Composer of the very popular (at least among symphonic wind bands) de Meij's Symphony No. 1 "The Lord of the Rings"
, as well as de Meij's Symphony No. 2 "The Big Apple"
(about New York, no less), Loch Ness, a Scottish Fantasy
, T-Bone Concerto
concerto), the Continental Overture
, and others. De Meij is an accomplished trombonist, and euphonium(baritone) player.
Johan de Meij was born on November 23, 1953, in the city of Voorburg, in Netherlands. After graduating from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, he went on to compose his first (and best) symphony, The Lord of the Rings. That symphony went on to win several awards, such as the 1989 Sudler International Wind Band Composition Competition.
Symphony No. 1 "The Lord of the Rings" is divided into five movements, each of which represent a different part of the Lord of the Rings experience.
This movement is dominated by a mournful yet proud theme that represents the mysterious and powerful wizard Gandalf. There is a lighter section which eventually explodes into the Gandalf theme, which represents Gandalf on his great steed Shadowfax.
2. Llothlórien (Lórien)
This movement is generally calmer and more sedated, which does a good job of getting across the idea of ancient, beautiful trees, and tall elves. The heavier, more urgent section towards the end is the view of the future that Frodo sees as he looks into Galadriel's mirror... and the ominous prophecy that brings.
This movement is much more stressful rough around the edges. It has to be that way, because it represents Gollum, the poor Hobbit who has been cruelly warped and twisted by the One Ring. Gollum is represented by the dreaded Soprano Saxophone (can never play in tune, awful intstrument... what do you call 100 Soprano Saxes at the bottom of the ocean? a good start), which is really a good choice for the corrupted Gollum.
4. Journey in the Dark: The Mines of Moria - The Bridge of Khazad-Dum
This movement represent's the Fellowship's creepy trek through the abandoned Mines of Moria, and the steady drum beat that they hear off in the distance, and hark! a terrible horn blows! (created by some foul creature of Mordor, no doubt). Soon, evil Orcs fall upon the Fellowship, and after Gandalf has been lost in battle, they then flee across the Bridge of Khazad-Dum.
This movement is all about Hobbits, who are having a merry time dancing and drinking and eating and combing the fur on their feet. A simple and folkish people, who enjoy the simple things in life. The Gandalf theme is used to good effect in this movement, but often lacking the mournful qualities found in the first movement. The central section lends itself well to a Hobbit-hole hoe-down. The movement ends on the sad note of Gandalf and Frodo leaving Middle-Earth forever on the white ship.