‘Completely and utterly happy’: Late Jon Lord discusses long-awaited Concerto album in new film

The late Jon Lord’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra will be updated with a very limited expanded version on December 3, 2013. It’s another chance to gain insight into a project that became the co-founding Deep Purple organist’s life work.

Already released in CD and CD/DVD formats, this new edition of Concerto also includes an 80-page booklet with rare pictures to go with the music and a documentary on the making of the studio recording, which took Lord literally decades to complete.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: Jon Lord’s legendarily unfinished 'Concerto for Group and Orchestra' finally achieves everything he'd hoped for, and just in time - as the prog legend succumbs to cancer.]

His concerto had been regularly performed most recently during Deep Purple’s 2000-01 tour, but it actually dates all the way back to 1969 — and had been presented some 100 times before Lord convened with Liverpool’s Philharmonic and conductor Paul Mann to craft this new version of the three-movement piece at Abbey Road Studios.

But Lord, a key element of Deep Purple’s sound and co-author of the band’s signature song “Smoke on the Water,” died in July at 71 after a battle with pancreatic cancer — just months before the album could be released.

The DVD interviews show, however, that Lord passed knowing he had — at long last — seen his dream for the concerto made real.

“Completely and utterly happy,” Lord says, in a newly released clip from the film. “It was the right team. By absolutely a million miles, it was the right orchestra, the right conductors, the right drummer, the right bass player. And a reasonably good organ player, sort of in there doing his bit. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Absolutely marvelous.”

In the new booklet, Lord and Mann offer their own personal history of the recording. Marco de Goeij also discusses his work in reconstructing the long-lost score for the concerto, which involved viewing videos of previous performances and studying old audio recordings.

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