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A SYMPHONIC MASTERPIECE
on 11 May 2009
This is certainly one of the greatest live concert DVDs - certainly it represents the pinnacle of symbiosis between a rock band and an orchestra.
Procol Harum first performed with an orchestra in Stratford in Canada in the late 60s, with nearly 20 such collaborations in the intervening years in LA, across Europe and in the UK with the RPO, LSO and the Halle. But this outdoor concert from 2006 is perfection. It is shown here in its entireity, having been edited for an hour long telecast for Christmas Day viewing on Danish TV. The visuals are perfectly directed, the sound is superb, the playing & singing, (by band, orchestra and choir) spirited and perfect. This group have had a number of big hits, notably A Whiter Shade of Pale & Conquistador. Here I foresee a renaissance for numbers such as Whaling Stories, Fires and Symphathy (sic) for the Hard of Hearing, a WW2 song which builds superbly.
Highly recommended. It will be interesting to see if this concert stimulates interest for further orchestral performances in the UK and US in the coming years.
There is also a six track bonus from a Danish recording in 1974 - more rough and ready, but wonderful deja vu for followers of Procol Harum, particularly seeing drummer B J Wilson in all his glory.