Symphony No. 5 (de Meij)

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Johan de Meij

Johan de Meij

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Subtitle: Return to Middle Earth

General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: c. 42:20
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Amstel Music, through Music Shop Europe
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €800.00   |   Score Only (print) - €135.00


1. Mîri na Fëanor (Fëanor’s Jewels) – 5:35
2. Tinúviel (Nightingale) – 6:15
3. Ancalagon i-môr (Ancalagon, the Black) – 5:40
4. Arwen Undómiel (Evenstar) – 5:15
5. Dagor Delothrin (The War of Wrath) – 11:55
6. Thuringwethil (Woman of Secret Shadow) – 7:40


Full Score
Solo Soprano
C Piccolo (doubling Flute)
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III (6 players)
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone I-II
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion detail desired)

SATB Choir


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

After 30 years, composer Johan de Meij revisits Middle Earth, the enchanting mythological world of J.R.R. Tolkien, with his Symphony No. 5 Return to Middle Earth. Although there are some thematic reminiscences of his monumental first symphony. Symphony No. 1, "Lord of the Rings", from 1988, De Meij is putting a completely different musical vibe into this new symphony. There is an important role for a solo soprano and a mixed choir: they sing in Ilkorin, one of the Elvish languages of Middle-Earth. The Orcs and other thugs also take the stage, but they only use raw screams in their own language, also known as 'black speech'.

The 5th symphony consists of six movements:

I) Mîri na Fëanor (Fëanor’s Jewels)
II) Tinúviel (Nightingale)
III) Ancalagon i-môr (Ancalagon, The Black)
IV) Arwen Undómiel (Evenstar)
V) Dagor Delothrin (The War of Wrath)
VI) Thuringwethil (Woman of Secret Shadow)

I) Miri na Fëanor (Jewels of Fëanor). Before the creation of the Moon and Sun, the world of Arda was illuminated by the light of the Two Trees: shining Telperion and golden GaladloÌ riel. They glowed alternately, so there was never darkness in the Undying Lands. Fëanor, the great Noldorin artisan, captured the light of the Trees in crystal silima and crafted three fabulous jewels. The theft of these jewels by the renegade god Morgoth precipitated all of the disastrous events of the First Age of Beleriand and, indeed, of all Middle Earth in the ages to follow.

II) TinuÌúviel (Nightingale). TinuÌúviel, daughter of Melian the Maia and Thingol of Doriath, and her mortal lover, Beren, succeeded in wresting one of the Jewels of Fëanor from Morgoth’s crown. Thingol had set that feat of daring as the bride price for his daughter’s hand, not expecting Beren to succeed. He did succeed, however, with TinuÌúviel’s help—but Carcharoth, the great wolf of Angband, swallowed the jewel and Beren’s hand as the couple escaped. Later on, Carcharoth killed Beren and was in turn slain - the jewel was retrieved intact from his carcass. TinuÌúviel died of grief, following her lover to the Halls of Mandos. There she sang of her grief to the God of the Dead, who granted her choice of returning from the dead with Beren, in exchange for her own immortality.

III) Ancalagon i-moÌ‚r (Ancalagon the Black). The greatest of Morgoth’s winged dragons, Ancalagon the Black, was defeated in the War of Wrath by Eärendil the Mariner (husband of Elwing, TinuÌúviel’s granddaughter). Eärendil succeeded in sailing to the Undying Lands using the light of the Jewel of Fëanor, which his wife had inherited. He battled Ancalagon in the sky above Morgoth’s stronghold, and the fall of the dragon crushed the towers of Thangorodrim, punctuating Morgoth’s ultimate defeat.

IV) Arwen UndoÌ miel (Evenstar). Arwen UndoÌ miel was a direct descendant of TinuÌ viel of Doriath. It was said that Arwen looked just like her great-great-grandmother. As Queen of Gondor, Arwen considered her mortality, chosen for love of the mortal Aragorn, as did her ancestress, TinuÌ viel -- a lifetime of love versus an eternity bereft of love.

V) Dagor Delothrin (The War of Wrath). The host of the Valar marched from the Undying Lands in the uttermost West and summoned all Elves and Men to join in confronting the forces of Morgoth. The battle lasted fifty years, but in the end, Morgoth’s fire demons and legions of Orcs were destroyed. Eärendil appeared in the sky in his vessel Gwingeloth, along with Thorondor, King of the Eagles, and battle ensued between all the flying creatures. Morgoth was pursued into his mines and finally captured, bound with an unbreakable chain made of tilkal, and cast into the Timeless Void beyond the Walls of the World, to remain there until the breaking of the world.

VI) Thuringwethil (Woman of Secret Shadow). No one knows how Thuringwethil, the vampire servant of Morgoth, died -- but TinuÌ viel wore her fell on her quest with Beren to steal the Jewels of Fëanor from Morgoth’s crown. Yet even as she sped off to join her beloved Beren at Angband’s gates, TinuÌ viel could sense that the presence of the bat-woman was still present in her skin, relishing the freedom of that final flight.

The symphony was commissioned by The Middle Earth Consortium Project, organized by the Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. The World Premiere took place November 3rd, 2018, with the composer conducting.

- Program Note by Eileen Ellen Moore

Performance Notes

Extensive performance notes are found here.

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer