Jon Lord is working on the definitive studio recording of Concerto for Group and Orchestra, originally composed and first performed in 1969. The Concerto was recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969 (album release shown here) and again in 1999, but has never been recorded in a studio environment.
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Paul Mann are confirmed for the new recording which will be completed later this year.
Updating the score
Jon has had plenty of opportunities to listen to and adjust the Concerto score.
– Over these last years since leaving Deep Purple, I’ve played it over 30 times with different orchestras and conductors all over the world, and, of course, in 2000 I did it well over 30 times with Purple on the Concerto Tour, so I’ve been honing the piece live on stage, and I’ve had the opportunity to change things in the score that weren’t sounding quite right. It is therefore a marvellous and exciting prospect to have the definitive recording of the definitive version of the score.
Liverpool Philharmonic and Paul Mann
– I’m thrilled to have the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on board. I have immensely enjoyed working with them on several occasions since recording Durham Concerto with them in 2007. They are a wonderful group of players, and with Paul Mann conducting – a dear friend and a man who knows the score inside out – there couldn’t be a better conductor and orchestra for this studio recording of the Concerto, says Jon.
Contrary to ill-informed rumours on other websites, no other Deep Purple members – current or former – are involved in the recording.
The musicians who are involved will be announced in due course.
Jon Lord photo: Kasia Łaska
5 thoughts on “Jon Lord plans studio recording of Concerto for Group and Orchestra”
I still like the 1969 version most. Maybe because i know it very long, but it’s also because of Ritchie, Big Ian and the nervosity you can feel inside band and orchestra.The nervosity allway thrilled me….
So it would be intersting to hear a new “Purple Mark II” version. But this won’t happen.
So I hope that phenomenal Mark Zyk (Demon’s Eye), who played in Potsdam, Munich and Liverpool as well as Doogie White as singer will perform. Second choice: Miller Anderson.
To be honest, I don’t really like the way Steve Balsamo is singing this. He’s a very good singer, but don’t really fit my taste for the concerto, because he’s not really rockin’.
Mark Zyk is the best performer since 1969 IMHO.
Most important for me is, taht Jon Lord will play on it. Only with Jon it will be original. Paul Mann and the LPO are a great, worthy choice.
But I must admit, that this would be my personal choice. I’m looking forward, who Jon will choose.
This is going to be an amazing xmas present.
thanks again Jon.
my view is that it must be a big bang without the MarkII otherwise it will be some sort of n+1 variation over one thing. On the other hand I fully trust the Lord of Hammond so look forward hearing more details on this project.
After so many performances of this work, Dr. Lord may be “hearing” things of which he was unable to conceive as a relatively “novice” composer in 1969.
The original piecemeal composition process, that the “rehearsal” was little more than a run-through, and the fact that original score was lost may make Lord feel the Concerto is an incomplete project. What we hear in contemporary performances is close–-but not exactly–-the way it was arranged back in the day.
Lord may have some ‘fixes’ in mind, as well as some updates that could make this recorded version a very different animal compared to the original. In addition, the arrangement likely would be more tailored to suit the musicians in mind. Perhaps the ’99 version was too much of a compromise.
Having said all that, I find it difficult to conceive of a version more electric and exciting than that moment back in 1969. Blackmore and Gillan in particular were in some of the greatest form of their career (the emotion in Gillan’s voice and spontenaity of the lyrics made for a truly stunning performance)–-not to mention Ian Paice’s drum solo that would set the foundation of his live work for the next seven or so years. I doubt that a studio version recorded even the following day could have captured all of that.
A new “official” studio recording of the Concerto not involving the original members would have to be a totally new take on this work, and one has to admire Dr. Lord’s confidence and gumption to take that on.
Recording a “definitive” version is a very daring and bold undertaking–something of which I am sure Lord is very aware. He is almost certainly to have already something well in mind. For one thing, we are likely to hear nuances in the score that weren’t captured on the première recording.
The original ’69 performance, despite the magical, electric atmosphere, is an archaic recording in the technical sense (the imbalance in volume must have been a nightmare to mix) and the orchestra was lacking in certain respects.
A studio recording would fix that.
Having Paul Mann and The Liverpool Philharmonic is part of formulating a successful studio album; the other essential part is who’s going to play the group portion. We al know that the revised score and performance is going to be impeccable. The real secret is making it worthwhile! Even though there are many great musicians that Jon Lord could pick and choose from, it would be just awesome to have Blackmore on the guitar again!