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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the sound of the north
Jon Lord is best known for playing in rock group Deep Purple. For over 30 years from the late 60's to 2001 he straddled the classical and rock music worlds, before deciding to concentrate on classical music.

The Durham Concerto was commissioned by Durham University to mark their 175th anniversary. It had it's premiere in Durham Cathedral in 2007. It shows that...
Published on 3 Feb 2008 by Bernard Davis

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Durham
I was fascinated when I heard this music a few times on Classic FM - I originate from Durham. I felt it had echoes of different composers in it. It is easy listening and tuneful. There is nothing to dislike.
Published on 2 Aug 2010 by wilson


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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the sound of the north, 3 Feb 2008
This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
Jon Lord is best known for playing in rock group Deep Purple. For over 30 years from the late 60's to 2001 he straddled the classical and rock music worlds, before deciding to concentrate on classical music.

The Durham Concerto was commissioned by Durham University to mark their 175th anniversary. It had it's premiere in Durham Cathedral in 2007. It shows that Jon Lord is a cut above most rock musicians who produce classical pieces. He doesn't make things too complicated. He doesn't use too many notes. He lets his music breathe. He also has the good sense to base this work around the talents of a few excellent musicians: cellist Matthew Barley, violinist Ruth Palmer, and most distinctive of all Northumbrian pipe player Kathryn Tickell. He brings their playing styles into the music.

He creates a musical language that evokes both the Northumbrian countryside and Durham Cathedral by bringing together traditional local folk tunes and church music scales. This immediately brings the classic pastoral music of Vaughan Williams to mind. In the lusher passages he is close to Bantock (especially the Celtic Symphony), and in the faster sections there is an inventiveness that is not far from Matthew Arnold, who conducted the first performance of his `Concerto for Group and Orchestra' in 1969.

The work is intended to describe a day in the life of the city of Durham. It is in three parts: Morning, Afternoon and Evening: each with two movements. There is plenty of brilliant playing from the principal musicians, with able accompaniment from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Overall this is a strong work, but it does have one weakness and one missed opportunity. The weakness is that there is too much slow music - four out of the six movements. This makes much of the work sound like an evocation of the Northumbrian countryside rather than of Durham City, no bad thing in itself, but more variety would have made the music even better. The one missed opportunity is a failure to use the principal musicians to their full potential. They are allowed plenty of slow to medium paced solo lines, at which they excel, but Jon Lord doesn't let them burn the house down with some real northern jigging and reeling. Given that Kathryn Tickell is playing this is a real lost opportunity. Instead the fastest sections are left to the rest of the orchestra.

The result is an enjoyable 56 minutes of music, but with a bit more welly it could have been a real stunner.

Buy this if you like: The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams, the music for the Titanic and Lord of the Rings films, the folk-fusion music of groups like Clannad and Iona, or good quality listenable contemporary classical music.

