Paul offers insight into his experiences in helping The Sunflower Jam create the unique musical evening that was a successful celebration of Jon Lord and a life time of his music. This is part 2 of 3.
Read a detailed run through of the first half including details on the pieces and parts that had never been performed live before.
by Rasmus Heide
Having seen Jon perform with several different orchestras over the years, I can only say I’d rarely heard his music performed as well as it was at Celebrating Jon Lord – even allowing for Jon’s absence.
- Well, that’s lovely to hear of course! I would say straight off that it was clear from the first couple of minutes of rehearsal that the Orion Orchestra had their hearts in exactly the right place for this. I was afraid they might have thought they were just there to play lots of long string chords behind a rock band. But there was none of that – they grasped very quickly the true scope of what they were being asked to do.
- It’s a tall order for an orchestra to be so many things at once: playing rhythmically intricate symphonic music such as the Durham Concerto, providing hard-edged backing for rock songs, as well as subtle and lyrical accompaniments. It was all in there, from one extreme to the other, which is of course a tribute to Jon’s unique scope as a composer, but also to this young orchestra’s ability to encompass so many things in such a short time.
- One of the things I did in the preparation for this concert, having made the new editions, was to set about re-studying them as if they were by just another composer, someone I didn’t know. I wanted to keep my approach to the music fresh – you know those wonderful T.S. Eliot lines, “to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
Let’s look at the setlist and start with Fantasia from Sarabande and the excellent decision of opening with this.