Deep Purple’s 1969 live release “Concerto For Group And Orchestra” is one of the earliest examples of rock music being played by a full orchestra.
Keyboardist Jon Lord composed the music for that album, and he revisited it shortly before his passing on July 16. The updated version was recorded with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with guest contributions by Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa and Lord’s former Deep Purple bandmate Steve Morse.
The new version, also titled “Concerto For Group And Orchestra,” will be released on Sept. 25. Lord, a founding member of Deep Purple who retired from the band in 2002, said this about the album: “Over these last years since leaving Deep Purple, I’ve played it over 30 times with different orchestras and conductors all over the world, and, of course, in 2000 I did it well over 30 times with Purple on the ‘Concerto’ tour, so I’ve been honing the piece live on stage, and I’ve had the opportunity to change things in the score that weren’t sounding quite right. It is therefore a marvellous and exciting prospect to have the definitive recording of the definitive version of the score.”
The scheduled release date had always been September, and Lord’s family decided to release the album as planned, even after he passed.
Lord did listen to, and approve, the final mixes a few weeks before his death.
– Brian Ives, CBS Local