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The Highway Star

Pär Holmgren
Andree Schneider (German)
Andreas Thul
Daniel Bengtsson
Axel Dauer
Stathis N. Panagiotopoulos
Adar Avisar

Official Promo shots
Fan Pictures

I N T E R V I E W - listen
107 Oak FM, January 23 2000

Video, DVD

Wring That Neck
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming

Liner notes by Jon Lord
Roger Glover about the event
Ian Gillan about event and CD

B U Y   I T
CD: December 27 1999 [J]
CD: February 7 2000 [USA]
CD: January 24 2000 [rest of world]
Video: February 21 2000
DVD: February 21 2000
Deep Purple In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra

Liner notes by Jon Lord

Back in early 1969, Dr. Malcolm Arnold, as he was then, with a broad smile and a deceptively casual glance at the 10 few pages of my fledgling score, "Oh yes - that'll work just fine". agreed to conduct it, and changed my life. He then laboured mightily in the fields of a rather uncooperative and admittedly under-rehearsed orchestra, and harvested a performance of enormous fun and vitality, that surprised a lot of people (including, I think, the members of Deep Purple); a performance that flew in the face of the accepted wisdom of the time about a group "meddling" with an orchestra, and one that amazingly succeeded in reaching the last bar in triumphant unison. Sir Malcolm Arnold (as he is now) has kindly agreed that I may dedicate the newly minted score of the Concerto to him, which I do with love and admiration. May God bless him and warm the cockles of his generous heart.

Marco de Goeij, a young Dutch composer, came to see me in Rotterdam before a Deep Purple concert and told me that, as the score of my concerto was lost, (something which had been causing me great distress over the previous few years, as I had been asked many times if it was available for performance) and appeared never likely to be found, he had decided to recreate it by listening to the recording and watching the video. Over and over and over again. A task of mind-bending complexity, dexterity and musicality, which then only left me the far simpler job of filling in what he had been unable to decipher, recreating what I could remember of my original orchestration, and in part, as those of you who know the work will hear re-composing where 1 felt it needed it. Still a daunting task with long hours of work, but one made indescribably more approachable by his tireless brilliance. You are listening to the concerto again by courtesy of his astonishing act of dedication.

Paul Mann our conductor, is another chap without whom we'd still be talking about it, not doing it. Over the course of the last few years I've had many phone calls and messages from Paul, informing me of his search for the lost manuscript, and his desire to conduct the concerto one day. We despaired of ever being able to do the piece again until I told him of Marco de Goeij and his amazing technicolour dream-score. He leapt into the fray and spent many hours over several weeks helping me pour over the stream of notes which were cascading out of Holland, cutting up bits of manuscript paper and sight reading great bleeding chunks of full score on my piano so I could say a faint "yea" or "nay", and then on we'd strive. Back and forth over the North Sea the stuff went like some symphonic ferry, until finally, at the proof reading stage, his eagle eye was still finding hidden wrong notes and errant accidentals. Great stuff - exhausting but incredibly exciting, and again, I'm indebted beyond price.

Now then ...

"Attempting to talk about a piece of music you have just written is difficult. There is no retrospect. So, without the benefits of hindsight, I will try to put into words what I hope will be apparent in the music."

Thus wrote I, bravely - among adverts for "Cash Dispensers situated in 19 towns in Scotland and one in London (?!)" and for the first showing in the UK of "Easy Rider": best wishes from a manufacturer of "HouseGloves & Throwaway Panties" and The Young Conservatives, (separated. of course, by a decorous few pages) and a lucky draw offering prizes of "A Pye Television Set" and "four 4-guinea vouchers" (that's 1.05p to you mate) - in the programme sold at The Albert Hall on the 24th of September 1969, when I was about to hear The Concerto for Group & Orchestra performed in front of an audience for the very first time.

Hindsight is, of course, a valuable commodity: however in understandably biased eyes it can be unfocused, and my view of that "piece of music" might be thought a touch myopic when it comes to seeing it - my baby - in any but the warmest of rose-tinted glows.

1 am very proud and very fond of The Concerto for Group and Orchestra - my first fully scored orchestral piece, but I'm not going to bombard you with 30 years of accumulated wisdom, defensiveness and justification. No - I will leave it to that strange young fellow of 30 years ago, with the rather odd clothes, to describe to you what it was he thought you were about to hear... if you see what I mean.

"The problem of putting together two widely different fields of music, 'classical' and 'beat' music (to label but a few) has interested me for a long time. In fact, doing away with 'labels' altogether has interested me for a long time.

The idea is, then, simply to present, in the First Movement, the group and the orchestra as you would expect to hear them as antagonists, and in the Second and Third Movements, as unexpected allies."

That is what I wrote then. That is what I meant then and it seems just fine to say it again now. I still believe, and always will, to the depths and heights of my soul, that music, shorn of labels and standing alone, when it is conceived, composed and performed with love and integrity, can elevate us all. Onwards and upwards, eh?

Jon Lord
Taken from the CD booklet.

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