This page last updated March 4, 2003

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The score for Boom of the Tingling Strings

Jon at Brisbane rehearsals

Jon and Michael Kieran Harvey rehearsing Boom...

Thanks to Drew Thompson

February 15th 2003
City Hall, Brisbane (w/Queensland Orchestra)

Conductor Paul Mann writes:
Brisbane went very well - I think we gave the piece a good start in life. Michael Kieran Harvey took on the hugely demanding solo part with immense energy and virtuosity, as well as real sensitivity, and the Queensland Orchestra gave a fabulous performance of what has turned out to be quite a tricky score with great precision and evident enjoyment.
A documentary camera followed us during the whole process, so I guess you'll get to see something of what went on at some point.
The press has been mixed, as you probably saw, but that's a fact of life that you learn to ignore. Critics do seem to have a code of honour among themselves not to show undue enthusiasm for anything, and neither review mentioned that there was a standing ovation in the hall when Jon walked onstage after the performance - not from a hall full of Deep Purple fans, but from a classical audience which had been thrilled and moved by what it had heard.
I felt privileged to have brought the piece into the world. It was a great occasion, and I really enjoyed partnering Jon's piece with some of his favourite works of English music. Jon himself was really happy with it all, and that's what counts the most for me. So now we look forward to the European premiere, with the Luxembourg Philharmonic, again with Michael Kieran Harvey, on May 31st.
I am now recording in Melbourne, before heading out to Perth on Sunday to rejoin Jon for the two concerto performances next weekend.
All the best

Pete Schuptar writes:
The show at Brisbane's City Hall was a complete change of scene to the one at Coolum as Jon's new piece Boom of the Tingling Strings was performed by the Queensland Orchestra, conducted by Paul 'I need some sleep' Mann.
The piano part was brilliantly played by Australian supremo Michael Kieran Harvey. The reviewer says it all (see below), but I must disagree with as to questioning the point of the piece. Now I am far from being a classical buff,but I would suggest this guy has one too many plumbs stuck in his mouth as if like me and my companions, he was not moved by this brilliant piece then maybe a career change is in order. The 'point' of Boom... was clearly spelt out in the evenings program so he either didn't read it or I wasn't there!
Anyhow, it was a great evening attended by all of Jon's family including his wife Vicki and his two daughters Sarah and Amy, who were suitably impressed with their husband and fathers' musical prowess.

Jon Lord concerto premièred in Brisbane
February 19 2003

A new piano concerto by Jon Lord, the renowned keyboard player of the rock group Deep Purple, has premièred this weekend in Brisbane.
The four continuous movements of Jon Lord's concerto, Boom of the Tingling Strings, last over 35 minutes. They spring from Lord's identification with the narrator in D. H. Lawrence's 1918 poem Piano, its nostalgia for the simple pleasures of English provincial life, fast disappearing.
To some degree, Jon Lord's own post-WW2 childhood in working-class Leicester echoes this Lawrence world. Re-imagining hymn tunes, brass band music, pubescent love-songs and piano-bar doodlings, Lord provides glimpses into his memory and soul, without resorting to quotations or anecdotes.
Ultimately, though, in this ‘flood of remembrance', Lord doesn't emulate Lawrence and ‘weep like a child for the past'. Rather, he asserts a positive hope in an uncertain future. In the ‘perpetuum mobile' of the dazzling 12-minute finale, soloist Michael Kieran Harvey unleashed torrents of octaves and mini-cadenzas which dispelled any whiff of self-indulgent nostalgia.
At this première performance in the Brisbane City Hall, The Queensland Orchestra was conducted by British maestro Paul Mann. Now something of a Lord-specialist, Mann appeared in Brisbane a year ago, directing an historic performance of Lord's Concerto for Rock Group and Orchestra, the 1969 piece premièred by Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic.
In Brisbane, the rock group parts were taken by the young local rock sensation george, formed in 1996 as a five-member jazz/rock group for a university band competition by siblings Katie and Tyrone Guthrie. Both have strong classical credentials, as former students at the Queensland Conservatorium and children of opera singer Helen Noonan.
Following the extraordinary success of last year's Brisbane performance, george has performed Lord's Concerto at three sold-out performances at the recent Sydney Festival with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simon Kenway. On March 1 and 2 they will be re-joined by Paul Mann for two open-air performances in Kings Park by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth.
Jon Lord has been in Australia for several weeks, taking in performances of his music and appearing with a small ensemble on a regional tour. When he heard a tape of the Brisbane performance of his Concerto a year ago, he was ‘knocked out. They did all sorts of things I didn't expect,' he says. ‘To hear it done in such a wonderful, spot-on style by george, who are much more suave than Deep Purple, was simply wonderful.'
Delighted even more by the reception to his new piano concerto, and with talk of recordings and further performances already in the wind, Jon Lord is gearing up for the latest stage in his burgeoning career as a classical composer – a kind of cross-over in reverse.
By Vincent Plush © Grammophone Online Australia

Thanks to Pete Schuptar ICC the publisher

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