top of page
Paul Corfield Godfrey's
"Musical Chapters from The Lord of the Rings after the mythology of JRR Tolkien"
Demo Recording

For many years the Tolkien Estate has refused to allow any musical treatment of the works of the author which employed his own words. Now they have agreed to make a concession in respect of the music of Paul Corfield Godfrey, whose cycle of “epic scenes from The Silmarillion” was finally completed in 2023 with the issue of a ten-CD series of recordings from Volante Opera and Prima Facie Records.

 

Ever since the 1960s the composer has been working on sketches, fragments and episodes for what was envisaged as a cycle of musical works based upon The Lord of the Rings. Following on from the success of the recordings of The Silmarillion Paul was persuaded to go back to these beginnings and fully explore, expand and complete the work which has now evolved as “musical chapters from The Lord of the Rings”. This fully operatic setting has now become a companion work on the same scale as The Silmarillion. This adaptation takes place over thirty “chapters” designed to be performed over six evenings – over fifteen hours of music.

This work is currently in the process of recording by Volante Opera and it is anticipated that Prima Facie will release a demo recording of the complete cycle, in the same manner as their Silmarillion recordings, in 2025.

The professional singers, some thirty in number, come mainly from Welsh National Opera. Returning artists from The Silmarillion include: Simon Crosby Buttle as Frodo, Julian Boyce as Sam, Philip Lloyd-Evans as Gandalf, Stephen Wells as Aragorn, Michael Clifton-Thompson as Gollum, Helen Jarmany as Éowyn, Huw Llywelyn as Bilbo, Emma Mary Llewellyn as Arwen, Laurence Cole as Boromir/Denethor, Martin Lloyd as Treebeard/Herb Master, Helen Greenaway as Lobelia/Ioreth, Rosie Hay as Gwaihir, Sophie Yelland as the Barrow-Wight, Louise Ratcliffe as Lindir with George Newton-Fitzgerald and Jasey Hall taking on a plethora of roles.  Angharad Morgan will also be reprising her role as Galadriel from The Silmarillion. Our new cast members and their characters will be introduced as the recording process continues.

Those who have enjoyed the composer’s large-scale setting of The Silmarillion will be pleased to discover that the music inhabits the same musical world as before, with many ideas and themes continued and expanded into The Lord of the Rings. The “musical chapters” also incorporate other works by the composer such as his earlier Tolkien songs (already available on CD) which now assume greater significance in the course of the whole structure.

Although the text is inevitably abridged, it adheres without any but the most minor alterations to the author’s original words, and the original plot development remains unchanged – including such elements as Tom Bombadil, the Barrow-wight and the ‘scouring of the Shire’. And some other passages, such as the coronation and wedding of Aragorn, are given expanded musical treatment.

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

The Chapters

The work is divided up into "Chapters", which are broken down as follows:

"The Fellowship of the Ring - Part 1: The Shadow of the Past"

Chapter 1: "A Long-Expected Party" - 35 minutes

Chapter 2: "The Return of the Shadow" - 45 minutes

Chapter 3: "Tom Bombadil" - 38 minutes

Chapter 4: "The Prancing Pony" - 25 minutes

Chapter 5: "Flight to the Ford" - 30 minutes

"The Fellowship of the Ring - Part 2: The Ring Goes South"

Chapter 6: "The Council of Elrond" - 54 minutes

Chapter 7: "Farewell to Rivendell" - 23 minutes

Chapter 8: "A Journey in the Dark" - 23 minutes

Chapter 9: "The Mirror of Galadriel" - 49 minutes

Chapter 10: "The Breaking of the Fellowship" - 23 minutes

"The Two Towers - Part 1: The Treason of Isengard"

Chapter 11: "The Plains and the Forest" - 33 minutes

Chapter 12: "The Riders of Rohan" - 32 minutes

Chapter 13: "The King of the Golden Hall" - 31 minutes

Chapter 14: "The Journey to Isengard" - 34 minutes

Chapter 15: "The Voice of Saruman" - 29 minutes

"The Two Towers - Part 2: The Ring Goes East" *

Chapter 16: "The Black Gate is Closed" - 37 minutes

Chapter 17: "The Window on the West" - 39 minutes

Chapter 18: "Cirith Ungol" - 36 minutes

"The Return of the King - Part 1: The War of the Ring" *

Chapter 19: "Minas Tirith" - 22 minutes

Chapter 20: "The Passing of the Grey Company" - 32 minutes

Chapter 21: "The Siege of Gondor" - 26 minutes

Chapter 22: "Pelennor Fields" - 29 minutes

Chapter 23: "The Houses of Healing" - 35 minutes

Chapter 24: "The Black Gate Opens" - 13 minutes

"The Return of the King - Part 2: The End of the Third Age"

Chapter 25: "Mount Doom" - 45 minutes

Chapter 26: "The Field of Cormallen" - 26 minutes

Chapter 27: "The Steward and the King" - 30 minutes

Chapter 28: "Homeward Bound" - 31 minutes

Chapter 29: "The Scouring of the Shire" - 24 minutes

Chapter 30: "The Grey Havens" - 35 minutes

"Appendices"

additional or cut material from the "musical chapters"

Appendix I: "The Lay of Luthien"

Appendix II: "The Lay of Earendil"

Appendix III: "The Lay of Durin"

Appendix IV: "Epilogue: Aragorn and Arwen"

* This is the chapter order as numbered in the score for live performance in order to reduce the number of performers required in an evening.  For the purposes of our recording the chapters will be played in story order of  11, 12, 16, 13, 17, 14, 15 and then 18.

