Musical Fantasies

Musical Fantasies
FEBRUARY 29, 2020 - 8pm

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
KARL PASCH Clarinet Concerto
JOHAN DE MEIJ Symphony No. 1 Lord of the Rings

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  Press ReleaseSymphony 101
- In his tribute to Thomas Tallis, Vaughan Williams composed an ethereal piece that involves a full string orchestra, a smaller orchestra of nine players, and a string quartet to all perform at the same time.

- Anchorage Symphony principal clarinetist, Karl Pasch performs the premiere of his new concerto.

Lord of the Rings Symphony - Written over a decade before Howard Shore scored the films, Johan de Meij’s first symphony The Lord of the Rings is based on the trilogy of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The symphony consists of five separate movements, each illustrating a personage or an important episode from the book:

I. GANDALF (The Wizard)
The first movement is a musical portrait of the wizard Gandalf, one of the principal characters of the trilogy. His wise and noble personality is expressed by a stately motiff which is used in a different form in movements IV and V. The sudden opening of the Allegro vivace is indicative of the unpredictability of the grey wizard, followed by a wild ride on his beautiful horse “Shadowfax”.

II. LOTHLORIEN (The Elvenwood)

The second movement is an impression of Lothlórien, the elvenwood with its beautiful trees, plants, exotic birds, expressed through woodwind solo’s. The meeting of the Hobbit Frodo with the Lady Galadriel is embodied in a charming Allegretto; in the Mirror of Galadriel, a silver basin in the wood, Frodo glimpses three visions, the last of which, a large ominous Eye, greatly upsets him.

III. GOLLUM (Sméagol)
The third movement describes the monstrous creature  Gollum,  a slimy,  shy  being  represented  by  the soprano saxophone. It mumbles and talks to itself, hisses and lisps, whines and snickers, is alternately pitiful and malicious, is continually fleeing and looking for his cherished treasure, the Ring.


The fourth movement describes the laborious journey of the Fellowship of the Ring, headed by the wizard Gandalf, through the dark tunnels of the Mines of Moria. The slow walking cadenza and the fear are clearly audible in the monotonous rhythm of the low brass, piano and percussion. After a wild persuit by hostile creatures, the Orks, Gandalf is engaged in battle with a horrible monster, the Balrog, and crashes from the subterranean bridge of Khazad-Dûm in a fathomless abyss. To the melancholy tones of a Marcia funèbre, the bewildered Companions trudge on, looking for the only way out of the Mines, the East Gate of Moria.

The fifth movement expresses the carefree and optimistic character of the Hobbits in a happy folk dance; the hymn that follows emanates the determination and noblesse of the hobbit folk. The symphony does not end on an exuberant note, but is concluded peacefully and resigned, in keeping with the symbolic mood of the last chapter “The Grey Havens” in which Frodo and Gandalf sail away in a white ship and disappear slowly beyond the horizon.

(Descriptions provided by

Generously Sponsored by
Doré & Kevin Meyers

Learn More >

Tune into the KLEF Preview Show and hear Maestro Fleischer discuss and play the music from the ASO’s Musical Fantasies.
Thursday, February 27th - 4:30pm, KLEF 98.1FM

Join Maestro Fleischer for a lively noon-time discussion of the music from your Anchorage Symphony's Musical Fantasies. Bring your own lunch.
Friday, February 28th - Noon to 1pm, Loussac Moose Meeting Room (2nd floor)

Generously Co-Sponsore d b y

ASO Education Consultant, Susan Wingrove-Reed, gives a pre-concert lecture on the music and personalities of your Anchorage Symphony's Musical Fantasies.
Saturday, February 29th - 7pm, Atwood Concert Hall (Orchestra Level)
<June 2020>


Thank You

The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is funded, in part, by the Atwood Foundation, Richard L and Diane M Block Foundation , Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Assembly, Alaska State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and through the generosity of many individuals and corporate community leaders.
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