AVIE RECORDS MOURNS THE PASSING OF JON LORD (9 June
1941 – 16 July 2012)
With deep sadness AVIE Records mourns the passing of Jon Lord,
a gentleman and great musician whose two albums for the label,
Durham Concerto (AV 2145) and To Notice Such Things (AV 2190)
are among the most celebrated in the catalogue.
Jon suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism on Monday, 16 July
2012, at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic
cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family.
Jon Lord, the founding keyboard player of prog-rock band Deep
Purple, co-wrote many of the band's legendary songs including
Smoke On The Water. Jon played with many bands and musicians
throughout his career.
Upon retiring from Deep Purple in 2002, Jon returned to his
classical routes, penning numerous works for orchestra, chorus,
chamber ensemble and solo piano. In 2007 he was commissioned
by Durham University to compose a work as part of the university's
175th anniversary celebrations. The resulting Durham Concerto
is an epic three-part, six-movement work inspired by local references
to the ancient city and celebrated sites such as the Palace
Green and Durham Cathedral. Scored for large orchestra it features
an array of solo opportunities for violin, cello, Northumbrian
pipes and - Jon's speciality - Hammond organ. Durham Concerto
was premiered by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
who later recorded the work for AVIE. Released in 2008, the
album was the highest new entry in Classic FM's 2009 Hall of
To Notice Such Things followed in 2010. The six-movement suite
for solo flute, piano and string orchestra was composed in memory
of Lord's close friend the late Sir John Mortimer, CBE, QC,
creator of Rumpole of the Bailey. Literary references abound,
with the title track taken from the Thomas Hardy poem "Afterwards."
The album is filled out with an instrumental arrangement of
Jon's Evening Song, For Example which evokes one of Jon's favourite
composers Edvard Grieg, and Air on a Blue String in which Bach
meets the blues. The album ends with actor Jeremy Irons reading
of the poem "Afterwards," accompanied by Jon at the
piano. To Notice Such Things achieved great critical and commercial
success, reaching Number 2 on the UK's Specialist Classical
Chart and named an Editor's Choice by Gramophone Magazine.
Jon is perhaps best known for his orchestral work Concerto
for Group & Orchestra, first performed at the Royal Albert
Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in
1969 and conducted by Malcolm Arnold, a feat repeated in 1999
when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the
London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.
Jon has been recognised for his "considerable skill at
imaginative soundscapes" (Gramophone), while The Times
of London declared, "In the small but growing field of
pop stars who write classical music, Lord is a clear leader."
Courtesy of Avie Records
Links to MusicWeb Reviews
To Notice Such Things
Boom of the Tingling Strings
Jon Lord interview
Malcolm Arnold and Jon Lord: