– When we did it in Hagen last February we were going do one night but so many people were interested that we had to do two nights. We got standing ovations.
– In the second half I play a couple of Deep Purple numbers that I have arranged for the orchestra as well as my own solo stuff, too. The concert itself is like a little journey from yesterday to today, if you like – a musical journey. Sometimes I also play with what I call local heroes. It’s always great to go to a town and play with some of the local drummers, bass players and guitar players, who want to play this.
– The Concerto will be 40 years old this year which is quite incredible. It seems that in the last 9-10 years it has found its audience. It was a very brave thing to do in 1969 and a very original and rather odd and strange thing to do for a rock band. I think it took me eight or 10 weeks to write. These were some of the most important 10 weeks of my life – and if you’d told me back then that we would still be playing it in 40 years time I would have not believed you. I would have called you mad.
– I was a certain kind of young man when I wrote that piece and it represents me 40 years ago. It was the first time I had ever written anything for a full orchestra. I had written for strings and woodwind before but never for a whole symphonic orchestra. So it was a crazy time but I did it – and I’m still playing it.
– It disappeared for many years and now it’s being played again and people genuinely seem to enjoy listening to it. Orchestras around the world are asking me, ‘Can we play it?’ It is wonderful to be an older musician and to have a piece that you have made, performed and composed all those years ago, sort of opening doors for people 40 years later.
– I get a different view of the piece every time I play it because everybody plays it differently. I was down in Australia doing it last April with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Their conductor took the opening incredibly slowly, very quiet and mysterious. It was wonderful to hear his view of my music. This is one of the great pluses and wonderful things that happens to you when you write music for orchestras; you hear different interpretations of it. That’s very exciting for me.
Jon Lord first performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra Hagen in February 2008.
– I was approached by the orchestra. These three or four musicians from the Westphalia Symphony Orchestra also liked to play rock and jazz, and their leader Ralph Breitenbach approached me three or four years ago and said that he and his rock band would love to play the Concerto for Group and Orchestra. As they were themselves orchestral musicians it made a nice thought that they would be stepping from one side to the other just for one night.
– As a result of that idea, Ralph Breitenbach went to the Philharmonic Orchestra Hagen to see if they were interested and they were. Then they approached me. That’s how it happened.
– I’m certainly looking forward to it. It’s going to be great to be back again with the Philharmonic Orchestra Hagen. They are good players and wonderful people and I’m looking very much forward to it. It will also be nice to be back in the Grugahalle – this time with an orchestra.
Special guest vocalists: Steve Balsamo and Kasia Laska.