Tolkien Ensemble: Lord of the Rings Double-CD|
The Tolkien Ensemble was formed in 1995 and performed its first concert at Gjorslev Castle, Denmark the 19th January 1996. The Tolkien Ensemble has 6 regular members:
- Signe Asmussen, mezzo-soprano
- Mads Thiemann, baritone
- Morten Ryelund Sørensen, violin
- Katja Nielsen, double-bass
- Peter Hall, folk-vocal & various instruments
- Caspar Reiff, guitar
With the exception of Peter Hall (L.L.C.M.) London College of Music, all members have studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Music.
The Tolkien Ensemble has played a vast number of concerts in Denmark in a variety of places: Concert-Halls, Churches and Bars and performed its first concert in England in J.R.R. Tolkien's own College: Exeter College, Oxford (September 1999).
In recording-sessions as well as some concerts The Tolkien Ensemble uses musicians from the professional Danish music-scene as assistants. This has led to a fruitful co-operation with ensemble's such as the Chamber Choir Hymnia, The Commotio Quartet, the folk-band Polka-gejst and several vocal/instrumental soloists.
The Tolkien Ensemble's CD's An Evening in Rivendell and A Night in Rivendell are published by Classico Records with the prior permission of The Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins Publishers.
In the autumn of 1996 The Tolkien Ensemble received Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II. of Denmark's permission to use her illustrations to The Lord of the Rings in the CD-layout.
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We received the double CD which contains An Evening in Rivendell and A Night in Rivendell for review. First of all we were pleasently surprised by the great packaging of the two CD's. They come in a very stylish casing with booklets which contain introductions to the ensemble, introductions to the songs, the lyriqs and very nice artwork. We were even more surprised about the music. This must be the most professional attempt at interpreting Tolkien's poems and songs. In general the music can be described as classical opera but is diverse enough to attract a much wider public. The music ranges from pretty gloomy and heavy to the very upbeat songs about inns and trolls.
When you listen to the music the first time it already makes a great impression. The real amazement comes when you listen to the music again, more concentrated while reading the lyriqs. The song sung by the Ent and the Ent-wife is a brilliant example of how hearing the poems and songs sung give a whole new dimension to reading Tolkien. Our favourite songs: Tom Bombadil's Song & Galadriel's Song of Eldamar (very, very beautiful)
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Contributed by: Caspar Reiff - Link: http://www.tolkienensemble.dk