The Cast

Cast members will be added once they have completed recording their roles.

For performer biographies please click on the tab at the top of the page

MUSICAL CHAPTERS FROM THE LORD OF THE RINGS

HOBBITS:

 

Bilbo Baggins: Huw Llywelyn

Frodo Baggins: Simon Crosby Buttle

Samwise Gamgee: Julian Boyce

Peregrin Took (Pippin):

Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry): Dyfed Wyn-Evans

Lobelia Sackville-Baggins: Helen Greenaway

Otho Sackville-Baggins:

Hamfast Gamgee (Ham): Jasey Hall

Ted Sandyman:

Daddy Twofoot: Alastair Moore

Old Knoakes:

Rory Brandybuck: Alastair Moore

Everard Took: Peter Wilman

Odo Proudfoot: Howard Kirk

Hob Hayward: Howard Kirk

Farmer Cotton: Alastair Moore

Smeagol/Gollum:

Deagol: Alastair Moore

A Stranger: Howard Kirk

WIZARDS AND OTHER ELEMENTALS:

 

Gandalf the Grey/White: Philip Lloyd-Evans

Saruman the White/Sharkey: Gareth Lloyd

Gwaihir: Rosie Hay

Tom Bombadil:

Goldberry:

A Barrow-Wight: Sophie Yelland

The King of the Dead: Francesca Saracino

The Voice of Elbereth: Emma Mary Llewellyn

RACE OF MEN:

Strider/Aragorn: Stephen Wells

Boromir:

Faramir:

Denethor:

Theoden: Gavin Davies

Eomer:

Eowyn: Helen Jarmany

Imrahil:

Beregond: Alastair Moore

Wormtongue: Peter Wilman

Eothain: Howard Kirk

Hama: Alastair Moore

Ceorl:

Ingold: Peter Wilman

Ioreth: Helen Greenaway

Halbarad:

Herb Master: Martin Lloyd

Mablung:

Damrod: Alastair Moore

Anborn: Jasey Hall

Barliman Butterbur: 

Bill Ferny:

A Minstrel:

ELVES:

Legolas:

Galadriel: Angharad Morgan

Elrond:

Arwen: Emma Mary Llewellyn

Celeborn:

Glorfindel:

Haldir: Howard Kirk

Lindir: Louise Ratcliffe

Galdor: Howard Kirk

Gildor Inglorion:

Elladan:  Jasey Hall

Elrohir:

Cirdan:

DWARVES:

Gimli: Gareth Long

Gloin:

Dain: Jasey Hall

ENTS:

Treebeard: Martin Lloyd

Quickbeam: Howard Kirk

FORCES OF EVIL:

The Voice of Sauron: Jasey Hall

Khamul (Ringwraith):

The Witch-King (Ringwraith): Jasey Hall

The Mouth of Sauron:

Ugluk:  Alastair Moore

Grishnahk: Peter Wilman

Gorbag:  Alastair Moore

Shagrat: Peter Wilman

Tracker: Peter Wilman

Soldier:  Alastair Moore

Snaga: 

CHORUS:

Soprano: Angharad Morgan/Rosie Hay/Emma Mary Llewellyn

Mezzo: Helen Greenaway/Stella Woodman

Tenor: Huw Llywelyn/Simon Crosby Buttle/Peter Wilman

Bass: Julian Boyce/Jasey Hall

APPENDIX I - THE LAY OF BEREN AND LUTHIEN

Aragorn/Strider: Stephen Wells

APPENDIX II - THE LAY OF EARENDIL

Bilbo: Huw Llywelyn

APPENDIX III - EPILOGUE: ARAGORN AND ARWEN

Arwen: Emma Mary Llewellyn

Aragorn: Stephen Wells

CHORUS:

Soprano: Emma Mary Llewellyn

Mezzo: Helen Greenaway

Tenor: Simon Crosby Buttle/Huw Llywelyn

Bass: Julian Boyce

Synopsis (in Recording Order)

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

1             A LONG-EXPECTED PARTY

Scene One          In the Ivy Bush tavern a group of hobbits are discussing the forthcoming arrangements for the eleventy-first birthday of Bilbo Baggins. Ham Gamgee (known as “the Gaffer”) explains how Bilbo has come to adopt his young relative Frodo following the death of the latter’s parents, and the two of them are throwing a party to which all the local residents are being invited.

 

Scene Two          In his garden at Bag End, Bilbo is accompanied by the wizard Gandalf as they discuss some mysterious surprise which the former is intending for the celebrations.

 

Scene Three       At the boisterous party, when Bilbo finally manages to make himself heard over the dancing and rejoicing, he announces to his stunned guests that he is leaving the Shire immediately and vanishes before their eyes.

 

Scene Four         Back in Bag End, he is packing for his journey when Gandalf appears and is perturbed when Bilbo refuses to leave his magic ring of invisibility for Frodo along with the remainder of his possessions. He has indeed to threaten Bilbo before the latter finally agrees to leave it behind. When, after his departure, Frodo finally enters, Gandalf warns him that he is going away at once on urgent business, and that in the meantime Frodo is to be careful of the ring.

 

2             THE SHADOW OF THE PAST

Scene One          Eighteen years later, the Gaffer’s son Sam is drinking with the local blacksmith Ted Sandyman in the Green Dragon inn. They discuss troubling rumours about the manner in which the borders of the Shire are threatened, and that the Elves are leaving Middle-earth.

