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The Story of the Tolkien Ensemble
by Caspar Reiff

(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) Part 4 (Part 5) (Part 6)

"Leaving Rivendell"
The Tolkien Ensemble's 4th Album, Leaving Rivendell, published 2005

We also had new soloists involved: Jørgen Ditlevsen (Bregalad, Gimli & Eagle) and the wonderful Scottish folk singer Nick Keir. Nick Keir was soon to become a full member of the Tolkien Ensemble: An extraordinary capacity both on the stage and behind it.

Nick Keir
Scottish folksinger Nick Keir has been a member of the Tolkien Ensemble from 2005.

The co-operation with Denmark's Radio was extended to also include participation in two major concerts at Ledreborg Castle, Denmark. The programme at these sold out concerts was also a combination of our music and the music from the movies and conducted by British conductor David Firman. The production of these concerts was made in close co-operation with the brilliant DR producer Jens Hofman. One of the remarkable things on this programme was Peter Hall's new instrumental piece Hobbit Tunes: Jigs & Reels, here performed for the first time in David Firman's wonderful symphonic arrangement.

David Firman
British conductor David Firman conducted the concerts on Ledreborg with
Danish Radio Sinfonietta, Denmarks Radio Chamber Choir and the Tolkien Ensemble.

Ledreborg Castle Concerts 2005
12.000 people in the audience at Ledreborg Castle Concerts 2005. Danish popstar Nanna performing with the Tolkien Ensemble. Actor Henning Jensen in the chair...

The Tolkien Ensemble at Ledreborg Castle Concerts 2005
The Tolkien Ensemble in concert.             Peter Hall.                                            Caspar Reiff.

The Tolkien Ensemble at Ledreborg Castle Concerts 2005
Morten Ryelund is having a good time...                 Øyvind Ougaard with an intense look...                   Morten & Nick performing Peter Hall's Hobbit Tunes.

At this point I realised that as a music group based on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien it was important to also perform some of the music from the movies in our concert programme, as the audience knew these songs and music pieces well and loved to hear them.

Since then some of the music and songs from the movies have been a part of our live performances.

In 2006 we were finally able to finish the project with the publication of The Complete Songs & Poems from The Lord of the Rings in a 4CD box including a book of 112 pages. Once again Peter Olufsen of Classico Records helped with the realisation of the project.

The project of making the 4CD box and book was by far too expensive for Classico to pull off, so Peter Olufsen helped through his contact to a German record label, Membran, located in Hamburg. The manager of this company, Jürgen Jacobsen, decided to support the project at big risk, as the hype of the movies were over in 2006.

The Queen of Denmark gave us permission to go to Amalienborg Castle to photograph her previously unpublished original illustrations based on The Lord of the Rings. Until then we had only been permitted to use the previously published redrawn illustrations, which Eric Fraser made based on the Queen's work. This had for a long time been my dream, to somehow get these originals out to the Tolkien fans.

The graphic design of this 4CD box and 112 page booklet was made by the wonderful German graphic designer Vanessa Heinrichs.

"The Complete Songs & Poems from The Lord of the Rings"
The completed project: The Complete Songs & Poems from The Lord of the Rings, published 2006

In 2006 the Tolkien Ensemble started a cooperation with a new agent, Berlin based Star Entertainment. I started to work with them in order to make a Lord of the Rings based show with a combined programme of our music and the movie music.

At this point (about 2005-2006) our accordionist, Øyvind Ougaard, turned out to play an increasingly important role in the Tolkien Ensemble. He had been a part of the project ever since the recording of our first CD, but now he assisted me in many things both strategically and practically. In the Tolkien Ensemble we call him: Minister of Finance and Transport.

Also a young female singer and dancer had a great influence on the project of upgrading the live-performance of the Tolkien Ensemble: Dénise Stockman created the new dance elements of the show which Peter Hall had through the years pointed out would be a substancial improvement to the live-performance.

Press photo of the Tolkien Ensembles (2007)
The Tolkien Ensemble, press photo 2007. From the left: Nick Keir, Øyvind Ougaard, Dénise Stockman, Morten Ryelund,
Katja Nielsen, Tine Skat Matthiessen, Jenny Siri Dreijer, Peter Hall & Caspar Reiff

Jenny Siri Dreijer, Tine Skat Matthiessen, Dénise Stockman & Nick Keir
On the road at a petrol station in Germany, from the left: Jenny Siri Dreijer, Tine Skat Matthiessen, Dénise Stockman & Nick Keir.

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