Review: From darkness, a light of hope

Jon’s From Darkness to Light at Nürnberg‘s Meistersingerhalle, Germany on Nov 13 2011.

Review by Rasmus Heide

A gorgeous, contemplative 25-minute prayer piece for choir, piano and strings, From Darkness To Light engulfs the mature crowd of concert goers at Nürnberg’s Meistersingerhalle on Sunday night.

2011 has been a stunning year for Jon; several Blues Project shows; a stack of Concerto concerts in Europe and Russia; a victorious Sunflower Jam at London’s Royal Albert Hall (complete with fierce bluesrock jam with Joe Bonamassa, a buoyant Bourree, the deeply personal beauty of Pictured Within and much more); and most recently a preciously delicate presentation of To Notice Such Things at a small rural church in Sussex…

This vast display of musical brilliance is broadened even further tonight in Nürnberg as he adds a choir piece to his resume. This unreleased music is – again – a new flavour from him, and one that he masters with underplayed excellence.

100 singers
On and evening dedicated to the betterment of the world, infusing the listeners with an urge to pause and ponder our lost opportunities of the past, Karl JenkinsThe Armed Man, A Mass For Peace – complete with accompanying archival war footage – is an overwhelming and unrelenting illustration of the enormous effort humans invest in killing each other.

In stark contrast to this, Jon Lord’s piece opens the evening as a tribute to – and wish for – optimism.

Performed to musical perfection by the Lehrersingerverein Choir and the Nürnberg Symphonic Orchestra under the seasoned direction of Bernd Dietrich, solo tenor Thomas Fahner at the edge of the stage is competent and aware of fulfilling his role as leading voice in front of the approximately 100 strong choir.

The alert stillness in the audience speaks volumes of the glorious qualities in Jon’s music – its inner peace and the deep reflectiveness it inspires – and at the end, the energy released in a persistent ovation sends warm waves of respect and well wishes in Jon’s direction. (continued under photo)

Spiritual presence
But Jon is not here in person. On top of all the musical brilliance, 2011 has also dealt him a dragon to be slain – cancer – and experiencing this choir piece – which in essence is one long prayer – with that personal battle in mind, underscores Jon’s life reaffirming ability to evoke emotions and display scenery in the minds of his listeners.

Opening with a tingle, growing and swelling with the choir, From Darkness To Light induces thoughtfulness and a strong calm of mind. As the music rises and fades, the choir goes from softly carressing in the background to majestically throwing itself to the fore in a rush of gusto.

Jon’s spiritual presence is vivid. Closing one’s eyes, you can picture him within the music, sat at the grand piano center stage, his right shoulder slightly raised during intense moments, always keeping a watchful eye on the conductor and ear on the music.

From Darkness To Light shines with hope, and – as Jon says in the programme ‘it would be great if the music could move people.’ It certainly did. Thank you, Jon, and we will see you soon.


10 thoughts on “Review: From darkness, a light of hope

  1. Dear Jon,
    thank you for the lovely music and your attempt to make people think about ther deeds. I hope from the bottom of my heart you will recover soon, with warm greetings,
    The Netherlands

  2. Hi Rasmus,
    Obviously a deeply moving experience. Thanks for the review.
    I do hope Jon’s treatment is going well. Love and prayers to the mighty man.

  3. Having heard no messages from Jon, I am very concerned. I hope all is well. My friend, Ronnie, lost his battle with cancer last year. So I become extra concerned when there is no news for an extended period. Jon, my thoughts are with you. -Ann Boleyn-

  4. An unbelievable brilliant review, your music Sir Jon, moves me to tears. It actually kinda bonds me into such deep feelings that listening I drift off and… Unfortunatley i do not have a belief in God, it would help me if I did.
    I thank-you as you through your music allow me to “hold my daughters hand, while she sleeps.” It’s been such a long sleep tho, 13 years now, she died when she was 15 years old. But it’s as if it were yesterday. Words fail me of my Kerry’s loss of life…
    Jon, you fight good. I need you to be there for me, and your family needs you to be there for them, and most of all, you need to be here for yourself. May Angels be with us all to protect us.
    Hoping sooo much your treatment is going well, our Jono!! Awe.
    Love ya Jon. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Dear Jon,

    hope with all my heart you will recover soon!!!

    All, all the best
    Renate from Germany

  6. Jon, having seen you with the Liverpool Philharmonic playing Concerto for Group and Orchestra and other pieces, this review brought back that wonderful experience (Rasmus, thanks for such a moving review). I do hope that this piece gets released at some time (and that it gets played in other venues) so that we can all share this new work. I continue to pray that your treatment is working and that you are staying strong, as there is obviously so much more joy that you can bring to this troubled world. God support you and your family.

  7. It’s good to hear that From Darkness to Light is being performed. I remember when it premiered in 2000 in local church in, I think, Leicester. Jon was still in Deep Purple at that time so it was a thrill to hear about his then new solo work. Unfortunately it hasn’t been recorded in the studio so far. Let’s hope we’ll get to hear it in future.

  8. From Darkness to Light…..
    Your spirit will alway be around us and keep it until we come together one day at the same place where you are just now.
    Thank you for the gifts you gave us. We will keep them in honor, in our hearts and in our soul.

    Lord Bless you, where ever you are right now!

    Mete Altan – Cologne/Germany

  9. Hello Rasmus,
    Has there ever been a recording made (live or studio) of From Darkness To Light?
    It certainly would be wonderful to have an album of this music released.

  10. Hello Jeff, sadly, no studio recording has been made of this excellent piece. There was a German radio broadcast, but this is the best there’s been so far. Thanks, Rasmus

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