 

Scene Two          Gandalf unexpectedly returns to warn Frodo that he has discovered that his ring is deadly perilous: that it is in fact the One Ring, lost by the Dark Lord Sauron at the end of the Second Age and which he is now seeking in order to re-establish his rule over Middle-earth. He explains how the Ring was discovered by the creature Gollum (from whom Bilbo had won it in a game of riddles) and that Sauron had now ascertained where it was to be found. Frodo will have to leave the Shire at once lest he bring ruin and destruction on the land. Gandalf catches Sam eavesdropping on the conversation, and decides that he will have to accompany Frodo on his journey.

 

Scene Three       Frodo has sold Bag End and his friend Merry is taking his goods off by cart to Buckland where it is given out that he intends to settle. But while he is waiting for Sam and his other friend Pippin, he overhears a stranger questioning the Gaffer about his movements and intentions.

 

Scene Four         Frodo, Sam and Pippin are going along the road when they are overtaken by a mysterious horseman clad in black, who seems to be searching for them. After he fails to discover their hiding place, Sam and Pippin sing a drinking song, but the horseman is returning when Elves are heard singing in the trees and he retreats. Gildor, leader of the wandering Elves, warns Frodo that his pursuers are sent by the Enemy.

 

Scene Five          Arriving at Buckland, Frodo is forced to confess to Merry and Pippin that he does not after all intend to remain there but to leave immediately. They astonish him by revealing that Sam has already told them about the Ring, and Merry suggests that the only way of avoiding pursuit is to go through the Old Forest despite its fearsome reputation.

 

3             TOM BOMBADIL

Scene One          Entering the Old Forest, the hobbits soon become lost and are entrapped by the roots of a willow tree. Calling for help, Frodo is assisted by the mysterious Tom Bombadil who releases his friends and invites them to follow him for food and rest.

 

Scene Two          At the house of Tom Bombadil the hobbits are welcomed by his wife Goldberry, but during the night Frodo sees a vision of Gandalf imprisoned on top of a tower. In the morning Goldberry bids them farewell.

 

Scene Three       In a mist on the Barrow-downs the hobbits are captured and entombed by a Barrow-wight which haunts the tombs of ancient kings.

 

Scene Four         It is only when Frodo calls on the name of Tom Bombadil that the latter appears and once again releases the hobbits from their imprisonment. But he will not pass the borders of his own lands, and he advises them to make for the village of Bree and the inn The Prancing Pony where they can find shelter for the following night.

 

4             THE PRANCING PONY

Scene One          At the inn the landlord Barliman Butterbur gives them a warm welcome, but Frodo is intrigued by a mysterious stranger Strider who appears in the bar and seems to know more about his business that he should. He tries to distract attention by singing a rousing drinking song, but at the climax the Ring slips on to his finger and he vanishes. Although he tries to pass off the incident as a joke, Strider insists that he must have an urgent and private conversation with him; and one of the other customers, Bill Ferny, slips discreetly away.

 

Scene Two          Strider warns the hobbits that they are still being pursued by the Black Riders from whom they are in deadly peril, and offers his services as a guide. But it is only when Butterbur delivers a delayed letter from Gandalf to Frodo that the latter decides that he can trust him. Merry warns them that Black Riders have already entered Bree, and Strider says they will have to escape into the wilderness the following morning and make for Weathertop where he hopes Gandalf will meet them.

 

5             FLIGHT TO THE FORD

Scene One          Reaching Weathertop, Strider and the hobbits find that Gandalf has already been and gone. Strider sings a song to rouse their spirits, but in the dark their camp is attacked by the Black Riders and under their compulsion Frodo places the Ring on his finger. Immediately he can see their spectral forms beneath their robes, but they pierce his shoulder with a knife before they retreat.

 

Scene Two          When Frodo recovers, Strider explains that the wound will progressively bring him under the control of the Riders and that they must now depart for Rivendell with all speed.

 

Scene Three       On the road, the hobbits come across the three stone trolls encountered by Bilbo and the dwarves on their eastward journey over seventy years before. Sam sings a comic song to rouse Frodo’s spirits, but the latter is sinking increasingly into lassitude and despair.

 

Scene Four         They are overtaken by Glorfindel, an elf from Rivendell sent to search for them; he persuades Frodo to mount his horse in the very nick of time, as the black horsemen are already in pursuit.

 

Scene Five          Fleeing to the Ford of Bruinen, Frodo turns in defiance against the Black Riders, but they call to him to follow them to Mordor with the Ring and he is barely able to fend them off. Suddenly the waters of the Ford rise and sweep the horsemen away, just as Frodo finally collapses fainting to the ground.

 

6             THE COUNCIL OF ELROND

Scene One          Frodo, having been healed by Elrond, is roused by Gandalf, who explains to him how the waters of the Ford rose in obedience to the command of Elrond as the Master of Rivendell. Sam and the other hobbits are delighted to find their companion recovered just in time for a celebratory feast.

 

Scene Two          At the feast, Frodo is surprised to see Strider in close conversation with Arwen the daughter of Elrond. He is even more surprised to find himself seated next to the dwarf Glóin, one of Bilbo’s companions on his quest, and then to discover Bilbo himself seated in a quiet corner. But when Bilbo asks to see the Ring, Frodo suddenly finds himself uneasy and only a song in praise of Elbereth from one of the Elven minstrels restores calm.

