Concerto score commentary

Conductor Paul Mann takes you through three examples of the work that went on to recreate and revise the Concerto for its 30th anniversary in 1999. Click on the images to view large size.

The first example is the first page of the draft full score. This shows the reconstruction work at a fairly early stage.  All the markings on this page are mine. In the sixth bar, Marco had transcribed flutes and oboes, but this has been changed to flutes only, and the chords re-voiced. I have also added articulation and dynamic detail.

The opening clarinet tune has articulation added, and the opening string tremolando chord has also been re-voiced.  (A note in the margin says “Str. chord balance”.)  The double basses, originally notated by Marco at the top of the stave, have been lowered by one octave.

There is also a note in the left hand margin “add 3rd tpt”. Marco had only two trumpet parts but it was decided at an early stage to add a third. The tuba was also considered but apparently rejected at this stage, and was added only after the 1999 performances.

There is also a marking “harp?”, an instrument not included in the original 1969 score. It was added to the score and can be heard adding splashes of colour throughout the re-orchestrated version. The word “IDENTS” at the top of the page is to remind me that I need to add bar numbers and rehearsal figures.

Note also the eight horns. Back in 1969, Jon originally scored the work for the usual group of four, but Arnold suggested doubling them. He loved the sound of massed horns, as can he heard in much of his own music, and this somewhat extravagant gesture was carried forward in the reconstruction. We even went so far as to write 8 separate horn parts, rather than 4 doubling ones. Throughout the tour we continued to use 8 horns. Only in the recent studio recording was this finally dropped, and reduced to the standard strength.

The second example shows the first entrance of the band in draft. (Note the full score template we were using. At this stage only Marco had a music notation programme. We were doing everything by hand!)

The woodwind, percussion and string parts in pencil are by Jon, the rest by me. It was often the case that Jon would write in the essential parts and leave me to fill in the rest. Some dynamic and technical detail (bowing for strings, etc.) has also been added. At this stage, the parts for the band are indicated by the barest sketching.

The third example is the final page of the first movement, again from the early draft. The richer, more complex harmonies that Jon later added to the final chords are not yet in place. (Instead of a straight G minor chord, he altered it so that the chord also contained E natural and A, making for some especially crunchy harmonies in the brass parts.)

Extra percussion has been added in the orchestra, with both bass drum and tom toms (played with sticks) added to the timpani (and of course the might of Ian Paice.)

It also shows one of Jon’s most important revisions, at the very end, delaying the entrance of the band, keeping them in reserve to add to the powerful crescendo in the final moments.  (See my note “Delay Band” in the penultimate bar.)

As a joke, I orchestrated the final chord in the strings as an exact copy of the final chord of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations to see if Jon would notice (he did.) and marked “thanks EE” in the final margin as a clue.

The entire score of the Concerto at that stage ran to 300 pages, so if you imagine this was only one draft of the work, it is possible to understand the amount of work that went into the reconstruction even after Marco had done all his work.”

Paul Mann, September 2012

Back to Concerto Work page

8 thoughts on “Concerto score commentary

  1. Would it be an idea to write a full book of, say, 1000 pages where all these details of the process are given? I am very interested in Marco’s view on this (plus an account of his solitary endeavour!), in yours, in Jons, etc. Maybe some interviews with musicians who played in 1969 and compare them with recent contributors.

  2. Any idea if this score is available? So if they put out the Sarabande score in spring, why not the Concerto too?

  3. The Concerto and Sarabande will be published simultaneously in the Spring by Hal Leonard/EMI Music, the first two editions in an extensive programme to publish Jon’s music over the coming years.

  4. Hi Paul,
    that is great to hear. We mailed about that topic a few years ago and you said that you wanted to create a list of subscribers for the score. For whatever reasons it never happened and so I’m glad to get my hands on the score this time and even the Sarabande which I love more than the concerto.

    Kind regards

  5. it seems that a book called “Lord a a man divided” analises a lot of pages from the Concerto score.

  6. Thank you to Mr. Mann for all this, now we can understand how JL composed and how he conceived the DP music ( in a much more complex, classical, academic way than Blackmore).

  7. Does anyone know where to obtain the original 1969 full score? Anywhere where I can purchase a copy?

  8. Hi Shar, it’s been well established that no one knows where it went after the final performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1970. Sadly. /Rasmus

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