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The Highway Star

Info about the Royal Albert Hall and how to get there

DPAS Convention and meeting place

What to do in London

Where to stay and how to get around in London

The Times' review of the first "Concerto..." performance

Video and audio interviews

Marco helped Jon Lord rewrite the "Concerto..." score

Frequently Asked Questions

Article about the "Concerto..." at The Malcolm Arnold Society website

A virtual look around inside an outside the RAH at the BBC website

London Symphony Orchestra website


Bridging the pop gap

"Having just got over its last bean feast [I assume he's referring to the Proms - though the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra played the RAH on 21st September with an evening comprising mainly of the music of Johann Strauss], the Albert Hall last night played host to one of rather a different kind, when the pop group, Deep Purple, joined forces with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Malcolm Arnold for a performance of a Concerto for Group and Orchestra by Deep Purple's "organist and main composer", Jon Lord." [The quotes around "organist and main composer" were in the original review [not added by me] and derived from the band's own publicity.]

"Ever since jazz first gained its footing as reputable art experience, composers of popular music have sought ways of integrating their idiom with that of so-called serious, or classical, music. With depressing regularity they have failed. One thinks of M.J.Q. [Modern Jazz Quartet], Johnny Dankworth, Dave Brubeck; in every case the music has foundered on a fundamental difference of aim and attitude between the two types of expression, even to the point where the classical element debases the spontaneous pop expression with which it is fused."

"In Jon Lord's concerto there was the added barrier that the composer seemed to have no lucid idea of the relationship between contemporary serious music and pop, which can be shown to be as close as, say, between Purcell and Pepusch. Mr. Lord's idea of a concerto is still so rooted in Brahms and Tchaikovsky, spiced with a touch of Vaughan Williams as seen through the Exodus halo, that he never comes close to integrating it with his own quite modern pop idiom."

"Far, far preferable, therefore, were the straight numbers which Deep Purple played before the interval - especially "Hush" and the wistfully hypnotic episodes of "Sweet Child In Time", though this latter is pretentiously long and tends to lose itself in an ear-splitting improvised crescendo."

"The group numbers were preceded by Arnold's own Sixth Symphony, a fluent - somewhat under-composed - work heavily dependent on rhythmic ostinati which may or may not relate to jazz. Arnold, like Jon Lord, is really better at short-scale writing and good tunes."

by Stephen Walsh, The Times, 25th September 1969

transcribed by Nigel Young [I think the reviewer missed the point - it was wonderful and fun and the vast majority of the audience enjoyed it.]

Donor Section

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