 

Scene Three       The following morning Frodo and Gandalf are summoned to attend a council held by Elrond. Glóin reports on the visit of a Black Rider to the dwarf kingdom in Erebor. Boromir, the son of the Ruling Steward of Gondor, tells of a prophetic dream regarding the Sword that was Broken; and during the course of the subsequent discussion it is revealed that Strider is none other than Aragorn, the heir of Isildur and rightful King of Gondor. It is he who has helped Gandalf to locate Gollum, and confirm that Frodo’s treasure is indeed the One Ring. Legolas, the son of Thranduil the Elvenking of Mirkwood, reports that Gollum has again escaped; and Gandalf in his turn explains how he was betrayed and imprisoned by Saruman the White, who wishes to seize the Ring for himself. He has only escaped from Isengard as the result of rescue by Gwaihir, the Lord of the Eagles. The council concludes that the Ring cannot be kept hidden from Sauron and his forces, but that it is too dangerous a temptation to be used lest it corrupt the wearer. But only in Mount Doom, in the heart of the Enemy’s realm of Mordor, can the Ring be unmade; and Frodo volunteers to undertake this task.

 

7             FAREWELL TO RIVENDELL

Scene One          Elrond appoints companions to the Fellowship of the Ring, to assist Frodo on his quest: Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas and Gimli son of Glóin in addition to the four hobbits. Bilbo gives to Frodo his sword Sting and his coat of mail, and settles down by the fireside in peace.

 

Interlude             The Sword that was Broken, that cut the Ring from Sauron’s hand, is reforged for Aragorn and named by him Andúril.

 

Scene Two          The Fellowship of the Ring sets out on their journey.

 

Scene Three       Some weeks later, encamped in the land of Eregion, they feel a shadow pass over the moon and are attacked by wolves. Their only recourse is to take refuge in the Mines of Moria, although Aragorn forewarns Gandalf of danger.

 

8             A JOURNEY IN THE DARK

Scene One          Arriving at the Gates of Moria, they are at first unable to open the doors, and only make their way inside after an attack by the mysterious Watcher in the Water.

 

Scene Two          They come to a guard chamber where they rest for the night, although Pippin dislodges a stone into the water and signals are heard from the deep. Frodo on watch sees eyes coming stealthily in pursuit.

 

Scene Three       They find the tomb of Balin, the last Lord of Moria, and learn of the destruction of the dwarves at the hands of orcs. They are in their turn attacked, leaving Gandalf to defend their retreat.

 

Scene Four         Coming to the perilous Bridge of Khazad-dûm, the Fellowship are attacked by a Balrog of Morgoth, a survivor from the First Age, with whom Gandalf falls in battle.

 

9             THE MIRROR OF GALADRIEL

Scene One          Led by Aragorn, the Fellowship escape from Moria and enter the realm of Lothlórien where they are intercepted by Haldir and escorted by him to the city of their rulers in Caras Galadhon. Aragorn upon the hill of Cerin Amroth has a vision of his beloved Arwen and bids her farewell.

 

Scene Two          Reaching Caras Galathon, they tell Celeborn and Galadriel of the fall of Gandalf, and are offered aid and assistance.

 

Scene Three       Galadriel leads Frodo to view her Mirror, in which he sees images of ships in the past fleeing from Númenor, in the present coming to the assault on Gondor, and in the future passing into the West; but all of these are overshadowed and menaced by the Eye of Sauron searching for the Ring. He offers the Ring to Galadriel, since it will enable her to preserve her realm against the Enemy; but after an ecstatic vision of temptation, she realises that she must remain true to herself and refuse the power.

 

Scene Four         Celeborn presents the Fellowship with boats in which they may travel down the river Anduin, together with provisions for their voyage.

 

Scene Five          Galadriel, bidding the Fellowship farewell, gives each of them gifts including for Frodo a star-glass containing the light of the star of Eärendil.

 

10           THE BREAKING OF THE FELLOWSHIP

Scene One          Sam tells Frodo that he has seen Gollum following the Fellowship in their boats down the River, and Aragorn decides that they must try and avoid his pursuit.

 

Interlude             They pass through the Argonath, the Pillars of the Kings, and enter the realm of Gondor.

 

Scene Two          At the lawn of Parth Galen they debate what course they should now take. Frodo asks for some time to be allowed to make up his mind alone.

 

Scene Three       Boromir tries to persuade Frodo to come to Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor, and allow him to make use of the Ring to defeat the Enemy. Frodo refuses to yield up such a weapon of such dangerous potential, and Boromir tries to steal it from him by force. Frodo puts on the Ring and vanishes.

 

Scene Four         Boromir returns to the Fellowship and reports that Frodo has disappeared. The others scatter in pursuit of him, and only Sam realises that Frodo is trying to escape unseen by boat and intercepts him. Together they cross the river, while the horn of Boromir in distress is heard sounding behind them.

 

THE TWO TOWERS

 

11           THE PLAINS AND THE FOREST

Scene One          Merry and Pippin, still searching for Frodo, are attacked by orcs and Boromir is killed while trying to rescue them. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli sing a lament for their fallen comrade and set out in pursuit of the captives.

 

Scene Two          The orcs led by Ugluk and Grishnakh are in their turn attacked by riders from the kingdom of Rohan, and Grishnakh – who is led to believe that Pippin has the Ring – tries to carry them out of the battle; but he is killed, and the hobbits escape into the forest of Fangorn.

