Last night saw the premiere of the 50th anniversary performances of Concerto for Group and Orchestra in Quebec, Canada.
Newspaper reviews indicate emotions running high, a mass of musical mastery and a splendid evening had by all. See link to reviews below.
Conductor Paul Mann, usually not a man prone to spiritual encounters, recalls the evening thus:
– I have to say it was a really special evening. The audience was fantastic. They displayed everything from total concentrated silence to ear-splitting demonstrative enthusiasm.
– The Orchester symphonique de Québec, it’s fair to say, played out of their skins – with total commitment and energy – and they obviously love the Concerto. Also, the Paul DesLauriers Band is perfect for this. They belong to the same blues-rock traditions that Purple do, and they managed to play the Purple songs and the Concerto with total authenticity and respect for the originals, but with their own distinctive personality intact. As if to prove the point, they played two of their own songs as well.
Bruce Dickinson was the sole vocalist of the evening, tackling both the Concerto and a set of Lord and Deep Purple classics including When A Blind Man Cries.
– Bruce is always a force of nature. He’s just a fantastic person to be around and it’s a privilege to share a stage with him, says Paul Mann.
Jon Lord was there
– Jon would have loved it all. And I have to say, at the end of the second movement, I held the silence quite a bit longer than usual, and I could have sworn, just at that moment, that he was there.
Concerto for Group and Orchestra
It’s All On You (DesLauriers Band)
She Should Be Mine (DesLauriers Band)
Pictures of Home
When A Blind Man Cries
Smoke On The Water
Smoke On The Water (2nd encore)
Jon Lord’s Concerto for group and orchestra: historical and electrifying – le Soleil review
Symphonic outing with Bruce Dickinson and the OSQ – le Journal de Quebec review
The great celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Concerto – Palais Montcalm website
Tonight, the concert is repeated at Quebec’s Palais Montcalm.
Photos by Pascal Rathe