The play The Great Horn of Helm was inspired by the epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, written by John R. R. Tolkien, a beloved saga for generations of readers. Brilliantly recreated in director Peter Jackson’s blockbuster film trilogy. It premiered the same year at the magical Valle dei Templi in Agrigento, Sicily with Carlo Torlontano as soloist and the Musica Contemporanea orchestra conducted by Gaetano Randazzo. The Great Horn of Helm became the performer’s favourite alphorn concerto and he presented it with great success to audiences in Italy and almost all European countries, in China and Japan.
Constructed in a single-movement form, D’Aquila’s work focuses on an episode from the second volume of The Lord of the Rings – the siege of Helm’s Deep. “The forces of good and evil confront each other to confirm the madness of war, which corrupts and destroys everything without any rational motivation,” the composer explains. “It is in this episode that The Great Horn of Helm echoes, resounding throughout the valley. Its imposing power sustains the besieged, allowing them to hold out until reinforcements arrive and victory is achieved. But the carnage that ensues leaves no room for joy or even triumph.”