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Essen: What an evening!

November 18, 2010

Thank you Mr. Lord. The living legend, the genius, the Lord of the Hammond, in short the Maestro.

Bo Olsson reviews Jon Lord’s concert in Essen, Germany on November 15:

It all started with a reworked Sarabande. What a pleasure, it worked wonderful in this new format. It did manage to improve on the recording. With the new parts written for the orchestra instead of using synthesizers, giving a new life to the piece.

The second part started with a very special Pictures of home. Mr. Lord sure has a knack for both the dramatic and wonderful. This version is really good and Doogie White has a strong voice, well suited for this song. The evening went through a number of Deep Purple songs as well as Jon Lords’ solo work. The Sun Will Shine Again was written for Frida of ABBA fame but was sung here by Tanja Schun. Tanja a soprano who in 2008 was awarded the “Exceptional Achievement of Youth Artist” did the piece justice.

This was followed by a personal favourite The Teleman Experiment. With no Nyckelharpa present, this also had a new arrangement. But the piece was just as wonderful, one of the highlights for me. Pictured within is usually sung by a man but here Tanja did the honours, and how she did it. Straight in to some heavy rock and blues, Lazy, in an exiting and fast version with skilled musicians. Richard Güth did a real good rendition here.

The song may be almost 40 years old but tonight it sounded young and fresh. Wait a while sung by Tanja and her voice is just perfect for these songs. Next up a first for me, an orchestration of Perfect strangers. Played with force and a lot of joy and sung beautifully by Doogie. After a short break with a standing ovation they all came back for a fantastic version of Soldier of Fortune. A song Lord said he hadn’t written but a song that he loved. “Coverdale was only 22 years old when he wrote it but it expresses what I now feel at 152” said Jon.

And when there was Child in Time. To finish it off Jon had to play a little something that he really like to play. And what joy it is to hear. It’s fast, furious, soft, beautiful and hard. It really has it all. After the last note the whole concert hall rouse to its feet and didn’t let Mr Lord go until he’d been back onto the stage six times. Mr Lord seamed fitter and younger than he has been in years.

And what a memory he has. Before the concert I met with Jon and when I told him we met in Nuthurst in the summer of 2009. For the premiere of To Notice Such Things. Jon said: “You must be Bo”. I am but how did he remember, even I hardly remembers my name.

After the premiere of To Notice Such Things in Nuthurst I said that it can’t get any better. Then came Dublin and the 40th anniversary of the Concerto… And again I said that nothing can top this. Until Essen and Sarabande. This humble noble gentleman sure knows his music. This amount of talent doesn’t appear often. In a Beethoven, a Mozart, a Chopin and a Lord, there is no doubt that Mr Lords’ music will be around 200 years from new looked upon with the same eyes as the music of Mozart and Beethoven.

Bo Olsson, Sweden

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