Click to enlarge
The score for Boom of the Tingling Strings
Jon at Brisbane rehearsals
Jon and Michael Kieran Harvey rehearsing Boom...
to Drew Thompson
City Hall, Brisbane (w/Queensland Orchestra)
Paul Mann writes:
Brisbane went very well - I think we gave the piece a good start in
life. Michael Kieran Harvey took on the hugely demanding solo part
with immense energy and virtuosity, as well as real sensitivity, and
the Queensland Orchestra gave a fabulous performance of what has turned
out to be quite a tricky score with great precision and evident enjoyment.
A documentary camera followed us during the whole process, so I guess
you'll get to see something of what went on at some point.
The press has been mixed, as you probably saw, but that's a fact of
life that you learn to ignore. Critics do seem to have a code of honour
among themselves not to show undue enthusiasm for anything, and neither
review mentioned that there was a standing ovation in the hall when
Jon walked onstage after the performance - not from a hall full of
Deep Purple fans, but from a classical audience which had been thrilled
and moved by what it had heard.
I felt privileged to have brought the piece into the world. It was
a great occasion, and I really enjoyed partnering Jon's piece with
some of his favourite works of English music. Jon himself was really
happy with it all, and that's what counts the most for me. So now
we look forward to the European premiere, with the Luxembourg Philharmonic,
again with Michael Kieran Harvey, on May 31st.
I am now recording in Melbourne, before heading out to Perth on Sunday
to rejoin Jon for the two concerto performances next weekend.
The show at Brisbane's City Hall was a complete change of scene to
the one at Coolum as Jon's new piece Boom of the Tingling Strings
was performed by the Queensland Orchestra, conducted by Paul 'I need
some sleep' Mann.
The piano part was brilliantly played by Australian supremo Michael
Kieran Harvey. The reviewer says it all (see below), but I
must disagree with as to questioning the point of the piece. Now I
am far from being a classical buff,but I would suggest this guy has
one too many plumbs stuck in his mouth as if like me and my companions,
he was not moved by this brilliant piece then maybe a career change
is in order. The 'point' of Boom... was clearly spelt out in the evenings
program so he either didn't read it or I wasn't there!
Anyhow, it was a great evening attended by all of Jon's family including
his wife Vicki and his two daughters Sarah and Amy, who were suitably
impressed with their husband and fathers' musical prowess.
Lord concerto premièred in Brisbane
February 19 2003
A new piano concerto by Jon Lord, the renowned keyboard player of
the rock group Deep Purple, has premièred this weekend in Brisbane.
The four continuous movements of Jon Lord's concerto, Boom of the
Tingling Strings, last over 35 minutes. They spring from Lord's identification
with the narrator in D. H. Lawrence's 1918 poem Piano, its nostalgia
for the simple pleasures of English provincial life, fast disappearing.
To some degree, Jon Lord's own post-WW2 childhood in working-class
Leicester echoes this Lawrence world. Re-imagining hymn tunes, brass
band music, pubescent love-songs and piano-bar doodlings, Lord provides
glimpses into his memory and soul, without resorting to quotations
Ultimately, though, in this flood of remembrance', Lord doesn't
emulate Lawrence and weep like a child for the past'. Rather,
he asserts a positive hope in an uncertain future. In the perpetuum
mobile' of the dazzling 12-minute finale, soloist Michael Kieran Harvey
unleashed torrents of octaves and mini-cadenzas which dispelled any
whiff of self-indulgent nostalgia.
At this première performance in the Brisbane City Hall, The
Queensland Orchestra was conducted by British maestro Paul Mann. Now
something of a Lord-specialist, Mann appeared in Brisbane a year ago,
directing an historic performance of Lord's Concerto for Rock Group
and Orchestra, the 1969 piece premièred by Deep Purple and
the Royal Philharmonic.
In Brisbane, the rock group parts were taken by the young local rock
sensation george, formed in 1996 as a five-member jazz/rock group
for a university band competition by siblings Katie and Tyrone Guthrie.
Both have strong classical credentials, as former students at the
Queensland Conservatorium and children of opera singer Helen Noonan.
Following the extraordinary success of last year's Brisbane performance,
george has performed Lord's Concerto at three sold-out performances
at the recent Sydney Festival with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted
by Simon Kenway. On March 1 and 2 they will be re-joined by Paul Mann
for two open-air performances in Kings Park by the West Australian
Symphony Orchestra in Perth.
Jon Lord has been in Australia for several weeks, taking in performances
of his music and appearing with a small ensemble on a regional tour.
When he heard a tape of the Brisbane performance of his Concerto a
year ago, he was knocked out. They did all sorts of things I
didn't expect,' he says. To hear it done in such a wonderful,
spot-on style by george, who are much more suave than Deep Purple,
was simply wonderful.'
Delighted even more by the reception to his new piano concerto, and
with talk of recordings and further performances already in the wind,
Jon Lord is gearing up for the latest stage in his burgeoning career
as a classical composer a kind of cross-over in reverse.
By Vincent Plush © Grammophone Online Australia
to Pete Schuptar ICC the publisher