 

Scene Three       There they meet the Ent, Treebeard, who rules the forest, but has taken no part in the struggles between the forces of Middle-earth. He takes them to his far distant dwelling under the mountains.

 

12           THE RIDERS OF ROHAN

Scene One          The pursuers Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli come across some slain orcs, and realise that the intention of the orcs is to take the hobbits to the traitor Saruman in Isengard and not to Mordor. They see the mountains of Gondor in the distance.

 

Scene Two          They now encounter the riders of Rohan led by Eómer the king’s nephew, who tells them that he has destroyed the band of orcs but found no trace of the hobbits they seek. He lends them horses to continue their search.

 

Scene Three       Pippin and Merry talk to Treebeard of the ambitions of Saruman, and the Ent realises that he needs to intervene to protect his forest; he summons an Entmoot to consider what action needs to be taken.

 

Scene Four         Coming in their turn to Fangorn, the three pursuers are accosted by a figure in white who they initially take to be Saruman, but who transpires to be Gandalf mysteriously returned from death and now rehoused in a new reincarnation. He now summons his own horse Shadowfax and together they ride towards Edoras, the capital of Rohan.

 

16           THE BLACK GATE IS CLOSED

Scene One          Frodo and Sam attempt to climb down the cliffs from the Emyn Muil, but are caught in a thunderstorm and only succeed after Sam remembers the rope he obtained from Lórien.

 

Scene Two          But they are now pursued in their own turn by Gollum, whom they ambush and persuade to lead them towards Mordor. He promises to serve the “Master of the Precious” and takes them by secret paths through the marshes.

 

Scene Three       In the marshes the hobbits see dead faces in the water, those who died in earlier battles with Sauron before the Gates of Mordor.

 

Scene Four         Gollum in the meantime is caught in an internal debate between himself governed by the desire for the Ring and his earlier life as the hobbit Sméagol. The appearance of a Ringwraith – a Black Rider on wings – terrifies him.

 

Scene Five          The three come to the Black Gate leading into Mordor; but the way is barred. Frodo and Sam agree to follow Gollum to another secret way known only to him, through the high pass of Cirith Ungol to the south. As they turn away, an army of Southrons summoned by Sauron enter the Gate.

 

13           THE KING OF THE GOLDEN HALL

Scene One          Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli arrive at the gates of Edoras, the seat of the kings of Rohan.

 

Scene Two          Here their way is barred by Hama, who refuses to admit them until they lay aside their arms. He does however permit Gandalf to keep his staff.

 

Scene Three       At first King Théoden and his adviser Wormtongue scorn Gandalf’s advice and warnings, but when he strikes down Wormtongue with a blast of lightning from his staff, the king recovers his own courage and recognises the worth of the advice he receives. Gandalf realises that Wormtongue has been acting on the orders of Saruman, and he is banished; Théoden himself determines to set forth to war, and on the advice of Hama he leaves his niece Eowyn to lead the remnant of his people.

 

Scene Four         As the Entmoot proceeds in Fangorn, the Ent Quickbeam sings to Merry and Pippin of the destruction by Saruman’s orcs of the trees that he loves. The Entmoot explodes in a violent outburst of anger, and march towards Isengard to seek revenge.

 

17           THE WINDOW ON THE WEST

Scene One          Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam have followed Gollum to Ithilien within the borders of Gondor, where they are captured by Gondorian scouts led by Faramir who is organising an ambush of Sauron’s Southron recruits. Faramir reveals that he is the brother of Boromir, whom he knows is dead; and he takes Frodo and Sam with him to a place of safety.

 

Scene Two          On the journey Faramir tells Frodo that he knows of Boromir’s ambitions and his mission, but that he would not make use of the weapons of the Enemy. Sam realises that Gollum is still following them.

 

Scene Three       They come to the refuge of Henneth Annun, concealed behind a waterfall, and in the course of their continuing conversations Faramir realises that his brother had tried to steal the Ring from Frodo. But he maintains his principles, and tells them that he will help them to destroy it.

 

Scene Four         The sentries have tracked Gollum to the waterfall where he is in search of fish to eat. Frodo helps them to capture him.

 

Scene Five          Faramir demands to know from Gollum where he leading the hobbits. When he discovers their intended destination he warns Frodo that Cirith Ungol is a place of peril, and that he should also beware of the intentions of his guide; but he bids him go with goodwill.

 

14           THE JOURNEY TO ISENGARD

Scene One          In a series of brief scenes, we see and hear reports of the movements of the riders of Rohan as well as Gandalf and Wormtongue, both of whom have left the army.

 

Scene Two          Théoden comes to the fortress of the Hornburg in Helm’s Deep where he intends to make a stand against the invading forces of Saruman. Aragorn and Eomer protect the gates, while Legolas and Gimli man the wall; but Saruman has invented a blasting fire that can demolish the stone.

 

Scene Three       Inside the fortress, Théoden is reduced to near despair; but Aragorn promises to lead forth his forces.

 

Scene Four         He bids defiance to the orcs, and as he leads a charge out from the gates of the Hornburg, Gandalf also appears with an army of Ents which overpower the orcs. The wizard bids Théoden to follow him to Isengard to confront Saruman.

 

Scene Five          Arriving at Isengard, the king and his army find the stronghold overthrown and Merry and Pippin feasting in the ruins. The latter tell how the Ents destroyed the fortifications after Saruman’s army left and then flooded the remains. But Aragorn remains puzzled by the fact that Saruman has apparently been undertaking trade with the Shire. Gandalf asks them to come with him to talk to the traitor, but to beware of his voice.

