard them, bidding Niënor to return with him.
Mourning you have named me; but I will not mourn alone for father, brother, mother.
But of these you only have I known, and nothing that you fear not do I fear.
What then would you do?
I go with you; I go where you go.
Rather to Doriath, for reverence of those who rule it; but, if not, then westward to Nargothrond.
Indeed, if either of us should go on, it is I rather, in the fullness of strength.
I go on, as I have purposed. Come you also; but against my will.
She turns away, and Niënor follows her. Mablung, remaining as if in doubt, turns to his companions.
Truly it is by lack of counsel not of courage that Húrin’s folk bring woe to others!
Even so with Túrin; but not so with his fathers. But now they all are fey, and I like it not. What is to be done?
MORWEN [turning back to answer]
Seek for tidings of Túrin, and of Nargothrond. For this end we are all come together.
Fey are you both, and foolhardy. Now hear me!
I was bidden not to stay you with strength; but I was bidden also to guard you as I might. In this pass, one only can I do.
We are come too far now to turn back in fear.
The mists cover the stage, and they disappear into them.
Thus the ladies were lost, and of Morwen no tidings came to Doriath again.
But Niënor came through the reek into the sunlight, and looked into the eyes of Glaurung.
Niënor alone remains visible; at the same time the Gate of Nargothrond is once more discerned. The mask of Glaurung appears suddenly as sunlight pierces the mists. Niënor starts and turns as if to ruin; then turns and confronts the eyes of the Dragon.
What do you seek here?
I do but seek one Túrin that dwelt here awhile. But he is gone, maybe.
I know not. He was left here to defend the women and weaklings; but when I came he deserted them, and fled.
A boaster but a craven, it seems. Why seek you such a one?
You lie. The children of Húrin at least are not craven. We fear you not.
Then you are fools, both you and your brother; and your boast shall be made vain. For I am Glaurung!
For a moment, Niënor remains as though transfixed. Then she turns, her face and mind a blank expression of despair, and stumbles running back across the bridge and towards the river. Húrin on his pillar sinks down in despair as the Curtain falls.
Prelude and Scene Seven
When the curtain rises the scene is largely covered with green-leaved trees: to the right of the stage these completely shroud one of the standing stones but to the left the other stone is still to be seen, standing alone and overlooking a deep river gorge which lies towards the back of the stage. Húrin still remains on his pillar; but now he lies prostrate, clutching at the sides of the stone, and his face is shrouded and invisible. It is dawn, and the day is slowly breaking. Túrin is seen lying exhausted beneath the standing stone by the edge of the gorge. Dorlas appears through the woods leading a number of men; they stop in amazement at the sight of Túrin, then Dorlas comes across and gently rouses him.
Who are you, and what do you here?
Are there then any left, who will suffer me to darken their lands?
My friends, I am on a grievous errand: to find Finduilas, daughter of Nargothrond, or at the least to learn news of her.
For many weeks I have been searching.
Seek no more; for by this stream the foul creatures of Morgoth slew their prisoners;
and the daughter of Orodreth they fastened to a tree with a spear.
How do you know this?
She spoke to us, before she died. She looked upon us as though seeking one whom she had expected, and said:
"The Black Sword. Tell the Black Sword that Finduilas is here."
She said no more. She lies here buried beside the river.
Túrin remains frozen for a moment, staring at the standing stone. Then he collapses prostrate at its foot. Dorlas turns to the others.
Too late! this is a piteous chance. But see! here lies the Mormegil himself, the great Captain of Nargothrond.
Brandir, wrapped in furs but with a circlet of gold about his brow, has slowly limped out of the forest; he looks down on Túrin with pity.
O cruel men of Haleth! why did you hold back death from this man? For here is brought the last bane of our people.
And should we leave this man woe-stricken to lie by the way?
BRANDIR [stands for a moment locked in mental combat with Dorlas; then he turns forlornly away]
You should not indeed. Doom willed it not so.
He leans over Túrin, who comes slowly to his senses and rises.
All my deeds and past days were dark and full of evil.
But a new day is come. Here I will stay at peace, and renounce name and kin;
and so shall I put my shadow behind me, or at least lay it not upon those whom I love.
Turambar, Master of Doom, shall be my name; forget that I am a stranger among you, or that I ever bore any other name.
Brandir bows low to him; the men move away into the trees. Dorlas alone lingers by Túrin.
You have renounced your name, but the Black Sword are you still;
and does not rumour say truly that he was the son of Húrin, and Lord of the House of Hador?
TÚRIN So it is said. But publish it not, I beg you, as you are my friend.
They turn to follow the others; it grows dark.
Interlude and Scene Eight
Through the darkness which has descended moonlight begins to filter.
Around the gloom gathers; darkness grows across the sea, red blood flows beside the waters.
