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Deep Purple - Concerto For Group And Orchestra CD (album) cover

CONCERTO FOR GROUP AND ORCHESTRA

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

4.21 | 37 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I could confess right away: this is the first Deep Purple product I have borrowed. DP is one of those bands anyone have always 'known', even if the knowledge is limited to few songs as in my case. How, then, did I get suddenly interested to get a closer picture of this band? Well, it was hearing the distantly familiar 'Child in Time' on the Blackmore's Night concert DVD. I'm now waiting to get the "30" compilation, but before that I borrowed this unusual concert at the Royal Albert Hall, 24th Sept 1969.

It's one of those unions of a rock group and a symphony orchestra that many bands did in the late 60's and early 70's: Moody Blues, BJH, Procol Harum, Renaissance and Camel to name a few. But here things are taken further: it's not a concert of the band's existing material performed with an orchestra, but an original composition (by Jon Lord) to bring together the two different worlds of music. I approached it and now review it primarily as such, not trying to estimate it as a part of the Deep Purple output.

The concerto - about 50 minutes long - has three movements. During the first one I was quite sceptical. The orchestral parts and the rock group parts felt like oil and water. Whenever DP started to play, they played at full steam and the conductor Malcolm Arnold (who BTW is a serious composer too) could only stand still. And when the orchestra played, it was easy to erase the 'rock' side of the event from my mind. It was just OK as contemporary concert music.

The second movement changed my opinion for the better. Here these two elements intertwine in harmony, and the vocal part of Ian Gillan is great. I like his strong voice. The bluesy part played by the band is good too. Every now and then the orchestra's backing still has difficulties not to be buried under the rock group. The third movement was also clearly better than the first, but not as fine as the second one. Blackmore's guitar and Paice's drums get their own moments. As a whole, Gillan could have been given more space in my opinion. But not bad a composition at all. It was an Event, and the Hall was full of both young rock fans and middle-aged concert goers.The picture quality of this DVD is not very good (it was only the sixties, what could you expect?).

Matti | 3/5 |

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