 

15           THE VOICE OF SARUMAN

Scene One          The reason for Gandalf’s warnings become evident when Saruman in turn tries to seduce Théoden, and the Gandalf himself, with flattery and sophistries masquerading as appeals to self-interest and reason. But Gandalf now reveals himself in his new reincarnation as Gandalf the White, who has been sent to supersede Saruman as the leader of the White Council. He shatters Saruman’s staff, and deputes the Ents to watch Isengard to ensure that he remains imprisoned there. Wormtongue attempts to kill him by hurling a stone from a window above, but Pippin rescues the crystal object and Gandalf takes it in charge.

 

Scene Two          Pippin is now fascinated by the crystal, and despite the warnings of Merry he goes and steals it from the sleeping Gandalf. Once he looks into it, he is transfixed by the Eye of Sauron, who delivers to him a message for Saruman before he awakens with a shriek. Gandalf realises the dangers of the Palantir in the wrong hands, and delivers it into the safe keeping of Aragorn before riding in haste to Minas Tirith with Pippin. As he leaves a Nazgûl, a Ringwraith, flies over the camp, as Sauron sends his messenger to Saruman seeking for news of the Ring.

 

18           CIRITH UNGOL

Scene One          Far south in Ithilien a thunderstorm is brewing as Gollum leads Frodo and Sam to the borders of Mordor. In the lightning Frodo sees that an old statue of the king, overgrown with vegetation and flowers, has now been given a crown again.

 

Scene Two          They pass by the fortress of Minas Morgul, and see the Lord of the Nazgûl leading out an army to storm Minas Tirith on the opposite bank of the river.

 

Scene Three       Higher up in the mountains Frodo and Sam see a fortress above and find themselves left alone as Gollum suddenly disappears without explanation. But they still manage to take some sleep, and when Gollum returns he seems to repent of whatever actions he had planned. He is surprises when Sam awakens and accuses him of sneaking off, refusing to say where he has been. Nevertheless he insists that they must make haste.

 

Scene Four         Having led them into a dark tunnel, Gollum again vanishes and leaves the hobbits alone. Now they suddenly hear the bubbling noise of a giant spider, and the monstrous Shelob only falls back when Frodo produces the star-glass of Eärendil. Using the sword Sting, the hobbits are able to cut themselves loose from Shelob’s cobwebs.

 

Scene Five          But Gollum falls on Sam as soon as he emerges from the tunnel, leaving Frodo to be felled by Shelob. By the time Sam has reached him, Frodo has been stung and apparently killed. Sam drives Shelob off, but is unable to rouse his master and eventually in desperation he takes the Ring in order that the quest may continue. At that moment bands of orcs both from Minas Morgul and the fortress of Cirith Ungol come and seize Frodo’s body; Sam rushes in pursuit of them.

 

Scene Six             In a tunnel beneath the fortress Sam learns that Frodo is not dead but paralysed;  Shelob does not eat cold meat. Gorbag, one of the captains, looks forward eagerly to a bout of interrogation; but Shagrat, the other captain, says that all captives are wanted intact by Sauron and he will be kept securely in the uppermost part of the tower. Sam is unable to get in through the gates, and falls senseless before the closed doors.

 

THE RETURN OF THE KING

 

19           MINAS TIRITH

Scene One          Gandalf brings Pippin to Minas Tirith and is hailed by the guards.

 

Scene Two          He escorts Pippin before the seat of Denethor, the Ruling Steward, who interrogates the hobbit as to the manner of death of his son Boromir. Pippin swears fealty to Denethor in acknowledgement of his debt.

 

Scene Three       Beregond, one of the guards, shows Pippin the field of Pelennor before the gates as they feel the shadow of a Nazgûl passing over. Later when Gandalf returns he warns Pippin that since darkness is spreading out of Mordor there will be no dawn.

 

20           THE PASSING OF THE GREY COMPANY

Scene One          The action returns to the end of The Voice of Saruman. Aragorn is joined by some of his kindred from the North, who warn him that he may have to essay the Paths of the Dead.

 

Scene Two          The following morning Merry swears loyalty to Théoden, but Aragorn informs his companions that since he has looked into the palantir he has seen a new danger to Gondor which means that he will indeed have to take the perilous journey of the Paths of the Dead. Eowyn is aghast at his proposal, and when he refuses to take her with him as part of her company reveals that she is now in love with him.

 

Scene Three       Aragorn leads his company, together with Legolas and Gimli, through the paths of the Dead. The spectral king of the Dead agrees that his followers will fulfil their old oath to Gondor, and Aragorn unveils the banners which declare his title as king.

 

21           THE SIEGE OF GONDOR

Prelude                The chorus describe the ride of the Rohirrim under Théoden, coming to the aid of Gondor.

 

Scene One          Looking out across the fields of Pelennor, the guards discover that the forces of Sauron are being led by the Witch-King, the Lord of the Nazgûl. The retreating Faramir leads his men back to the city.

 

Scene Two          Denethor is dismayed to learn that Faramir has allowed the Ring to escape his grasp, and insists that he should make amends by leading the resistance to the force of Sauron.

 

Scene Three       Denethor laments the downfall of his house and his Stewardship, and his despair is confirmed when Faramir is brought back wounded.

 

Scene Four         While Gandalf takes command of the defence, Denethor instructs his men to bring fire to the tomb where he proposes that he and Faramir will be consumed. Pippin begs Beregond to protect Faramir, and runs to summon Gandalf.

