Sung by alto Hilary Summers, “Gilraen’s Song” marks the first use of the Diminishment of the Elves, the melody that represents the Elvish concept of death and finality, but which will be more thoroughly explored in The Two Towers. Aragorn’s visit to his mother’s grave, offers a literal finality, but also calls Aragorn’s future into question. Will he face the weight his heritage carries? If so, what will be the cost?
Back indoors, Shore introduces a bright oboe line orchestral voice matched to the Mithril vest Bilbo has just bestowed upon Frodo. But the elder hobbit spies a former possession chained around Frodo’s neck, and a jolting high string chord reminds us of the Ring’s lurid power. “Again, it’s all the gestures,” the composer remarks. “These little pauses, they’re operatic, as if the score were sung first and the gestures were being created by the director afterwards.”
Bilbo expresses his remorse, both for his outburst and for the dire task he has foist upon Frodo. But Frodo accepts his responsibility, and the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring assemble, ready to embark upon their mission. The Fellowship theme begins to swell within the orchestra, the down-and-back-up shape passing emotionally until, with a trill of strings and a striking French horn statement of the Shire, Shore sets the Fellowship theme alight: “It’s all Fellowship in a slow setting, now a very heroic version!” The thematic progression illustrates that the hobbits are now members of the Fellowship first and citizens of the Shire second–a new set of priorities that will not be without its sacrifices.
Listening Example: Disc Two | Track Nine | 0:00
Hilary Summers has the distinction of being the only alto soloist used in The Lord of the Rings films. “I wanted an alto voice for Gilraen,” recalls Shore. “I thought that a low female voice would be a great sound.” Summers has also performed extensively on the film scores of composer Michael Nyman.
Text by Philippa Boyens
Sindarin Translation by David Salo
FIRST HEARD: DISC TWO | TRACK NINE
A chéneg a ionneg | Little boy, little one
Danna si fuin | Night is falling.
Tolo na rengy nin | Come into my arms,
Beriathon | Let me hold you safe
A núriel annant | But still you run
Trin aduial | Through the twilight,
Ne dúath roeg dagech | Lost in your play
Ne theilien | Slaying demons in the shadows.
A chéneg A ionneg | Little boy, little one,
Pant galu pant glas | Full of grace full of joy,
A naenatha hún nín | Oh, my heart will break,
Ne chinn lín cenim: | For I see in your eyes:
Le iôn adar lín | You are your father’s son,
û iôn naneth lín | Not your mother’s child.
© The Annotated Score (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films)
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