Paul Corfield Godfrey's "The Silmarillion, Part One: Feanor" Demo Recording

Following the release of  "The Fall of Gondolin" and during downtime in work upon "Beren and Luthien" and "The Children of Hurin" we began work upon the first part of the "Silmarillion" cycle.

The Piece

"The Silmarillion Part One: Feanor" is composed for fourteen characters, full chorus and orchestra.

The characters are as follows (in order of singing):

 

Melkor (later Morgoth), the enemy (Bass):

Fingolfin, son of King Finwe (Baritone):

Feanor, son of King Finwe (Tenor): Simon Crosby Buttle

Mandos, Lord of the Realm of Death (Baritone): Julian Boyce

Elbereth, Queen of Light and spouse of the Elder King (Soprano):

 The Elder King, Lord of the Valar in Middle Earth (Bass): George Newton-Fitzgerald

Maedhros, son of Feanor (Baritone): Stephen Wells

Maglor, son of Feanor (Tenor):

Celegorm, son of Feanor (Baritone):

Curufin, son of Feanor (Baritone): Julian Boyce

Caranthir, son of Feanor (Bass): George Newton-Fitzgerald

Amrod, son of Feanor (Bass):

Amras, son of Feanor (Bass):

Olwe, King of the Teleri in the Blessed Realm (Tenor):

Chorus of unseen voices: /Simon Crosby Buttle/Julian Boyce

It is written in nine scenes plus a prologue and epilogue, a breakdown of which I will add below in due course. (Coloured text indicates that these sections have been recorded and are awaiting final edits and mixing)

First Triptych

Prologue (8 minutes):

The orchestra describes the creation of the world by Iluvatar from primeval chaos.

 

Scene One (14 minutes):

The Chorus (SSAATTBB) describe the coming of the Firstborn Children, Elbereth creating the stars and the awakening of the elves.

Scene Two (10 minutes):

The Chorus (SSAATTBB) introduce Melkor and his desire to corrupt the Elves, the Valar summoning the Elves to Valinor and the creation of the Two Trees to give light to the land.

Scene Three (16 minutes):

The Chorus (SSAATTBB) sing of Finwe the King of the Elves and the birth of Feanor, the death of his wife Miriel, his second marriage, the birth of his other sons and of Feanor forging the Silmarils from the light of the Two Trees.

 

Second Triptych

Scene Four (13 minutes):

The Chorus (SSAATTBB) tell of Melkor's lust for the Silmarils.  Melkor sows dissent between Finwe's children.  Feanor draws his sword upon Fingolfin before his father and is banished by Mandos for twelve years.  Feanor realises Melkor's purpose and drives him away.

Scene Five (27 minutes):

The Chorus (SSAATTBB) introduce Ungoliant.  Melkor bargains with her to help him destroy the Two Trees and take the Silmarils.  Fingolfin reunites with Feanor upon his return from exile.  The Chorus (SSAATTBB) sing of the destruction of the Trees.  Elbereth needs the Silmarils from Feanor so that she can once again bring life to the Trees.  The Elder King demands them from Feanor.  Feanor does not trust the Valar, knowing Melkor to be one of their number, and refuses to hand them over.  Maedhros, Feanor's son, enters with news of the death of Finwe and the theft of the Silmarils by Melkor.  Feanor curses Melkor, naming him Morgoth, the Black foe of the world.

Scene Six (12 minutes):

Feanor summons the Elves to follow him in pursuit of Morgoth.  He and his sons swear an oath of vengeance against any who would keep the Silmarils from them. The Elder King warns Feanor that his pursuit is in vain, but Feanor is unmoved.

Third Triptych

Scene Seven (7 minutes):

The Chorus (SSAATTBB) sing of the Elves' dismay at Feanor's oath.  Feanor seeks to persuade Olwe to lend them ships to sail to Middle-Earth in pursuit of Morgoth.  Olwe refuses to go against the will of the Valar so Feanor takes the ships by force, killing any who resist him.

Scene Eight (12 minutes):

The Chorus (SSAATTBB) describe the journey to Middle Earth.  Mandos, the keeper of the dead, learns of Feanor's slaying of the elves and lays a curse on him and all who follow him, forever denying them a return to the Blessed Realm.  Feanor intends to press on with his quest.