 

Scene Five          But Gandalf is confronted by the Witch-King, who has broken the gates of the City. At that moment the distant horns of the Rohirrim are heard as they enter the field of battle.

 

22           PELENNOR FIELDS

Scene One          Théoden summons his forces to attack the Southrons, but is overthrown by the appearance of the Lord of the Nazgul on his winged steed. Eowyn protects her uncle the King, and with the aid of Merry kills the Witch-King; but both are severely wounded, and Eomer assumes the kingship with a summons to vengeance.

 

Scene Two          Gandalf confronts Denethor and rescues Faramir from the fire, but Denethor refuses to take any comfort and predicts disaster. He seizes a brand from one of his servants and sets the house aflame.

 

Scene Three       The men of the Rohirrim approach the city bearing Eowyn, but here it is discovered that she remains alive and she and Merry are taken to the Houses of Healing.

 

Scene Four         Eomer leads his men towards the river, but it appears at first that corsairs from Umbar are now attacking from the water. It is only when the ships have landed that it is established that the new arrivals are Aragorn and his Grey Company, and he and the Rohirrim ride now to victory.

 

23           THE HOUSES OF HEALING

Scene One          Aragorn comes to the assistance of the wounded – Faramir, now the Steward of Gondor, Eowyn and Merry – and cures them with the aid of the plant athelas which the Herb Master and serving-woman Ioreth supply. Gimli and Legolas too now have come to the city, and tell Merry and Pippin of the conquest of the southlands by Aragorn with the Army of the Dead.

 

Scene Two          Gandalf warns the captains of the armies that Sauron will remain undefeated unless they can find time to allow the Ring-bearer to destroy the Ring and fulfil his quest. It is agreed that Aragorn will lead an army to an assault on Mordor, attempting to distract the Dark Lord from the real danger to his position.

 

24           THE BLACK GATE OPENS

Before the Black Gate, Aragorn proclaims his title as king of Gondor. In response the Mouth of Sauron [bass], as the representative of the Dark Lord, produces the mail-coat of Frodo as a token that the hobbit has been taken captive and his mission has failed. The forces of the West nonetheless prepare for battle, and Pippin calls that the Eagles are coming to their assistance before he is felled by a stroke from a troll.

 

25           MOUNT DOOM

Scene One          The scene returns to the end of Cirith Ungol. Sam revives and sets out to rescue Frodo; but entering the tower he finds that the orcs are all dead.

 

Scene Two          It is revealed that the two orc-captains quarrelled over the distribution of the spoils, and Shagrat now kills Gorbag before escaping with Frodo’s mail-coat. Sam is unable however to find Frodo, and sings a song to try and rouse his attention. But only Snaga remains, threatening Frodo with a whip.

 

Scene Three       Sam finally rescues Frodo, but the latter is disconsolate when he realises that the Ring has been taken from him. When he discovers that Sam has it, he at first accuses him of theft and makes it clear that if he is nearly in its power; and if it is lost to him he will go mad. Sam helps him to recover.

 

Scene Four         In the parched desert of Mordor, Frodo and Sam are overtaken by two orcs tracking them, who fall into their own argument during which the captain is killed; but they discover that Gollum also is still on their trail. Sam sees the star of Eärendil shining high above in the heavens, and looks upon it as a sign of hope.

 

Scene Five          Coming to the slopes of Mount Doom, they are suddenly attacked by Gollum seeking to regain the Ring from Frodo. They fend him off, and Frodo continues on his way, but Sam finds himself unable to kill the treacherous Gollum.

 

Scene Six             At the brink of the fiery pits of Doom, Frodo finally declares that he cannot destroy the Ring, and assumes full ownership of it by placing it upon his finger. Gollum comes up and, biting off Frodo’s finger, falls into the fire together with the Ring. The mountain erupts destroying all the land, the returning Ringwraiths are consumed in the fire, and in a moment of stillness Frodo and Sam prepare for death together, their quest achieved, as Sam wistfully thinks of the songs that will be made of their adventures.

 

26           THE FIELD OF CORMALLEN

Scene One          The scene returns to the end of The Black Gate opens. Just as the Eagles arrive, Gandalf calls upon the armies to halt as the end of the realm of Mordor is accomplished. He asks Gwaihir as the Lord of the Eagles to bear him rapidly to Mount Doom and they rescue Frodo and Sam from the fires.

 

Scene Two          In the Houses of Healing, Faramir seeks to comfort Eowyn, who is still devoid of purpose as she fears for the life of Aragorn. But when they see from afar the downfall of Mordor, she realises that hope for the future remains and falls into Faramir’s arms.

 

Scene Three       Frodo and Sam are brought in triumphal procession before Aragorn and Gandalf, and Sam finally achieves his ambition to hear their story told by a minstrel of Gondor.

 

27           THE STEWARD AND THE KING

Prelude                Gwaihir the Eagle proclaims to the people of Minas Tirith the forthcoming triumph of their king.

 

Scene One          To a background of chatter from the serving-woman Ioreth, Aragorn is escorted before the gates of Gondor, and Faramir proclaims his title to the kingship. He is hailed by the people, and asks that Gandalf and Frodo should place the crown upon his head.

 

Scene Two          High in the mountains, Gandalf reveals to Aragorn that the power of the Three Elven-rings has also perished with the One. Aragorn laments that he has no heir to inherit his title and that his realm will fade after his death; but Gandalf discloses the presence of a scion of the White Tree (descendant of one of the two Trees of Valinor) which restores hope. The old tree is uprooted and laid to rest in the tombs of the city.

