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Jon Lord - Concerto for group and orchestra | FESTIVALPHOTO

Jon Lord - Concerto for group and orchestra



Concerto for Group and Orchestra is a concerto composed by Jon Lord, with lyrics written by Ian Gillan. It was first performed by Deep Purple and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Septeber 1969 and released on vinyl in December of that same year. Recorded live and played live over thirty times over the years, it's never been done in the studio until now.
Last year, Jon Lord decided it was time for the Concerto to be recorded in a studio. Over the years he's tweaked the original version to improve parts of it, so what we have in this release is the new improved version.
Without this album you have to wonder whether various other bands would have ever thought to work with orchestras - it's highly unlikely that Metallica would have done their S&M concert/album if not for "Concerto for Group and Orchestra", and bands such as Nightwish or Epica that have taken classical sounds are also likely to have been inspired at least in part by the original concerto album as it was the first time that rock and classical music were really brought together in this way and showed how they can work together brilliantly well.

The rhythm section (Guy Pratt & Brett Morgan) and the Royal Liverpool philharmonic orchestra were recorded in Liverpool in June 2011, then the reocrding moved to Abbey Road studios in London where Bruce Dickinson, Steve Balsamo and Kasia Laska recorded their vocals, and Joe Bonamassa, Darin Vasilev and Steve Morse recorded their guitar parts.

Sadly since then Jon Lord has died, but a few weeks before his death he did get to hear and approve the final mixes of this album. The family and earMusic decided to go ahead with the planned release of the album as a way to celebrate his talent.

Best known for his distinctive Hammond organ sound as a member of Deep Purple, Jon Lord was far more than just a keyboard player in a rock band, as this concerto shows. This isnt a rock album with an orchestra being used to add to the sound, quite the opposite in fact - this is a proper piece of classical music composed by Jon Lord. Where it differs from normal classical music is the way he has integrated modern rock instruments and vocals with the classical music.
While there are vocals, the majority of the album is instrumental. Where the vocals are used though they are great, and having the different vocalists doing different parts works well as one voice wouldnt necessarily be as effective at really getting the best out of it.

Split into three movements with a running time of around 47 minutes this really is a fantastic album. There's so much variety in the music, from soft melodic sections to swelling crescendos, gentle classical music to guitar and drum solos, there really is so much here that you can listen to it again and again and notice something new every time. Appearances by Joe Bonamassa, Bruce Dickinson and Steve Morse in particular are likely to tempt a new audience to try listening to this album, and it's definitely worth listening to. If you only listen to rock music then it might take some time to get into the more classical parts of the album, but it's well worth the time.

A great album from an incredibly talented and influential man. RIP Jon Lord.

"Concerto for group and orchestra" will be released on 1st October 2012 via earMUSIC.

Track listing:

1. Movement one
2. Movement two
3. Movement three

Writer: Anthony May
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