Prelude to Beren & Luthien is a one movement orchestral work inspired by the
tale "Of Beren & Luthien" from "The Silmarillion".
To hear an orchestral demo of the entire work, click here:
The story of "Beren & Luthien"
The tale of "Beren & Luthien" tells of how the mortal man, Beren, falls in love with the immortal
princess Luthien. At first their love is secret, but is eventually discovered and disclosed to
Luthien's father, the king. The king is incensed that his daughter would love a mortal man, and
asks to meet Beren, but Luthien first makes him promise not to harm Beren. Beren is brought
before the king, and declares his love for Luthien. This further flames the king's anger towards
Beren, but he remembers his promise to Luthien, so the king devises a plan that is designed to
keep his promise to his daughter, but at the same time spell doom for Beren.
The king offers Beren a deal - if he wants Luthien's hand, then first he must complete a quest -
bring back in his hand one of the Silmarils from Morgoth's crown.
The Silmarils were three jewels in which were contained the first light of creation, stolen by the
evil lord Morgoth and enjeweled in his crown. The task set for Beren was an impossible one,
yet he accepted.
Ultimately, after passing through fire & trial, Beren completed his task - he accomplished the
impossible and brought back a Silmaril in his hand to the king - and then Beren died. Luthien
was grief-stricken, and the king realized that Beren was no ordinary man, and he himself
grieved Beren's death.
Luthien wept deeply, and she went to the halls were the souls of mortal men go after death.
She sang a song of deepest lament - a song of beauty and sadness, a song which was so
moving that she was offered a choice - continue as an immortal without Beren, or choose
mortality for herself, whereby Beren would be returned to life, and where he & Luthien could live
out their lives together as mortals. Luthien chose mortality, and lived together with Beren the
rest of her mortal life, until they both died - so Luthien, alone among the immortals, has tasted
In Tolkien's world, two of the main characters from "The Lord of the Rings" trace their ancestry
back to Beren & Luthien - both Aragorn and Elrond claim descent from Beren & Luthien.