Lord: Boom of the Tingling Strings

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COMPOSERS: Lord
LABELS: EMI
ALBUM TITLE: Lord
WORKS: Boom of the Tingling Strings
PERFORMER: Nelson Goerner (piano); Odense SO/Paul Mann
CATALOGUE NO: 390 5282

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As crossover composers go, Jon Lord’s recent work has shown him making a better job of it than most. His early classical training and his association with Malcolm Arnold, which dates from his earliest venture into orchestral composition in 1969, are both significant here. As a young pianist he grew up admiring Bach, as you do, but he also clearly bears the influence of Arnold’s wonderfully puckish approach to orchestration as well as his capricious yet highly assured mastery of popular forms. Lord has probably made a rod for his own back with his extraordinary Durham Concerto (the Avie recording is an essential purchase), but this near-concerto for piano, coupled with an equally attractive suite for strings (appropriately dedicated to Arnold, as it happens) is very nearly as good both musically and sonically, reinforcing Lord’s position as one of the very few rockers-turned-classicists who actually knows what he’s doing. Roger Thomas