18 Apr 2010

Music Inspired By Tolkien - Johan de Meij's Symphony Captures Middle-Earth

Sometime ago while browsing in a local music store I came across some references about a Symphony from 1984 inspired by The Lord of the Rings by a Dutch composer called Johan de Meij. Intrigued by by findings I set out to find out more about it. This composition is actually the first work de Meij produced and was originally for concert band. Trying to listen to de Meij's Symphony with Howard Shore's epic film score in mind can be a daunting task however quite soon into the listening I was able to fully enjoy a completely new interpretation of Tolkien's work. There are some similarities between he two compositions but de Meij's take on Middle-Earth is different and somehow very appealing to me. Symphony No.1 "The Lord of the Rings" is made up of 5 movements composed around important events and characters in Tolkien's book.

  1. Gandalf (The Wizard)
  2. Lothlórien (The Elvenwood)
  3. Gollum (Sméagol)
  4. Journey in the Dark (The Mines of Moria - The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm)
  5. Hobbits
The Symphony itself is not very long , yet very atmospheric and immerse. Each movement is carefully constructed and the final result is music which perfectly capture the epic nature of J.R.R.Tolkien's saga. Of all movements 'Hobbits' is my favorite of course which is just...so 'hobbitish' yes, this is the best way to explain it. Johan de Meij's interpretation brings the Shire to life under a new light. Symphony No.1 "The Lord of the Rings" by Johan de Meij is now part of my collection :)