IF YOU LIKE THIS - check out the Jon Lord EMI Classics release of his Piano Concerto 'Boom of the Tingling Strings' and String Orchestra Work 'Disguises' - If anything it is an even better disc than this one!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen more than once, 21 Mar 2008
By 
Karen (Portsmouth, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
I bought this recording because my son, a student at Durham, was in the cathedral for the first live performance and rated it highly. I was a Deep Purple fan in my youth, too! The first time I listened to the concerto all the way through I was left feeling slightly 'flat', as other reviewers have commented, but I have listened to it quite a few times now and love it more and more. I was going to say that 'From Prebends Bridge' is my favourite movement but I went and checked the CD and decided I'd be hard pushed to chose one track above the others. Listen to them all - more than once - and see what you think!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Durham Concerto, 14 Jun 2009
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Yorkie (Yorkshire / England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
An evocative and exciting picture in sound of the ancient city of Durham which mirrors both its historic past and academic and lively present. Jon Lord has blended a wide selection of instruments, from a traditional orchestra to Northumbrian pipes (in the skilfull hands of Kathryn Tickell)to produce a fitting tribute to this beautiful city. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Durham Concerto (Jon Lord), 15 May 2009
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Bo Olsson (Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
Wow, what more can I say. One of the best concertos since Beethoven's days. It's beautiful and powerful and I just can't stop listening to it. This has quickly become one of my favourites along with Beethoven Violin concerto. It's just that good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 18 July 2009
This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
This is a wonderfully evocative piece of music which captures the spirit and history of Durham City. "Bonnie At Morn" played on Northumbrian pipes adds to the beauty and pathos of this wonderful piece of music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jon Lord - rock on Jon, 22 Jan 2010
This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
I used to be fan of Deep Purple in my younger days and could not believe that it was the same Jon Lord who has written Durham Concerto. The man is a genius and a true musician. I first heard it on Classic F.M. and the haunting sound of the North Umbrian pipes was enough to know I had to hear more. It is a wonderful concerto full of musical styles and surprises. The more I listen to it the more I want to hear it again. It is a "must buy".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most pleasant music of our Time, 20 Mar 2010
This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
I have had the opportunity to listen to "Durham Concerto" several times whilst driving listening to through the car stereo.. Each time I was able to hear the subtleties and nuances that make listening to good music so pleasurable. I heard what I thought was MGM, as it were in some parts and even Bartok in the fifth movement, particularly the Concerto for Orchestra. I enjoyed the pastoral feel of the slower movements with the Northumbrian pipes, which given the dedication to Durham, also celebrated the North East. May be because of its Englishness I was looking to hear other signatures from other English composers. The thing is that this "Concerto" stands in its own right.

I loved the way the way the clarinets in the Orchestra pre-empted the Gaudeamus Igitur in the fifth movement. Splendid stuff. All in all I enjoyed this piece of music immensely. It would be great if it would form part of some Orchestra's repertoire. I guess the risk is that because of the length of the piece it would probably need to be the major part of any programme and, of course, the subsequent willingness of audiences to pay to listen to some thing that was relatively new.

I played the CD on a Bose system at home and I heard things that couldn't be picked up on the car stereo. This enhanced my experience and pleasure. The ultimate test, of course, in any music played at home is whether my lovely wife gives her seal of approval. I am glad to say that she did and Jon Lord will now become part of the home repertoire.

Having read some of the reviews on Amazon I was disappointed with those that didn't score the work highly. There was an expectation that there should have been more tempo; faster music, so to speak.. I disagree and, although the second and fifth movements were relatively lively, the comments made, I think, fail to understand the ethos of the Durham Concerto and nuances and subtleties already mentioned.

This is an accomplished piece of music and thoroughly enjoyable. I liked it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jon Lord - a worthy modern classical composer, 9 April 2011
By 
PJ Preston "ppreston21" (Hythe, Hants, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
One listen to Durham Concerto and I was hooked! Lovely, lovely music, especially the movement with the Northumbrian pipes which I can honestly say is very moving and haunting. If you've been to Durham, it will probably bring back memories of your visit, and make you want to go back!

Stunning music and very highly recommended!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Majestic music, 15 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
This, as others have pointed out, tends to grow on you; the slow tempo in many sections is offset by the richness of the score, and while KT on the pipes could have featured a little more in terms of content and variety, this is GOOD music. I bought the Concerto for Group and Orchestra when it first came out and felt that JL was trying too hard to contrast and reconcile two different traditions, which made it a bit hit n' miss; here he really comes into his own particular territory and there is much to like here.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Rock Star to Classical Star, 7 Feb 2008
By 
Kiliwia1234 (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Durham Concerto (Audio CD)
Jon Lord (formerly Deep Purple) has successfully turned from a rock star to a classical star.

I have always been a fan of Deep Purple and was a bit sceptical about rock /pop stars going into classical music (e.g. Paul McCartney) but Durham Concerto has changed my mind on that.

It's beautiful melody captures the listener's minds and draws them into a smoothing, comforting and tranquil world. My favourite track on the album is Rags & Galas with its upbeat rhythm and wonderous accompaniment.

This album is not just for those with a classical ear but those who enjoy music in all its form.
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