Of Gondolin (2007)

August 17th, 2014

Of Gondolin (2007)

  1. Prelude
  2. Fanfare
  3. Lament


Fl, pno

fp. 30 October 2008; Isis Ensemble, Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford, UK.

[audio:https://phillipcooke.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Of-Gondolin-2007.mp3] Of Gondolin (2007) (mp3)

Score is available to purchase here.


“In time the city was made stronger and fairer than any other city that has ever been in Middle-earth, for Turgon never ceased to add to its strength, and its beauty. High towers were built, and mighty walls; yet the towers were slender pinnacles of grace and proportion; and the walls shone in the sunlight.”

(J.E.A. Tyler, The Tolkien Companion, MacMillan, 2002)

Of Gondolin is inspired by, and loosely based on the fictional city of the same name as featured in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. To go into the full details of the history and background to Gondolin would be a long and unnecessary process, as The Silmarillion is a dense and prosaic novel that is really for Tolkien aficionados only. That being said though, the fate of Gondolin is analogous to many empires or civilisations throughout history.

Gondolin is a hidden city in which the inhabitants have chosen to hide away from the trouble and strife that is besetting the rest of the world. It is a beautiful place, circled by impenetrable mountains; cold and austere but full of awesome majesty. The city prospers for hundreds of years whilst outside its walls the rest of the world is succumbing to darkness. Unfortunately, Gondolin is betrayed and its demise is both devastating and total.

My work begins with a Prelude which aims to show the darkness that surrounds Gondolin and the savage mountains that keep the city hidden. The Fanfare aims to show the grandeur of the city, trumpets heralding returning nobility or the king. The Lament simply shows the end of Gondolin as the remnants of its inhabitants are forced to flee into the night and ultimately perish.


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