(İEdward T. Broms 2008)
NOTE: This symphony was originally titled "Ainulindale." Not long after the press release concerning it, Mr. Broms received notice from the Tolkien estate that use of the term "Ainulindale," and reference to the work being based on the author's "The Silmarillion" constitute trademark infringement. The title was thenceforth removed. What follows is exerpted from the original press release, explaining the symphony's Tolkienian inspiration.
For pipe organ without orchestra. In 2005, Peter Krasinski commissioned Broms to compose an organ work after hearing one of his vocal compositions at a joint concert. The resulting Organ Symphony #1: Ainulindale, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, and the beautiful creation story at its beginning, titled Ainulindale, or "Music of the Ainur" (Singing of the Holy) with which Broms has been fascinated from a young age. The story itself describes a number of themes which Broms thought would make great musical form. He took the opportunity of Krasinski's commission of an organ work to realize his dreamwork - itself a study for full Oratorio for chorus and orchestra on the same subject - another dream to be realized in the near future.
From the outset, improvisation was to be an integral aspect of the work, based on both Krasinski's and Broms' formidable improvisation skills. It developed as a meditation on creation and the creative process itself, with the intention of changing the composer, the performer, and the audience as they each live through the work. Organ Symphony No. 1 covers a continuum between being completely improvised and completely composed. Thus it is a study in the existential and phenomenological realities of these two poles. Yet it also ranges into the territories - much less explored - where these two poles intertwine. The organist is called upon to improvise with written parts - forms, rhythms, text, narrative, and other parameters, and to compose with materials intended for improvisation - even being called upon to compose themes to introduce into the work, thus making each performance completely unique, yet recognizable in sound and form as a distinct composition.
The formal structure of the Symphony is in five movements, and overlays traditional Western forms over the Raga form of India, making it essentially a long Raga. The final movement includes one musical theme outside of Tolkien' s milieu - a favorite of Krasinski's - a Christian Science hymn. The inclusion of the Mary Baker Eddy hymn, "Christ My Refuge," in a setting by Percy C. Buck, with its free flowing melody and the verse, "There sweeps a strain low sad and sweet," is very apt for the themes of ultimate creation and fate. Devotees of contemplation will enjoy the Symphony's final vision of hope - that all so-called evil in the world is an unwitting aid to, and ultimately and triumphantly consumed into, a glorious reality beyond our imaginings.