Tolkien Collector's Guide

Winner of the 2019 Tolkien Society award for Best Website

Tolkien-inspired Symphonic or Art Music Recordings
By Ulmo
Just can't stay away

Tolkien-inspired Symphonic or Art Music Recordings

Sep 8, 2018

Donald Swann
The Road Goes Ever On (1967)
Bilbo’s Last Song (1978)
Lúthien Tinúviel (1993)

Leonard Rosenman
The Lord of the Rings Film Score (1977)

Stephen Oliver
The Lord of the Rings Radio Drama Score (1981)

Johan de Meij
The Lord of the Rings Symphony (1988)

Howard Shore
six film scores and a symphonic suite - too lazy to look up exact dates but they’re not exactly obscure

Got any others you like or any info to add?
Sep 9, 2018
Poems and Songs of Middle Earth (1967 LP and cassette)
The original 8-song cycle
sung by William Elvin, with Donald Swann on piano
Can be found on the J.R.R. Tolkien Collection cassette boxed set
Can be purchased as a MP3 under the title “A Rare Recording of J.R.R. Tolkien” (don’t bother to purchase the CD; it’s a CD-R burned on demand)

The Road Goes Ever On (MP3)
The original 8-song cycle
sung by Stewart Hendrickson, with Theo Wee on piano
live performance from 1972, published online in 2012 at
CD cover art exists, but I don’t know if a CD was ever published; anyway, it would probably just be a self-published CD-R. Not particularly notable performance, probably one of hundreds of such recitals given since the 60s. The singer has a bit of a pronounced American accent. But it’s pleasant enough.

Alphabetaphon 1 (1989 cassette)
Bilbo’s Last Song
sung by Donald Swann, with Donald Swann on Piano

Amiscellany (1992 CD)
Bilbo’s Last Song
sung by John Amis and Donald Swann, with Donald Swann on Piano

The Road Goes Ever On (1997 CD)
sung by Jan Jacob Krediet, with Alexandra de Jongh Swemer on piano, and choir
live performance from 1995, CD published in 1997 (500 copies?)
Rather huxterishly claims to be the world premiere of the piece. But it is the only complete recording of the 1978 revised 9-song cycle, which calls for a choir and includes Bilbo’s Last Song.

The Road (1999)
The Road Goes Ever On (the song, not the whole cycle)
sung by Abby Strauss

The Road Goes Ever On (2002 CD issued with the HC 3rd ed. book)
the original 8-song cycle plus the two newer pieces
includes the William Elvin recording from the LP
includes Bilbo’s Last Song, sung by Donald Swann
includes Lúthien Tinúviel, sung by Clive McCombie

Classic Children’s Songs (2006)
Namárië and Bilbo’s Last Song
sung by Roderick Williams, with Iain Burnside on piano
Sep 9, 2018
The radio drama soundtrack by Stephen Oliver is a re-recording, not what was actually used in the drama (the original tapes are supposedly lost; and the re-recording is supposedly expanded). It was published on LP and cassette in 1981. If you want it on CD you have to get the full drama in a 1995 UK edition with **14** discs; the soundtrack is the 14th disc.
Sep 9, 2018
The Tolkien Ensemble Caspar Reiff & Peter Hall recordings of all the poems in The Lord or the Rings set to music: CDs
An Evening in Rivendell 1997
A Night in Rivendell 2000
At Dawn in Rivendell 2002
Leaving Rivendell 2005

David Cain's music for BBC radio Hobbit part released on LP 1971

414_5b9525cc2f165.jpg 293X231 px

414_5b9525d7d5528.jpg 312X282 px
Sep 9, 2018
Have you perused the Tolkien Music website?

It is rather impressive in the level of detail collected there.
Sep 9, 2018
Thanks Gawain. I’ll check those out.

Urulöké, thanks; that’s insanely exhaustive, though. I was more curious what people liked in this genre.

I’ve made a stab at reordering the Shore LotR OSTs according to the chronology of the novels. I’ll post it if anyone’s interested. It’s still not very Tolkienish to my ear, though.
Sep 12, 2018
The radio drama soundtrack by Stephen Oliver was also included on CD with the 2002 release of Return of the King, remastered and with a bonus track.
Sep 17, 2018
Here are a few Tolkien related pieces I listen to repeatedly:

1 The Music of Glenn Buhr Winter Poems 2000
ASIN: B00000IOBH Has A Beren & Luthien suite. The Winter Poems have some M-e flavor too.

2 Bo Hanson The Lord of the Rings 1970 a classic

3 Gli Anelli Myrddin 2003 ITALIAN but still works.
GNV Recordings ‎– GNV 0498 on DISCOGS

4 ad dios A Journey through Middle-Earth 2009 instrumental & mellow

Sep 18, 2018
More, quite varied Tolkien inspired music:

5 Kevin Henry, Bilbo's Great Adventure 1999 Musical tale of The Hobbit country/folk style. Very well done, with some good hooks, warm music, quite enjoyable, not background music to deep think Tolkien. A repeat request from my Grandsons.

6 Jan Hrubý and Kukulín, Stredozem (Middle-earth) 1998, instrumental & 1 song in French, great stuff, to my bad ear, Eastern European Celtic.

7 Kim Skovbye, The Ring vol I 2002, vol II 2003. Harp music. Mellowwww

8 Kim Skovbye, There and Back Again 1997. Harp music.

9 Jim Čert Písnê Stredozemê (The Songs of Middle-earth) 1998. In Czech, Cert & his accordion. Some Tolkien lyrics. I think of it as a Breeman who’s heard many songs and tales at the Pony and he’s got an accordion.

10 Thusian, Silmarillion 1994. Instrumental, enjoyable for me. I think classified as space music.

11 Sally Oldfield, Water Bearer 1978. Classic for the “Songs of the Quendi” but most of the tracks reminded me of M-e, lyrics and/or music seemed applicable, even “Child of Allah”.

12 Broceliande, The Starlit Jewel 2000 Very good. Lyrics for 7 of 13 tracks by MZ Bradley, and 6 tracks by K Klover & M Davis.

13 Pär Lindh and Björn Johansson, Bilbo 1996. English lyrics, rather eclectic musical style with many instruments/synthesizers.

14 Craig Russell, Music of Craig Russell, with his Middle Earth 2000. Symphonic suite.

15 Ted Nasmith, The Hidden Door 2007. Some lyrics by Tolkien, mellow folk music style.

16 ABSOLUTE BEST Galadriel's Song of Eldamar, Ai! Laurië Lantar from the The Tolkien Ensemble, An Evening in Rivendell, 1997. Elvish pop.

16 Best de Meij LR Symphony: Ensemble Vents et Percussion de Quebec, with other non- Tolkien pieces.

17 Only for the Brave: John Sangster, A Musical Interpretation of The Lord of the Rings 2002. Some of this is ruthless jazz, ruthless. Contains classics like Sam the Man, Glad'riel, & Ents and Entwives plus Three Cheers for Smeagol.
Sep 18, 2018
18 Criminny, missed The Hobbitons, Songs of Middle-earth 1996. Channels a pub of rowdy Hobbits. Git beer & crank it up.
Sep 18, 2018
Thanks for the info!
Load more
Jump to Last