Scene Nine (7 minutes):

Ungoliant (SSAA) and Morgoth quarrel over their spoils and he banishes her and keeps the Silmarils for himself.  Maedros asks his father what they should do with the ships now they are in Middle-Earth.  Feanor tells him to burn them rather than send them back for his half brothers to follow.  The Chorus (SSAATTBB) sing of Finrod witnessing this from afar.

Epilogue (3 minutes):

The orchestra depict the death of Feanor as he finally confronts Morgoth.

For more information and analysis please visit the composer's website (link at the bottom of this page)

The Libretto

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 The History of Middle Earth all edited by Christopher Tolkien).

Prologue and Scene One 

 

The Curtain rises into total darkness through which dimly  shifting shapes alone can be seen.  Slowly a central pool of light forms at the centre of the stage; two great trees frame this, but can only be dimly glimpsed in the shadows.

                            

UNSEEN VOICES

In this time the Children of the One shall come indeed; the hour approaches, and within this time our hope shall be revealed. 

But it is doomed that the Firstborn shall come in the darkness, and shall look first upon the stars. 

Great lights shall be for their waning, but to Elbereth ever shall they call at need.                           

 

Slowly starlight begins to shine in the heavens.

UNSEEN VOICES

Then Elbereth beheld the darkness of Middle-earth beneath the innumerable stars, faint and far. 

Then she took the silver dews from the vats, and therewith she made new stars and brighter against the coming of the Firstborn. 

And high in the North as a challenge to Melkor she set the crown of seven mighty stars to swing,

the Sickle of the Valar and sign of Doom.

               

Starlight illuminates all the sky; and slowly dimly glimpsed figures on the ground raise themselves.

 

UNSEEN VOICES

And as blue fire flickered in the mists above the borders of the world, the children of the Earth awoke, the Firstborn of the One. 

By the starlit mere of the Water of Awakening they rose from sleep;

and while they dwelt yet silent their eyes beheld first of all things the stars of Heaven. 

Many waters flowed down thither from heights in the east:

and the first sound that was heard by the Elves was the sound of water flowing, and the sound of water falling over stone. 

Long they walked the earth in wonder; and they began to make speech, and give names to all that they perceived. 

The beauty of the Singers in the days of their youth was beyond all other beauty that the One has caused to be;

it has not perished, but lives, and sorrow and wisdom have enriched it. 

Scene Two    

                                       

Suddenly a dark shadow engulfs the stars, like a rising black horse.

 

UNSEEN VOICES  

Last of all is set the name of Melkor. 

From splendour he fell through arrogance to contempt for all things save himself, a spirit wasteful and pitiless. 

He began with the desire of Light, but when he could not possess it for himself alone,

he descended through fire and wrath into a great burning, down into darkness. 

And darkness he used most oft in his evil work upon earth, and filled it with fear for all living things.

Suddenly a bright light obliterates the black shadows, laying all the secret places bare.

              

UNSEEN VOICES

This is the counsel of the One: that we should take up again the mastery of earth, at whatsoever cost,

and deliver the Singers from the shadow of Melkor. 

The light fades, and the Elves remain once more in starlight.

               

UNSEEN VOICES

But fear for the Singers in the dangerous world amid the deceits of the starlit dusk;

gather them to the knees of the Powers in the light of the Trees forever.

So it is doomed.  

                                   

The two great Trees at the sides of the scene become slowly illuminated by a serene inner radiance, each in turn bending slowly towards each other and again shrouded their branches so that their lights mingle and fade in a solemn alteration.              

UNSEEN VOICES

This is the Noontide of the Blessed Realm, the fullness of its glory and its bliss; long in tale of years, but in memory too brief.   

 

Scene Three

 

The first individual figure now appears: a tall figure with fiery hair, striding impatiently forth from the midst of the Elves.

               

UNSEEN VOICES  

In that time was born in Eldamar, in the house of Finwë the King, the eldest of the sons of Finwë,  and  the  most  beloved.

Fëanor was his name, Spirit of Fire; but in the bearing of her son Miriel his mother was consumed in spirit and body,

and though she seemed indeed to sleep, her spirit departed and passed in silence to the Halls of Mandos.

Then Finwë lived in sorrow; and sitting beneath the silver willows beside the body of his wife, he called her by her names. 

But it was unavailing; and alone in all the Blessed Realm he was deprived of joy.  After a while he went to Mandos no more.

And it came to pass that Finwë took to wife Indis the Fair.  He loved her greatly, and was glad again. 

But the shadow of Miriel did not depart from the house, nor from Finwë’s heart;

and of all whom he loved Fëanor had ever the chief share of his thought. 

But the children of Indis were great and glorious also, and if they had not lived the history of the world would have been diminished.  

Forward to join the sole figure of Fëanor at the front of the stage come Fingolfin and Finrod, the sons of Indis.

               

UNSEEN VOICES

And Fëanor grew swiftly, as if a secret fire were kindled within him. 

He was tall and fair of face and masterful, in the pursuit of all his purposes eager and steadfast. 

The first gems that he made were white and colourless,

but being set under starlight they would blaze with blue and silver fires, as with the eyes of eagles.

And, being come to his full might, Fëanor was filled with a new thought,

or it may be that some shadow of foreknowledge came to him of the doom that drew near;

and he pondered how the light of the Trees, the glory of the Blessed Realm, might be preserved imperishable. 

Then he began a long and secret labour, and he summoned all his lore and his power and subtle skill;

and at the end he made the Silmarils.

       

The Silmarils are seen, bound round the head of Fëanor.

 

UNSEEN VOICES     

As three great jewels they were in form. 

But not until the End, when Fëanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made;

not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. 

Like the crystal of diamond it appeared, and yet was harder than adamant;

the house of its inner fire, that is within it and yet in all parts of it, and is its life. 

And the inner light of the Silmarils Fëanor made of the blended light of the Trees of the Blessed Realm,

which lives in them yet, though the Trees have long withered and shine no more.     

And Elbereth hallowed the Silmarils, so that thereafter no mortal flesh, nor hands unclean,

nor anything of evil might touch them, but it was scorched and withered.        

And Mandos foretold that the fates of the world, earth, sea and air, lay locked within them.

The light of the Silmarils, and the reflected light of the Trees, fill the stage.  The Curtain falls very slowly.

 

Scene Four

 

At first darkness once again covers the scene.

 

UNSEEN VOICES  

And Melkor lusted for the Silmarils, and  the very memory of  their radiance was a gnawing fire in his heart. 

But he dissembled his purpose with cunning, and nothing of his malice could yet be seen in the semblance that he wore.  

Long was he at work, and slow at first and barren was his labour. 

But he that sows lies in the end shall not lack of a harvest, and soon he may rest from toil while others reap and sow in his stead. 

Fingolfin and Finrod are seen illumined alone in the centre of the stage.  And a quiet voice is now heard, as if coming from within the innermost recesses of their own thoughts; but it is the voice of Morgoth, amplified from an insinuating whisper.

Voice of MORGOTH 

Beware! small love has the proud son of Miriel ever had for the children of Indis. 

Now he has become great, and he has his father in the palm of his hand.

UNSEEN VOICES  

And Fëanor began to speak openly words of rebellion against the Powers,

crying aloud that he would depart back to the world and deliver the Elves from thraldom, if they would follow him.

Fingolfin and Finrod have turned their faces towards the back during the foregoing; now Finwë the King is seen, seated beneath the light of the Trees.  Both the younger sons turn to him.

           

FINGOLFIN  

King and father, wilt thou not restrain the pride of our brother Fëanor, who is called the Spirit of Fire, and all too truly? 

Thou it was who long ago spake before the Singers, bidding them accept the summons of the Valar. 

If thou dost not repent of it, two sons at least thou hast to honour thy words.

FËANOR [suddenly appears, and he is fully armed; a high helm on his head, a sword at his side, and girt in golden armour]  

So it is, even as I guessed!  My brother would be before me with my father, in this as in all other things.  

[He turns to Fingolfin]  

Get thee gone, and find thy place!

      

Fingolfin turns away from Finwë; but as he comes towards the front of the stage, taking his departure from his father, Fëanor suddenly runs after him, setting the point of his sword against his brother’s breast.

FËANOR

See, half brother! this is sharper than thy tongue. 

Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father,

and maybe it will rid the Elves of one who seeks to be the master of thralls.

UNSEEN VOICES  

Then at last the root was laid bare, and the malice of Melkor revealed.

   

Voice of MANDOS  

Thou speakest of thraldom.  If thraldom it be, thou canst not escape it; for the Elder King is Lord of the Earth, and not of Eldamar only.  Therefore this doom is now made: for twelve years thou shalt leave Tirion where this threat was uttered. 

In that time take counsel with thyself, and remember who and what thou art. 

But after that time this matter shall be set in peace, if others will release thee.

      

FINGOLFIN  

I will release my brother.

But Fëanor turns away with a gesture in silence.  Darkness veils the back of the stage, and Fëanor hears the words of Morgoth as if in his ear.

             

Voice of MORGOTH  

Behold the truth of all that I have  spoken, and  how  thou art banished unjustly. 

But if the heart of Fëanor is yet free and bold as were his words in Tirion, then I will aid him, and bring him far from this narrow land.   For am I not Valar also?  Yes, and more than those that sit in pride, for I have ever been thy friend.

 

Fëanor halts, pondering as if in doubt.

Voice of MORGOTH

Here is a strong place, and well guarded; but think not that the Silmarils will lie safe in any treasury within the realm of the Valar!                        

FËANOR [his eyes light with a sudden suspicion and revulsion]  

Get thee gone from my gate, thou jail-crow of Mandos! 

He too disappears into a complete darkness.

 

Scene Five

                                           

Light, filtering as if through heavy clouds, reveals a desolate mountain landscape.  Slowly there appears alone at the front of the stage the figure of Ungoliant.  When first discerned she takes the tall, stately and tragic form of a dark and hungry woman of greater than human stature.

 

UNSEEN VOICES

Beneath the sheer walls of the mountains by the cold sea, the shadows were deeper and thickest in the world;

and there, secret and unknown, Ungoliant had made her abode. 

In a ravine she lived, and took shape as a spider of monstrous form, weaving her black webs in a cleft of the mountains.                 

There she sucked up all the light that she could find, until no light more could come to her abode; and she was famished.

               

Ungoliant is seen transformed into a monstrous creature of spider form.

 

UNSEEN VOICES          

Now Melkor came and sought her out there in the black shadows. 

But when Ungoliant understood his purpose she was torn between lust and great fear,

for she was loath to dare the perils of the power of the dreadful Lords, and she would not stir from her hiding.

Voice of MORGOTH [now heard as a dark and terrible sound, hugely amplified and seeming to come from all parts of the auditorium]  

Do as I bid; and if thou hunger still when all is done, then I will give to thee whatsoever thy lust may demand, yea, with both hands.

    

UNSEEN VOICES  

A cloak of darkness wove Ungoliant when she with Melkor set forth; an Unlight which eye could not pierce, for it was void. 

Then slowly she wove her nets, rope by rope from cleft to cleft, from jutting peak to pinnacle of stone, ever climbing upwards,

crawling and clinging, until she reached the very summit upon the dim waters of the pathless sea. 

But now upon the mountain top dark Ungoliant lay; and she made a ladder of woven ropes and cast it down,

and Melkor came to that high place and stood beside her, looking down upon the Guarded Realm.

Fëanor and Fingolfin are seen within the Ring of Doom at the foot of the Trees.

           

FINGOLFIN  

As I promised, do I now.  I release thee, and remember no grievance. 

[Fëanor takes his hand in silence] 

Half-brother in blood, full brother in heart will I  be.  You shall lead, and  I  shall  follow.  May no new grief divide us.

FËANOR  

I hear thee.  So be it.  

                   

UNSEEN VOICES  

And even as Fëanor and Fingolfin stood there came the mingling of the Lights when both the Trees were shining,

and the silent city was filled with a radiance of silver and gold. 

And in that very hour Melkor and Ungoliant came hastening, as the shadow of a black cloud floats over the sunlit earth. 

Then the Unlight of Ungoliant rose up even to the roots of the Trees, and Melkor with his black spear smote each Tree to its core, wounded them deep, and their blood spilled forth on the ground. 

And the poison of death went into them and withered them, root and leaf.

In that hour was made a Darkness by malice out of Light, and it has power to pierce the eye,

and to enter heart and mind, and strangle the very will.         

And Elbereth beheld the shadow soaring up in sudden towers of gloom.  All song ceased. 

There was silence, and no sound could be heard, save only from afar there came on the wind the cold cry of gulls. 

For it blew chill from the East in that hour, and the vast shadows of the sea were rolled against the walls of the shore.

Slowly a dim scene is illuminated, as if seen by a faint and overcast starlight.  In this light the Elder King, Elbereth, Mandos and others of the Valar are seen, gathered in the Ring of Doom.  Before them, head bowed, stands Fëanor.

ELBERETH  

The Light of the Trees has passed away, and lives now only in the Silmarils of Fëanor.  Far-sighted was he! 

The Light of the Trees I brought into being, and within the world I can do so never again. 

Yet had I but a little of that Light I could recall life to the Trees, ere their roots decay;

and then would the malice of Melkor be confounded.

                        

THE ELDER KING  

Hearest thou, Fëanor son of Finwë?  But who shall deny Elbereth?  Wilt thou not grant what she would ask? 

Did not the Light of the Silmarils come from her work in the beginning?

FËANOR  

For the less, even as for the greater, there is some deed that he may accomplish but once only; and in that deed his heart shall rest. 

It may be that I can unlock my jewels, but never again shall I make their like;

and if I must break them, then I shall break my heart and I shall die—the first of all the Elves in the Blessed Realm.

               

The voice of MANDOS  

Not the first.

           

The voice of MORGOTH [unseen, as if heard from within Fëanor’s thoughts] 

The Silmarils are not safe, if the Valar would possess them.

                               

FËANOR [to himself] 

And is he not Valar as they are, and does he not understand their hearts?

[aloud] 

This thing I will not do of free will.  But if the Valar will constrain me,

then shall I know indeed that Melkor is of their kindred.

                    

The voice of MANDOS  

Thou hast spoken.

             

MAEDHROS [hastening in through the throng] 

Blood and darkness!  Finwë the King is slain, and the Silmarils are gone! 

                                   

Fëanor falls prostrate upon his face, while Maedhros turns towards the Elder King.

 

MAEDHROS    

My  Lord,  it  was  the day of  festival, but the King was heavy with grief at the departure of my father; a foreboding was on him. 

We were irked by the idleness and silence of the day, and rode northward toward the Green Hills. 

Suddenly we were aware that all was growing dim.  The light was fading. 

We turned and rode back, seeing great shadows rise up before us, a blackness like a cloud and a sudden flame of fire. 

We heard the sound of great blows struck.  And then there was a piercing cry.  We lay upon our faces without strength. 

When we could move again we came to the house.  There we found the King, his head crushed as with a great mace of iron. 

The chamber of iron is torn apart, and the Silmarils are taken. 

                              

FËANOR [rising in wrath and raising his hand] 

And here I curse Melkor, naming him Morgoth, the Black Foe of the World. 

He flees desperately away into the darkness.  The starlight fades quickly.

 

Scene Six

 

In the light of flaming torches Fëanor is seen standing upon a high place; below him is gathered a great multitude of the Elves.

                

FËANOR  

Why, O People of the Stars, why should we longer serve the jealous Valar,

who cannot keep us nor even their own Realm secure from their Enemy? 

And though he be now their foe, are not they and he of one kin? 

Vengeance calls me hence;

but even were it otherwise I would not dwell longer in the same land with the kin of my father’s slayer and the thief of my treasure.  And have ye not all lost your King?  And what else have ye not lost, cooped here in a narrow land between the mountains and the sea?  Here once was light, that the Valar begrudged to Middle-earth, but now darkness levels all. 

Shall we mourn here deedless for ever, a shadow-folk, mist-haunting, dropping vain tears in the thankless sea;

or shall we return to our homes?  

There sweet ran the waters under unclouded stars, and wide lands lay about where a free people might walk. 

There they lie still and await us who in our folly forsook them.  Come away! let the cowards keep this city! 

Fair shall the end be, though long and hard shall be the road! 

Say farewell to bondage; but say farewell also to ease, say farewell to the weak, say farewell to your treasures! 

