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The Hobbit: A Symphonic Portrait in 5 Movements

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The Hobbit: A Symphonic Portrait – Chamber Symphony is an original five-movement orchestral work composed by Christopher Caliendo based on the classic children’s novel written by English author, J. R. R. Tolkien.


The Hobbit: A Symphonic Portrait – Chamber Symphony

Movement I: Bilbo Baggins 7:16 Tolkien was fond of Hobbits. Bilbo fulfilled most of Tolkien’s requirements: he smokes a pipe, he loves food, he loves a nice waistcoat, and he likes a good night of sleep.  Thanks to Gandalf, the wizard,  he does travel a good deal. He is the prototype of all hobbits whose other noteworthy characteristics are settling in for an evening of smoke rings with good friends, a fondness for flowers, and the sound of a kettle whistling. He has a passion for maps and runes and enjoys studying them in the comfort of his tidy, warm hobbit hole. Bilbo Baggins is essentially a homebody: an ordinary guy with an orderly life, breathtakingly respectable, old-fashioned, providing hope to the rest of us extremely average folk that, someday, Gandalf might scratch a note on our doors so that passing dwarves will bring us on treasure quests…..

Movement II: Gandalf 6:05 Veiled in garments grey as ash, Gandalf was the last of the wizards to appear in Middle-earth. Leaning on a staff, grey-haired and grey-clad, Gandalf was considered the greatest spirit and the wisest and therefore was given the 11th ring of power called Narya, the Ring of Fire, containing a red stone for his aid and comfort. Warm and eager was his spirit for he was the enemy of Sauron, opposing the fire that devours and wastes with the fire that kindles. His joy and swift wrath were veiled in grey garments so that only those who knew him well glimpsed the flame within. Merry, he could be, and kindly to the young and simple, yet quick at times to sharp speech and the rebuking of folly; but he was not proud, and sought neither power nor praise. Mostly he journeyed unweary on foot, leaning on a staff, and so he was called among men of the North Gandalf “the Elf of the Wand”.

Movement III: Dwarves 6:07 Dwarves, comedic and bumbling, but largely seen as honorable, serious-minded creatures still portray some negative characteristics such as being gold-hungry, extremely proud, and occasionally officious. The dwarves’ characteristics of being dispossessed of their homeland The Lonely Mountain, their ancestral home, is the goal the exiled Dwarves seek to reclaim. Their war-like nature stems from accounts of Tolkien’s reading of medieval texts regarding the Jewish people. Having a propensity for making well-crafting and beautiful things is a trait not only shared with medieval views of Jews but also with Norse Dwarves. Almost all the Dwarf’s names are taken from the Dvergatal, found in the Poetic-Edda, a collection of Norse poems. The dwarves taking Bilbo out of his complacent existence is seen as an eloquent metaphor for the “impoverishment of Western society without Jews.”

Movement IV: Gollum 6:55 Dark, bone-white or pale yellow, a tailless black squirrel, seen in poor light and wearing dark clothes in which he keeps a tooth sharpening-rock, goblin teeth, wet shells, and a scrap of a bat wing. Thin, with only teeth sharpened at points – rather like a spider, perhaps a starved frog. A small slimy creature, emaciated and gaunt, possessing a vicious, wiry strength. The creature Gollum was discovered by Bilbo Baggins in the subterranean lake on which Gollum lived and found the ring. His addiction to the ring was so great that he overcame his hatred and fear of the Sun, the Moon, and other creatures. He spent long centuries in darkness and the damp, influenced by its evil power. He was reduced to a small, extremely thin person, with a scrawny neck, flat feet, long thin hands with clammy fingers, and large pale eyes that seemed to glow.

Movement V: Smaug 8:00 A most specially greedy, strong, and wicked worm, like all dragons, Smaug – loved to hoard gold with a meticulous knowledge of his own collection. Being quick to anger in defense of his own wealth, he also exhibits a fierce intellect in guessing Bilbo’s cryptic origins, pride in the vanity in his own armor, arrogarmor, arrogance in his, and an ability to question Bilbo’s loyalty to the dwarves. When Bilbo Baggins first encounters Smaug he can hear his snoring – “like the noise of a large pot galloping in the fire, mixed with a rumble of gigantic tom-cat purring.” He is struck by the reddish glow and heat that Smaug gives off, both of which travel up the passageway so Smaug is felt long before he is seen “like a hurricane coming from the North”.  Total playing time – 35:00






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