 

Scene Three       Heralded by Glorfindel, Elrond now arrives from Rivendell, escorting his daughter Arwen to become the wife of Aragorn and the Queen of Gondor.

 

28           HOMEWARD BOUND

Scene One          Frodo comes to bid farewell to the King and Queen, and Arwen promises him that if he is unable to find peace in his home he may take her place on the ship to Valinor in the West.

Scene Two          Following the funeral of Théoden, Eomer announces the betrothal of his sister Eowyn to Faramir, and Aragorn gives them his blessing.

 

Scene Three       Coming to Isengard, the company are met by Treebeard, who admits that he has allowed Saruman to leave the tower as he is no longer dangerous. Legolas and Gimli also take their leave, and Aragorn dissolves the remaining members of the Fellowship of the Ring as he returns to his own kingdom.

 

Scene Four         Entering the land of Eregion, Gandalf, Celeborn and Galadriel together with the hobbits encounter Saruman and Wormtongue, who are seeking a way out of the newly established kingdom. Gandalf fears that the malice of Saruman remains undiminished.

 

Scene Five          Returning to Rivendell, Frodo and Bilbo are finally reunited; but it appears that Bilbo has now completely forgotten the reasons that his ring had to be destroyed. He only looks forward now to his final rest.

 

29           THE SCOURING OF THE SHIRE

Prelude                Before he leaves Rivendell, Frodo is told by Elrond that he should look for Bilbo in the autumn of the Shire.

 

Scene One          Coming to the borders of the Shire, the hobbits find that Frodo’s cousin Lotho, to whom he had sold Bag End, has set himself up as the boss of a gangster-like organisation which is being run by Bill Ferny from Bree. The latter is expelled, but Pippin realises that they still have work to do.

 

Scene Two          When they arrive at Bywater, the hobbits find that other ruffians have taken control of the country, including Ted Sandyman who is assisting in the despoliation of the landscape. Merry summons the local farmers to rise up against their oppressors, and when Bill Ferny returns in an attack on Farmer Cotton, he is shot by archers. Sam laments the destruction of so much that was held dear, but Saruman who now appears reveals that it is he who has directed the ruination of the land in revenge for the destruction of Isengard. He tries treacherously to kill Frodo, but his blade is turned by the hidden mail-coat and Frodo in his turn forswears retribution hoping that Saruman will eventually find his own salvation. But when Saruman viciously reveals that Wormtongue has killed Lotho, the latter springs on his back and cuts his throat before in turn succumbing to hobbit archers. Saruman’s body gathers a mist around itself, seeking to find reincarnation as Gandalf had done before; but a wind takes it from the West, and it is dispersed.

 

30           THE GREY HAVENS

Scene One          Frodo, now back in his home at Bag End, is depressed and inconsolate. Not only does he remain in pain from his wounds, and from the loss of the Ring, but he despairs of ever finding the promised redemption in the West.

 

Scene Two          However in the woods he and Sam encounter a company of Elves from Rivendell and Lórien, with Elrond, Galadriel and Bilbo riding to the Grey Havens and their ship to Valinor. Frodo now bids farewell to Sam, with the foresight that the latter too will in due course be able to follow. The Elves sing as they proceed on their journey.

 

Scene Three       Coming to the Havens they are greeted first by Círdan the Shipwright and then by Gandalf, who assures them that not all grief is evil. They embark upon the ship to Valinor, and voices from over the water welcome them as they depart for the Deathless Lands.

 

APPENDICES

APPENDIX I - THE LAY OF BEREN AND LUTHIEN

Chapter 5            In the original version of this chapter the song Aragorn sang to the hobbits in Scene One was a lay describing the meeting of Beren and Lúthien. An expanded version of this setting was however incorporated into that section of the score in the epic scenes from The Silmarillion, and the revised version now substitutes a different poem about the Elvenking Gil-galad, which is in turn employed as the basis for further musical elaboration within the musical chapters from The Lord of the Rings. Listeners may however prefer to substitute this longer section instead.

APPENDIX II - THE LAY OF EARENDIL

Chapter 6            Just before the end of Scene Two Bilbo stands to sing an extended Lay of Eärendil describing the voyages of Elrond’s father; the setting here, originally designed as an appendix to the epic scenes from The Silmarillion, was then expanded and incorporated into The War of Wrath. Listeners may again be wish to hear it in its original place.

APPENDIX III - EPILOGUE: ARAGORN AND ARWEN

After a rule extending for 120 years, Aragorn decides that it is now time for him to resign his kingdom to his successors. Arwen however is reluctant to abandon her bliss and is not consoled by his promise of a life beyond the circles of the world. She departs in sorrow to the land of Lothlórien which has now been deserted by its people, and lays her down upon Cerin Amroth. [This section of the score was originally conceived as a work for solo piano, The Passing of Arwen, as a supplement to the musical chapters, a parallel to the Akallabêth and the epic scenes from The Silmarillion; it was subsequently expanded to the form given here, complete with solo voices, narrative chorus and orchestra.]

Demo Recording Information

The recording will be produced using Reaper software and utilising the Eastwest Software/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra sampled instruments.

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

The Chorus in this work, unlike in The Silmarillion, do not function as a narrator but as crowds so therefore will be recorded four per voice part, twice the number of Gondolin, Beren, Hurin, Feanor and War of Wrath.  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.

Videos
bottom of page