WORKS: To Notice Such Things; Evening Song; For Example; Afterwards etc
PERFORMER: Jon Lord (piano), Cormac Henry (flute); Royal Liverpool PO/Clark Rundell
CATALOGUE NO: AV 2190
Ex-Deep Purple keyboard wizard Jon Lord was a close friend of barrister, novelist and raconteur John Mortimer, guesting many times in Mortimer’s celebrated one-man-show appearances. Music written for Mortimer’s Miscellany has now germinated into To Notice Such Things, a six-movement suite for flute, piano and strings, commemorating Mortimer’s life and character.
There is, predictably, plenty of variety, the quiet pastoralism of Turville Heath (Mortimer’s home in The Chilterns) contrasting sharply with the crisp, intellectually nimble pizzicatos of At Court, whose busily fluttering flute line traces Mortimer’s famous brilliancy of wit and repartee. There is poignancy too, in Winter of a Dormouse, the flute searchingly melancholic, then plaintively impassioned, as the ageing Sir John declines into infirmity.
Lord’s writing is consistently warm and melodically strong, and while the music is more loosely impressionistic and illustrative than symphonic in structure, it easily and touchingly sustains listener interest in its half-hour duration. The fillers are less distinctive in profile, though again expressively lyrical, and very sympathetically delivered by Clark Rundell and the Liverpool orchestra. Terry Blain