Boom of the Tingling Strings CD
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Digital Booklet: Boom of the Tingling Strings
Digital Booklet: Boom of the Tingling Strings
EMI Classics are pleased to release two symphonic works by Jon Lord, better known as a founder member of one of the all-time great rock groups, Deep Purple. Lord's new Piano Concerto, 'Boom of the Tingling Strings,' is performed by Nelson Goerner with the Odense Symfoniorkester under conductor Paul Mann, the concerto's dedicatee. Lord's Suite for String Orchestra, entitled 'Disguises,' completes the programme.
Parallel to his rock career, Jon Lord has composed music for orchestra for nearly forty years. Sometimes described as 'classical cross-over,' Lord's compositions reflect his many musical enthusiasms, which, in addition to orchestral music and rock, include jazz and folk music. While still a member of the 'band,' Lord's Concerto for Group and Orchestra was recorded by Deep Purple with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Malcolm Arnold, selling hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. Since leaving the re-formed Deep Purple in 2002, Jon has focused his attention on composing. EMI have previously released a number of his works to critical acclaim, including Pictured Within and Beyond the Notes.
Describing the genesis of his Piano Concerto, Jon Lord said, "Since I started to write music for the orchestra, somewhere in my thoughts had been the urge to write a piano concerto. Not so much in the traditional ... sense of a concerto ... but more as a vehicle to express my love for the piano, which I began playing aged six. ... (The concerto) would not be for me to play ... but for concert pianists ... for whom I have unbounded respect and admiration. ... I also wanted to celebrate my lifelong love affair with the orchestra, which seems to me perhaps the greatest of 'instruments' ... and to marry these two loves of mine in music that would sing from my heart to the heart of this wonderful union that is a concerto. ... After a few aborted attempts to begin writing while touring the world with a rock band, in 1998 I came across a poem by D.H. Lawrence called simply Piano, and its effect on me was immediate and profound. The 'I' of the poem seemed to be me. I recognised the childhood that Lawrence described, for it seemed to mirror my own, and the idea of using his images to paint pictures from my own experiences was a persuasive one. ... I immediately began to jot down ideas. The experience was made more resonant for me by that marvellous phrase "the boom of the tingling strings" and I decided then and there, that would be the title."
Former EMI Debut series artist Nelson Goerner, "a player of exalted poetic verve" (Gramophone), is the soloist in Boom of the Tingling Strings. He rises admirably to the technical challenges of the work, particularly the fiendishly difficult last movement and, at the recording sessions, he moved the composer to tears with his deftness of touch and musical sensitivity.
Disguises is a suite in three movements, each a portrait of someone who has inspired the composer. Lord originally conceived the work for string quartet but later expanded it for string orchestra. The first movement, M.A.s.q.u.e., is a portrait of Sir Malcolm Arnold, a seminal influence on Jon Lord's musical life. The second, MUSIC for MIRIAM, is a portrait of the composer's late mother. The final movement, IL BUFFONE (G.C.) is for an old friend, a big bustling man who brings Lord 'occasional benign madness and hilarity when I most need it, but whose joviality can disguise a certain wistfulness.' When Disguises was completed in 2006, Jon Lord decided to dedicate it to Sir Malcolm Arnold, and received word that the great English composer, delighted to be the dedicatee, looked forward to hearing the work. Sadly, Sir Malcolm never heard it as he died four days later.
Top customer reviews
A word about the track listing of the CD. Whoever put the tracks in for Amazon has made a bit of a mess. Boom of the Tingling Strings is a four movement work, followed by the three movements of Disguises.
Boom of the Tingling Strings is not a conventional Piano Concerto, neither is it a piano symphony. Jon Lord describes it as being born out of his appreciation of the piano, and that as he was writing it he found himself tracing the path of his own life in it as well. It comes across as an attractive work in an approachable style. Or rather collection of styles. There is a good helping of English 20th Century pastoral music in here, as well as modern cinematic classical style, jazz, a generous cascades of notes on the piano, and a fair amount more as well.
The first movement begins quietly, with occasional chimes where we would expect to find the first notes on the piano. Finally after 6 minutes the piano joins in ushering a beautiful late 19th century Russian ballet style finale to the movement. If Jon Lord had been content to continue to develop the music introduced so far we would be presented with something like the music we have been waiting for from Mike Oldfield ever since the original Tubular Bells. But Lord has plenty more ideas to add to the pot. In the second movement a Debussy-like flute converses with jazzy elements that include a bar room piano and a bach-gone-blues bassline. The mood of the third movement is set with a classic English theme on the woodwind that is joined by gently cascading arcs of piano notes. The tranquillity is shattered by a percussive burst at the start of the final, fourth movement. Suddenly everything is movement and energy. Piano, xylophone and those chimes from the first movement sound at the same time. After nine minutes there is a movement of quiet before the music builds towards the finale. The entire orchestra has its say including the brass singing out a fanfare and the work ends satisfyingly and triumphantly.
Disguises is a three movement work for string orchestra. Each movement is the portrait of someone. Of the composer Malcolm Arnold, of Jon Lord's late mother Miriam, and of the third describes an old larger than life friend who remains anonymous. The whole work is dedicated to Malcolm Arnold who encouraged Jon Lord for many years before his death in 2006.
The first movement is a classic string orchestra movement of considerable emotional complexity, like the man it describes. The second movement is the most beautiful thing I have heard from Jon Lord - a high register solo violin takes centre stage, accompanied by the other strings, as if this were the central slow movement in a violin concerto. The mood is wistful, and full of love. It brings to mind Vaughan Williams and Arnold Bax. The final movement is episodic with alternating lively and quiet passages and shows Jon Lord's skill to the full. But then so does everything in this work from start to finish. It is a long work of its kind: 35 minutes long. Jon Lord shows complete command of string orchestra writing. I really think it is one of the finest large scale string orchestra works from Britain in the last 100 years. It can stand comparison with the music of Vaughan Williams, Walton and Arnold amongst others
So, to sum up: a CD of the highest quality. The playing and recording are excellent. On this form Jon Lord is no crossover artist. Especially with Disguises he shows himself to be a first rate composer full stop.
Jon Lord, who died to soon! would have made many classical recordings,,,Jon Lord is way up there with the great British composers of the past!
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