More still we shall make.  Journey light; but bring with you your swords!  After Morgoth to the ends of the earth!  

War shall he have and hatred undying. 

But, when we have conquered and regained the Silmarils, then we and we alone shall be lords of the unsullied light,

and masters of the bliss and beauty of earth.

Fëanor’s sons leap to his side with drawn and raised swords.

             

FËANOR and his SONS                                   

Be he friend or foe or foul offspring of Morgoth Bauglir,

be he mortal dark that in after days on earth shall dwell,               

shall no law nor love nor league of Powers nor might nor mercy nor moveless fate,            

defend him forever from the fierce vengeance of the sons of Fëanor. 

Whoso seize or steal or finding keep the fair enchanted globes of crystal whose glory dies not,               

the Silmarils, is cursed for ever!

  

There is a great sounding of trumpets.  Fëanor and his sons lower their swords, and Fëanor is about to descend when the voice of the Elder King resounds out of the darkness.

THE ELDER KING   

Against the folly of Fëanor shall be set my counsel only.  Go not forth! 

For the hour is evil, and your road leads to sorrow that ye do not foresee. 

The lies of Morgoth thou shalt unlearn in bitterness.  Valar he is, thou saiest: then thou hast sworn in vain,

for none of the Valar canst thou overcome now or ever within the halls of earth,

not though the One whom thou namest had made thee thrice greater than thou art.

                              

FËANOR  

Say this to the Elder King, High Prince of Earth: is sorrow foreboded to us?  In this land we have seen it. 

In this land we have come through bliss to woe.  The other now we shall try; through sorrow to find joy, or freedom. 

And it may be that the One has set in me a fire greater than thou knowest. 

Such hurt at the least will I do to the foe of the Valar than even the mighty in the Ring of Doom shall wonder to hear it. 

Yea, in the end they shall follow me.  Farewell! 

A great tumult of voices.  Fëanor leads the Elves forth in a great company.  Quick Curtain.       

Scene Seven

 

A long seashore is seen, calm and still.  On the tide float many tall white ships, shaped in the likeness of swans.

                                 

UNSEEN VOICES  

Others of the Elves were grieved indeed at the going of their kinsfolk and long friends, but would rather dissuade them than aid them; and no ship would they lend, nor help in the building, against the will of the Valar;

for they desired no other home but the strands of the Blessed Realm. 

                         

Fëanor and Fingolfin are seen in violent argument with Olwë.

       

FËANOR [angrily]  

You renounce your friendship, even in the hour of our need!

             

OLWË [calmly]  

We renounce no friendship.  But it may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly. 

And as for our white ships, I say to you Fëanor son of Finwë:

these are to us as the germs of the Noldor, the work of our hearts whose like we shall not make again.

UNSEEN VOICES  

Then swords were drawn, and a bitter fight was fought upon the ships, and about the lamplit quays and piers;

but at last the Teleri were overcome, and a greater part of their mariners were wickedly slain. 

And the sea rose in wrath against the slayers, so that many of the ships were wrecked, and those in them drowned.

A great storm rises and rages across the stage.  Darkness covers the scene.

 

Scene Eight

                                      

Finally the storm is assuaged; the empty waste is once more seen, mountainous and cold.

     

UNSEEN VOICES  

The way was long, and ever more evil as they went forward in the unmeasured night, mountainous and cold. 

Then they heard a voice, solemn and terrible, that bade them stand and give ear: the Prophecy of the North, and the Doom of Mandos.

The voice of MANDOS [hugely amplified]  

Tears unnumbered shall ye shed; and the Valar shall fence the Realm against you, and shut you out,

so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. 

On the House of Fëanor lieth the wrath of the Valar from West unto the uttermost East,

and upon all that follow them shall it be laid also. 

Their oath shall drive them, and yet betray them; and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. 

To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well.  And by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass.  The Dispossessed shall they be forever.  Ye have spilled the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the Blessed Realm. 

For blood ye shall render blood, and beyond the land ye shall dwell in death’s shadow. 

For though no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be, by weapon and by torment and by grief;

and those that endure in Middle-Earth shall grow weary of the world as with a great sorrow, and shall wane,

and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after. The Valar have spoken.

