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Three Tolkien Miniatures

for reciter and mixed chamber sextet

  ·  Duration:  5m
Instrumentation:  voice, two clarinets, trumpet, piano, violin, cello

Duration:  5m
Instrumentation  voice, two clarinets, trump...

Composer:   Oliver Hancock


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I Sit Beside the Fire is a fond reminiscence from J.R.R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo Baggins is looking back upon a full life and, although he accepts death will come, he is not morbid and still has much to look forward to. I have tried to keep the music homely and hobbit-like, yet with a dreamy quality to portray the world of Bilbo's thoughts.

Tinfang Warble is one of Tolkien's earliest poems, describing a Sprite far more ethereal than the Elves, Wizards. Dwarves and such that inhabit Middle Earth. The more atonal and unorthodox sounds of this setting attempt to create an otherworldly feeling of bewilderment and wonder.

To the Sea, again from The Lord of the Rings, is an elvish song where Legolas tells of his eventual departure from this world and journeying to the immortal island of the Elves: Avalon or Faery, if you will. It is with mixed feelings that he considers this change, albeit necessary, in his life. The music seems beautiful and yet tinged with regret.

Contents note

  1. I Sit Beside the Fire
  2. Tinfang Warble
  3. To the Sea

Text note

Text by J.R.R. Tolkien

Performance history

07 Mar 2010: Dirty Beasts and Other Stories

08 Mar 2010: Schoolfest: Dirty Beasts and Other Stories

Performed by John Hudson (voice), Jonathan Prior (clarinet), Judy Shillito (clarinet), Vere Smyth (trumpet), Tony Ryan (piano), Gerald Oliver (violin), Alison Hansen (cello) and Oliver Hancock (piano)

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