The wind wails, the wolf howls, the ravens flee. The ice mutters in the mouths of the sea.
The captives sad in their dungeons mourn. Thunder rumbles, and the fires burn.
Niënor, naked, comes stumbling through the woods running like a hunted beast. Then suddenly, in a swoon of utter weariness, she falls as one stricken into a deep brake of fern. The moon rises higher; then Dorlas comes running through the woods with Túrin.
Hither, lord! here is the young woman lying, and she lives!
Túrin bends over her, and lays a cloak about her; slowly she wakes.
And all things that she saw seemed new to her and strange; behind lay only an empty darkness, ahead the light that she sought.
Now, lady, will you not tell us you name and kin, and what evil has befallen you, that you run thus naked in the woods?
She looks at him, and begins to weep silently.
Here you are safe, and may rest this night. And in the morning we will lead you to our homes in the forest.
But we would know your name; will you not tell us?
Again she weeps.
Do not be troubled! maybe the tale is too sad to tell. But I will give you a name, and call you Níniel, Maiden of Tears.
NIËNOR [raises her head, and shakes it slowly]
Níniel...what are you called?
NIËNOR [she pauses, as if listening for some echo; then shakes her head again]
And is that just the name for you alone?
It means Master of the Dark Shadow. For I also had my darkness, in which dear things were lost; but now I have overcome it, I deem.
And did you also flee from it, running until you came to these fair woods?
I fled for many years.
And when did you escape, Turambar?
I escaped when you did so.
For it was dark when you came, Níniel, but ever since it has been light; and it seems to me that what I sought has come to me.
(There lies a shadow on this man, and I am afraid. But he has escaped from it, even as I. And is he not worthy of love?)
(From the green mound she came, the wraith of a slain maiden on the grave of Finduilas. Is that a sign, and how shall I read it?)...
Time passes. We have waited, and now I will wait no longer.
I will go back now to war in the wild, or I will wed you, and go never to war again,
save to defend you if some evil assails our home.
She takes him with joy; and spring turns toward summer.
She has risen and falls into his arms. The moon sets and darkness once more descends across the stage.
Interlude and Scene Nine
Though all to ruin fell the world and were dissolved and backward hurled unmade into the old abyss,
yet were its making good, for this: the dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea, that love for a time might be.
A hot sun spreads across the scene; mists rise slowly from the river. The growing light discloses Brandir with a great many of the men of Brethil, looking out across the river.
Praised be the Black Sword of Brethil, through whom its enemies are overcome!
Men of Brethil, a deadly peril comes upon us, which only great hardihood shall turns aside.
For, if Glaurung comes, then we must abandon this place, and scatter far and wide; so some may escape, and live.
If we go up against the dragon with strength, we shall but offer ourselves to death.
TÚRIN [comes hastily forward from amongst the men]
Nay, that is the worst; and it shall not come to pass, if my counsel and fortune be good.
It is the doom of the Dragon that, however great his armour, he must go beneath with the belly of a snake.
Thus, men of Brethil, I go to seek the belly of Glaurung, by what means I may. Who will come with me?
I need but one with strong arms, and a stouter heart.
I will go with you, lord; for I would ever go forward rather than wait for a foe.
Will none of you others take the place of Brandir, whose limbs by hazard betray him?
TÚRIN [looks at Dorlas with disapproval, and goes humbly and sympathetically to Brandir]
My lord, I do not scorn you. We go in haste; our task will need strong limbs.
Your place is with your people; for you are wise, and a healer.
And it may be that there will be great need of wisdom and healing ere long.
BRANDIR [sternly to Dorlas]
Go then, but not with my leave. For a shadow lies on this man, and it will lead you to evil.
NIËNOR [comes running through the woods, and clings weeping to Túrin]
Go not forth, Turambar, I beg! Challenge not the shadow that you have fled from! Nay, nay, flee still, and take me with you, far away!
Níniel most dear, we cannot flee together, you and I. We are penned in this land.
And even should I go, deserting the people that befriended me,
I could but take you forth into the houseless wild, to your death and the death of our child.
But take heart, Níniel. For I say to you: neither you not I shall be slain by this Dragon, nor by any foe of the North.
He kisses her gently on the forehead, and BRANDIR leads her away. Túrin remains alone with Dorlas.
When dusk falls, we must creep to the river. But beware! for the ears of Glaurung are as keen as his eyes, and they are deadly.
This is a sure way to death.
It is the only way, to death or to life.
We spend our waning strength to no avail.
But where all lies on chance, to chance we must trust.
And is this all our hope?
The sun has set, and darkness has enveloped the forest; across the river are seen the fires and the golden mask of Glaurung approaching. Dorlas turns and runs towards the river; and then, turning to flee, falls into the ravine with a cry.
Alas! it is fatal to walk in my shadow! Now you are alone, Master of Doom, as you should have known it must be. Now conquer alone!
