Paul Corfield Godfrey’s “The Fall of Gondolin: Epic Scenes from the Silmarillion, Part Four” Demo Recording

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 22,99 incl. Btw

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that our Demo Recording of Paul Corfield Godfrey’s operatic work “The Fall of Gondolin” after the mythology of J. R. R. Tolkien was released by ASC Records & Prima Facie Records in September 2018.

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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 Fall of Gondolin (complete demo recording) PFCD092/093


During the period 1982-97 Welsh composer Paul Corfield Godfrey produced a series of ‘epic scenes’ drawn from J R R Tolkien’s posthumous writings for The Silmarillion, employing a large variety of posthumously published texts by the author with the permission of the Tolkien Estate. The cycle, extending in performance over four evenings, is the largest-scale work of classical music written in Wales in the twentieth century, demanding a full roster of solo singers, chorus and an orchestra of some eighty players, but has only ever been performed in excerpts until now.

​Following on the success last year of the CD of the composer’s music including the piano rondo Akallabêth and other Tolkien works, Prima Facie Records in collaboration with Volante Opera Productions now presents the first instalment in a complete recording of the epic scenes, to be released in a series of double CD albums. In a review last year Chris Seeman of the Tolkien Music Website wrote: “In the annals of Tolkien-inspired music, Paul Corfield Godfrey is the proverbial oliphaunt in the closet” and expressed a hope that more of his work would be recorded in the near future. Accordingly this set of The Fall of Gondolin will be followed next year by a release of Beren and Lúthien, to be followed in due course by The Children of Húrin and Fëanor.

The singers are all professional artists from Welsh National Opera, and the sets will make 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. The booklet with this set of The Fall of Gondolin 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.

In a review last year of the composer’s Akallabêth, Göran Forsling referred to his music as “accessible and captivating”. Brian Wilson in another review compared his Tolkien songs to the Housman settings of Vaughan Williams, and observed that he would not be surprised if “some of Godfrey’s music becomes as well-loved as the Vaughan Williams.” We would hope that audiences will enjoy the further exploration of this extensive work.

1 beoordeling voor Paul Corfield Godfrey’s “The Fall of Gondolin: Epic Scenes from the Silmarillion, Part Four” Demo Recording

  1. Jeroen van Luiken-Bakker

    De gehele review is te lezen op:

    A thing that stands out from the moment you put the demo onto your audio system is the sheer professionalism with which the singers do their respective parts; all are singers with Welsh National Opera and lent their voices voluntarily to the project by the way, and at times they allow themselves to show the fun they had creating this marvel.

    Those real voices are also the great strength of this recording; after hearing these voices in my head for many years, for the world only had the earlier keyboard recordings by the composer, it is amazing how this new demo recording is all one has ever dreamed of and so much more. I’m particularly fond of the opening of scene five (in the second triptych) ‘In a dim and perilous region…’ (better known perhaps as ‘The Horns of Ulmo’) in which (the human) Tuor (voice by Simon Crosby Buttle) tells (the Elf) Voronwë of his encounter with (the Vala) Ulmo.

    The opening chorus of the prologue sets a tone of mystery and marvel, especially if you consider the fact that the choir only has eight singers you come to realise the quality that this recording provides. Throughout the recording the choir never compromises and is most splendid in the final epilogue when true subtilty is required. Another choral highlight of this recording must, without question, be scene nine (a hymn to Ilúvatar) in which all the voices need to sing, both choir and soloists.

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