       

FËANOR [proud] 

We have sworn, and not lightly.  This oath we will keep.  We are threatened with many evils, and treason not least; but we will go on.  And this too I add: the deeds that we do shall be the matter of song until the last days of the earth. 

Sudden darkness veils the scene.  The voice of the Elder King  is heard, resigned and full of pity.

THE ELDER KING     

So shall it be!  Dear-bought those songs shall be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought.  For the price could be no other. 

Thus shall beauty not before conceived be brought into the world, and evil yet be good to have been.

                        

The voice of MANDOS  

And yet remain evil.  To me will Fëanor come soon.

Scene Nine

 

The dark shores of the Great Ocean, beneath the mountains of Middle-Earth.  In the night darkness something stirs: the black monstrous shape of Ungoliant. Beside her stands the tall and dreadful Morgoth.

Voices of UNGOLIANT  

Blackheart!  I have done thy bidding.  But I hunger still.

        

MORGOTH  

What wouldst thou have more?  Dost thou desire all the world for thy belly?  I did not vow to give thee that.  I am its Lord.                               

Voices of UNGOLIANT  

Not so much.  But thou hast a great treasure from Tirion; I will have all that.  Yea, with both hands thou shalt give it.

   

MORGOTH  

Nay! thou hast had thy share.  For with my power that I put into thee thy work was accomplished.  I need thee no more. 

These things thou shalt not have, nor see.  I name them unto myself for ever.

He raises his arms; there is a roar of thunder and fire flares from the mountains.  Ungoliant shrinks away and

Morgoth fades into the returning darkness.  Slowly a faint light begins to grow across the sea, a faint shimmer of

moonlight.  In this light are seen arriving some of the shadowy swan-ships; Fëanor and Maedhros step ashore.

 

MAEDHROS  

Now what ships and rowers will you spare to return, and whom shall they bear hither first?  Finrod the valiant?                                               

FËANOR [laughing, as one fey]  

None and none!  What I have left behind I count now no loss; needless baggage on the way it has proved. 

Let those that cursed my name, curse me still, and whine their way back to the cages of the Valar!  Let the ships burn! 

           

Fire is set to the ships, and Fëanor with his followers depart into the mountains.  Fingolfin alone remains, looking out with despair across the sea.

 

UNSEEN VOICES  

And Finrod and his people saw the light afar off, red beneath the clouds; and they knew that they were betrayed. 

Small love for Fëanor or his sons had those that marched at last behind him,

and blew their trumpets in Middle-earth at the first rising of the moon. 

 

Epilogue

                                                            

The flames die down into a further darkness.  Now at last is seen the full majesty and terror of the shape of Morgoth, standing amidst the flames and looking with contempt and scorn upon Fëanor who confronts him. Fëanor raises his sword, but is overcome by the flames and falls, struggling backwards. Then he raises his sword again in a helpless defiance. Morgoth’s shadow casts a shade over Fëanor like a stormcloud; thunder and lightning smite down upon him, but Fëanor hews at the shadow with his sword. Thrice he attacks, and thrice is driven back. Finally he falls prone and helpless before the feet of Morgoth.  He dies, and the flames consume him. 

Fast Curtain.    

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 will all be recorded using different professional singers with some doubling.

The Chorus will be recorded two per voice part, as per Gondolin, Beren and Hurin 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.

Progress

18/12/2018: This page added to the site.  Up to this point the orchestral parts for the First Triptych have been inputted. 

24/12/2018: Orchestral parts for the Second Triptych have been inputted.

30/12/2018: Orchestral parts for the Third Triptych have been inputted.

17/02/2019: Another pass through the orchestra parts completed.

03/03/2019: Orchestral notes completed today.  This work is now ready for vocals.  Synopsis added to this page.

01/04/2019:Chorus Tenor 2 recorded and mixed in.  First read of Feanor.

18/04/2019: Chorus Bass 1 recorded for the First and Second Triptych, also the role of Curufin.

28/04/2019: Maedhros recorded and mixed in.

 

23/05/2019: First read of Mandos and the rest of Chorus Bass 1 recorded today. 

 

25/05/2019: Chorus Bass 1 and Mandos mixed in.

 

04/12/2019: Elder King and Caranthir recorded today.

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