He springs towards the river where the mask of Glaurung approaches. The mists rising from the river partially conceal the combat.
Hail, Worm of Morgoth! Well met again! Die now, and the darkness have thee! Thus is Túrin son of Húrin avenged.
The roars of the Dragon suddenly cease, and a deathly silence falls. In the darkness nothing at all can be seen; then through the trees come Niënor and Brandir.
Níniel, fear not the worst until you must. But did I not counsel you to wait?
The Master of Doom is gone to challenge his doom, and how shall I stay and wait for the slow coming to tidings, good or ill?
How shall I stand, or sit, or pass the dreadful hours? I understand you not.
Nor I myself; and yet I am afraid.
Is this the way?
What is the way? We have not now any hope, save to escape the Dragon, and flee from him while there yet is time.
The Black Sword was my beloved and husband, and only to find him to I go. What else could you think?
She runs towards the back.
Wait, Níniel! Go not alone! You do not know what you will find!
The mists and darkness suddenly part; the mask of Glaurung is seen twisted in its death agony. At its feet lies Túrin.
Turambar, Turambar, come back! Hear me! Awake! For it is Níniel. The dragon is dead, dead, and I alone am here by you.
Hail, Niënor, daughter of Húrin! We meet again ere the end. I give thee joy that thou hast found thy brother at last.
And now shalt thou know him: a stabber in the dark, treacherous to foes, faithless to friends, and a curse unto his kin,
Túrin son of Húrin! But the worst of his deeds thou shalt feel in thyself.
He dies. Niënor slowly stands, looking down on Túrin with horror and anguish.
Farewell, O twice beloved! A Túrin Turambar turún’ ambartanen: Master of Doom by Doom o’ermastered! O happy to be dead!
She runs rapidly towards the river.
Water, water! Take now Níniel Niënor daughter of Húrin! Mourning, mourning daughter of Morwen! Take me down to the Sea!
She casts herself into the ravine. Brandir hastens behind her and looks down into the dark chasm in horror. Day begins to dawn as men come in haste from the forest.
Have you seen her? For Níniel is gone.
Níniel is gone for ever. The dragon is dead, and Turambar is dead; and these tidings are good.
Hear me in silence! Níniel the beloved is also dead.
She cast herself into the water, desiring life no more; for she learned that she was none other than Niënor daughter of Húrin,
ere her forgetfulness came upon her, and that Turambar was her brother, Túrin son of Húrin.
All stand in horror; and from the darkness by the river a voice is suddenly heard.
You, Anglachel my sword, are stronger than I. All blood will you drink. Yours is the victory.
All remain still as Túrin comes from the back and advances towards them.
Nay, be glad! for the Dragon is dead, and I live.
But where is Níniel? for her first would I see; and to her first will I tell of the deeds in the night.
Níniel is not here.
That is well then. I will go to my home.
No, no! Your house is empty. Níniel is not there. She is dead.
How do you know? How did you contrive it?
The contriving was yours. She fled from you, that she might never see you again: Niënor, the daughter of Húrin.
Yes, I am Túrin the son of Húrin; so long ago you guessed. But nothing do you know of Niënor my sister.
It is a trick of your own vile mind, to drive my wife witless, and now me. You limping evil, will you dog us both to death?
On his deathbed even a Dragon will speak true: Túrin son of Húrin, a curse unto thy kin and all that harbour thee!
And what shall be said of you, Club-foot? Who brought her to the malice of the Dragon? Who stood by and let her die?
Who came hither to publish this horror? Who would now gloat before me? Do men speak true before death?
Then speak it now quickly!
I do not fear to die; for then I will go to seek Níniel whom I loved, and perhaps I shall find her again beyond the Sea.
You shall sleep with the Worm, your soul’s mate, and rot in one darkness!
He has raised his sword and hews Brandir to death. All stand in terror as the blood-red sun rises. Mablung enters through the forest with his Elven followers, and halts at the sight of Túrin.
You have slain the Great Worm! Praised for ever shall be your name among Elves and Men!
I care not; for my heart also is slain. But since you come from Doriath, give me news of my kin.
MABLUNG [with concern]
They went into the wild seeking you, against all counsel.
Morwen none have seen since that day; and Niënor fled naked into the woods as like a wild deer, and was lost.
I am blind, blind, groping since birth in the dark mist of Morgoth! Go back to Doriath, and may winter shrivel it!
This only was wanting. Now comes the night!
Immediate darkness covers the scene. A cold light illuminates the very front of the stage; in it Túrin stands alone, holding up his sword. Húrin on his pillar has risen and stands looking tensely towards his son.
Hail, Anglachel, iron of death, thou alone now remainest! No lord or loyalty dost thou know; from no blood wilt thou shrink.
Wilt thou therefore take Túrin Turambar? Wilt thou slay me swiftly?
