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Joyful energy at ‘Rock Symphony’ in Reutlingen

July 27, 2009

‘An evening with amazing musicians and vocalists, with sunshine and a little rain, with joy and fun.’

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Jon Lord’s guest performance at this year’s Baden-Württemberg musiziert-weekend at Reutlingen included part of the Concerto for Group and Orchestra as well as a couple of solo pieces and a Deep Purple medley. Monika Schwarz sent this report of the evening:

‘Unfortunately I realised too late that I had chosen the wrong side of the stage for my seat. I thought Jon Lord was supposed to be on the left side of the stage, but he wasn’t and the piano was completely blocking my view of him. Anyway, first row is first row.

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The stage was set in a football stadium, and basically the only thing that could spoil the evening were some big dark clouds that were gathering somewhere over us. Somewhat a strange feeling, being in a seated concert with an umbrella. But apart from a few drops (from above) during the First Movement, we were extremely lucky concerning humidity.

The announcements were made by various people, two of the students of the Pop Academy, the conductor and Jon Lord himself.

He was his usual self. Humorous, charming and full of enthusiasm and love for the music. He enjoyed himself thoroughly, and so did the audience.

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The First Movement of the Concerto was played with a freshness that was intoxicating, and it is always amazing how Jon is capable of re-creating his solo in new and astounding ways. He never, ever sounds the same.

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Wait A While, with Lisa Marie Neumann on vocals was bittersweet as usual, and the Telemann Experiment the more uplifting, at least for me. Combine baroque music with Jon Lord and the result is overwhelming.

For the grand finale most of the players gathered on stage – to the riff of Smoke On The Water (amazingly with some rap in it – now I probably have heard just about everything), followed by Hush, Child In Time‚ Burn, Black Night and then back again to Smoke. All of these with Tim Opitz on vocals, who did a really impressive job.

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There was so much talent, and even more energy and enthusiasm on stage, it is really no wonder that even dark clouds chose to vanish. I mean, Jon Lord’s genius is undisputed, and Heinz Rudolf Kunze is a legend in Germany (as the announcer put , ‘there is probably no rock music in German language that hasn’t been influenced by him…’).

The students were a real surprise for me. Amazing voices, brillant guitar players and more than solid work of the rest of them. So all in all an evening of huge energy, high musicianship and lots of joy and fun.

‘Rock Symphony’ at Kreuzeichestadion in Reutlingen, Germany.

Line-up:
Jon Lord
Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen
Conductor Bernd Ruf
Popakademie Baden-Württemberg
Heinz Rudolf Kunze
Johanna Zeul

Setlist:
Ride Like The Wind (Christopher Cross)
Riders On The Storm (The Doors)
Mumintroll at Midnight (world premiere, written by Benjamin Köthe)
Papa was a Rollin’ Stone (The Temptations)

Fieber
Schwimm nicht zu weit
Nur bei dir
(Three songs written and performed by Johanna Zeul)

Concerto for Group and Orchestra, 1st Movement (Jon Lord)
Wait a While  (Jon Lord)

Don’t Let Go (En Vogue)

Längere Tage
Ich hab’s versucht
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz
(Three songs written and performed by Heinz Rudolf Kunze)

The Telemann Experiment  (Jon Lord)
Deep Purple medley (Jon Lord and everyone else)

Encore: Blinded By The Light

Photos by Tarquin Gotch and Monika Schwarz.

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