Prima Facie

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The Children of Húrin (PFCD126/127) £15.00 / £20.00

Composed by Paul Corfield Godfrey and featuring Volante Opera (2-CD set)

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Prima Facie Records is pleased to announce the release of The Children of Húrin (complete demo recording). Following on from our successful releases of both Beren and Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin, Parts Two and Four of a series of “epic scenes” drawn from J R R Tolkien’s posthumous writings for The Silmarillion, Prima Facie Records in collaboration with Volante Opera Productions now presents a recording on 2 CDs of The Children of Húrin, the third part of Paul Corfield Godfrey’s cycle. The Children of Húrin was in 1982 the first part of the cycle to be composed, and employed a variety of posthumously published texts by the author with permission of the Tolkien Estate and the assistance of the late Christopher Tolkien - one of the people to whom this work is dedicated.

The Children of Húrin CD

As before, the singers are all professional artists from Welsh National Opera, and the set makes 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. Commenting on this aspect, Brian Wilson in a review of 'The Fall of Gondolin' for Music Web International remarked “I wondered how well this would work, but need have had no apprehensions; it works very well and it’s the only way such a project could have been realised. I need only say that the music is often hauntingly beautiful.” The booklet with this set of The 'Children of Húrin' 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. Chris Seeman in his review of 'Beren and Lúthien' for the Tolkien Music List described the work as “a tour de force of words delivered with passion and epic grandeur. This is hands-down the most potent actualization of Tolkien’s writing I have heard to date”. In a comment on the earlier release of The Fall of Gondolin he described that work as “a superb rendition of an unparalleled story [whose] greatest virtue lies in its ability to enhance rather than overshadow that story.” ​ ​ ​

The Piece 'The Silmarillion Part Three: The Children of Húrin' is composed for thirteen characters, full chorus and orchestra. The characters are as follows (in order of singing):

Morgoth, the enemy (Bass): Laurence Cole
Húrin Thalion, Lord of the House of Hador (Spoken): Julian Boyce
Túrin, his son (Tenor): Simon Crosby Buttle
Morwen Eledhwen, wife of Húrin (Mezzo-Soprano): Helen Greenaway
Saeros, a councillor of Doriath (Tenor): Michael Clifton-Thompson
Mablung of the Heavy Hand, a Captain of Doriath (Bass): Stephen Wells
Beleg Cúthalion, a Captain of Doriath (Baritone): Philip Lloyd-Evans
Gwindor, a Lord of Nargothrond (Baritone): Julian Boyce
Finduilas, daughter of the King of Nargothrond (Soprano): Emma Mary Llewellyn
Glaurung, first and greatest of dragons (Bass): George Newton-Fitzgerald
Niënor, daughter of Húrin (Soprano): Angharad Morgan
Dorlas, a woodsman of Brethil (Tenor): Michael Clifton-Thompson
Brandir, Lord of the men of Brethil (Baritone): Philip Lloyd-Evans ​
Chorus of unseen voices and peoples of Doriath, Nargothrond and Brethil: Angharad Morgan / Emma Mary Llewellyn / Louise Ratcliffe / Helen Greenaway / Michael Clifton-Thompson / Simon Crosby Buttle / Julian Boyce / Jasey Hall

Production and engineering: Volante Opera ©2020
Artwork for the release provided by Ted Nasmith, ©2020​
All artists appear by arrangement with Welsh National Opera ​

For more details of the 'The Children of Húrin' and the recording process please see https://sites.google.com/site/paulcorfieldgodfrey/the-children-of-hurin and https://www.volanteopera.wales/children-of-hurin

This musical work was composed before the publication of 'The Children of Húrin' by J R R Tolkien, ed. C R Tolkien, in 2007 and is not associated with it. The literary work is © The Tolkien Estate Limited and C R Tolkien 2007.

Paul Corfield Godfrey

Paul Corfield Godfrey
Paul Corfield Godfrey lives in Wales, studying composition and conducting with Alan Bush and David Wynne. His works as a composer include a cycle of epic scenes based on J R R Tolkien's The Silmarillion, extracts from which have been performed in Oxford. Other works have been performed in London and elsewhere throughout England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Hungary, America, Australia and New Zealand. He has appeared as a performer both on radio and television, and a number of his works have been broadcast.

Volante Opera

Laurence Cole
Laurence Cole

Laurence Cole
Julian Boyce

Laurence Cole
Simon Crosby Buttle

Helen Greenaway
Helen Greenaway

Helen Greenaway
Helen Greenaway

Stephen Wells
Stephen Wells

HelenPhilip Lloyd-Evans Greenaway
Philip Lloyd-Evans

Emma Mary Llewellyn
Emma Mary Llewellyn

George Newton-Fitzgerald
George Newton-Fitzgerald

Angharad Morgan
Angharad Morgan

Louise Ratcliffe
Louise Ratcliffe

Jasey Hall
Jasey Hall