Filmed in 1969 right at the dawn of the infamous Mark II lineup with Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice, and Ian Gillan, this showcases the ability to fuse Hard Rock with Classical. Further proof that Classical has become the basis for Heavy Metal songwriting and virtuosity, Concerto showcases three orchestral movements composed by Jon lord himself, who began his musical career as a classically trained pianist.
This would be an amazing feat for any band during this time period, for the most part up until this point orchestration was not used on many rock recordings, it had been something more widely used on pop records such as ones by Phil Spector and the Beatles. Fused very well with the bands playing, the orchestra itself seems to be the main attraction.
Although the orchestra was conducted by Malcolm Arnold, the band itself seems to be taking the cues from Lord, who precisely guides the band's performance to his perfection. It is Lord and Blackmore who stand in the forefront this film. Lord Playing discreet classical compositions on the Hammond Organ, which we now see what has laid the foundation for many of his riffs later heard on cuts like "Highway Star." But don't get me wrong, he "rocks" it up pretty well here. Blackmore plays his usual solos against the orchestra backdrop, one interesting thing to note is that he is playing a Gibson ES hollow body through a Vox AC-30 amp, this was his setup right before he switched to his trademark Stratocaster/Marshall setup. That shows you how early in the Mark II lineup we are. Taking a back seat is Ian Gillan who only sings a few verses during the second concerto, most of the time he is seen sitting in the background.
There are no other songs on this besides the concerto itself, and we have to remember that before "Machine Head" and "Who do we Think we Are?" It gives us insight to Lord's ability as a composer. In contrast to 1999's "In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra," there are no special guests, it is just an hour the three concertos. There are lots of shots on the orchestra, a small documentary at the beginning, and interactive multimedia. This might be something that might be more fun to listen to rather than watch for some people. There are points during the performance where only the orchestra is playing. Definitely enjoyable for many, giving insight to the basis of where guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen and bands like Rhapsody got their basis for their compositions/songs. This is where where the conceptual music began.Rating: 7/10
Written by Hashman
Thursday, May 15, 2003