A cold voice rings from the blade in answer.
Voice of the SWORD
Yea, I will drink thy blood gladly, that I may forget the blood of Beleg my master, and the blood of Brandir slain unjustly.
I will slay thee swiftly.
Túrin sets the blade upon the ground, and casts himself upon the point. The black blade breaks asunder, and Túrin lies still. There is a long silence.
The pillar of Húrin begins to descend. It settles to the ground; Húrin, like one in a dream, slowly moves brokenly towards the body of his son. And from the darkness on the other side Morwen is seen standing over the body.
You have come at last. I have waited too long.
It was a long road. I have come as I could.
But you are too late. They are lost.
I know. But you are not.
Almost. I am spent. I shall go with the dawn. Now little time is left; if you know, tell me! How did she find him?
Húrin does not answer; instead he sits down below the standing stone, with her beside him. The light begins to fade, and Morwen sighs and lies still, clasping ever Húrin’s hand. Húrin looks down at her.
HÚRIN She was not conquered...
He remains still, as the darkness closes over him. The Curtain falls very slowly
Demo Recording Information
The recording is being produced using Reaper software and is utilising the Eastwest Software/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra sampled instruments.
The main parts of Morgoth, Hurin, Turin, Morwen, Saeros, Mablung, Beleg, Gwindor, Finduilas, Galurung, Nienor, Dorlas and Brindir will all be recorded using different professional singers with some doubling of parts.
The Chorus will be recorded two per voice part, as per Gondolin and Beren, which would accommodate the splits in the parts. Each of these voices, due to the limited space and equipment, is recorded individually and post processed to fit with the others. This is the method we use when creating learning tracks for choirs, as it gives us the opportunity to isolate parts and fix problems without having to have everyone back to re-record.
30/12/2017 - This page added to site, more information to follow. At this point a first pass at the orchestral parts of the Prologue and Scene One has been completed.
31/12/2017 - Second pass at the orchestral parts for the Prologue and Scene One completed.
04/01/2018 - This page updated with more information about the piece.
17/01/2018 - First pass at the Orchestral parts to Scene 2 and Scene 3 now have been completed.
19/01/2018 - First pass at the Orchestral parts of Scene 4 has been completed.
24/01/2018 - First pass at the Orchestral parts of Scenes 5 and 6 have been completed.
26/01/2018 - First pass at the Orchestral parts of the Epilogue and the spoken role of Hurin have been completed.
31/01/2018 - First pass at the Orchestral parts of Scenes 7, 8 and 9 have been completed. This means that the entire piece is now in the software ready for recording.
09/02/2018 - Chorus Tenor 2 recorded and a first read of Turin in Acts One and Two.
06/06/2018 - Chorus Tenor 2 mixed in for the first and second scenes.
17/06/2018 - First read of Turin in Act Three.
02/07/2018 - Chorus Tenor 2 mixed in for the rest of the piece.
20/11/2018 - Paul's Orchestral notes on the Prologue to Scene Seven incorporated.
31/12/2018 - Paul's Orchestral notes on Scene 8, 9 and the Epilogue incorporated. Re-takes of a few sections of Turin to accommodate changes in tempi.
14/02/2019 - Morgoth session today, our dark lord is now in place!
16/02/2019 - Another pass at the orchestra up to Scene 7.
17/02/2019 - Orchestral notes on the remainder of the scenes.
02/03/2019 - Another round of orchestral notes completed today. We are now ready to begin voice recording in earnest...
23/03/2019 - Yet another round of orchestral notes. The orchestra parts are now set before voice recording.
24/03/2019 - Chorus Mezzo 2 and Chorus Bass 2 recorded today.
26/03/2019 - Chorus Mezzo 2 and Chorus Bass 2 mixed in.
02/04/2019 - Chorus Bass 1 and a first take at Gwindor recorded and mixed in.
19/04/2019 - Chorus Soprano 2 recorded today.
20/04/2019 - First session with our Morwen today.
28/04/2019 - Mablung recorded and mixed in.
08/05/2019 - Libretto added to this page.
15/08/2019 - First session with Finduilas today.
24/10/2019 - Nienor and Chorus Soprano 1 recorded today.
04/12/2019 - Recording session today with our Glaurung and with our Chorus Mezzo 1.
12/12/2019 - Recording session today with out Saeros/Dorlas/Chorus Tenor 1.
10/01/2020 - Retakes with Finduilas today.
16/01/2020 - Recording session with our Beleg/Brandir today. All main roles are now recorded!
22/01/2020 - Re-takes and clean-up with our Dorlas/Chorus Tenor 1.
26/01/2020 - A weekend of retakes and clean-up. Aside from a bit a tweaking the audio is now complete!
03/02/2020 - Locked down and sent off for manufacturing!
04/02/2020 - Audio samples added to this page.
Our trailer for the recording.