I went to the Durham Concerto concert at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall last night and enjoyed every minute. As far as I know Jon has not played this venue since Deep Purple in January 1971.
The most obvious thing that has to be said is that hearing and seeing the music live brought out far more of the feeling of the whole concerto than the record alone can convey. But at least next time I listen to it I will have those images of the night in mind.
Watching the interaction between the lead violin and cello was captivating and the way they were enjoying playing the work together was very clear. They seemed to bounce of each other when needed and support each other when the work required it. The short solo sections they had in parts kept the hall in silence.
Jon’s keyboard playing is well in the background in this work, but on the short points were it is played it was louder and more full than on the record. Pity he could not let rip in a work of this type at some point.
The whole orchestra seemed very at ease throughout and it was clear from their enthusiastic feel and that of the conductor that there was no 'going through the motions' here. The audience received it very well. with a long standing ovation at the end. Jon did a short meet the audience section and signing afterwards.
Were there any downsides? Well they were small, but I would like to have seen the keyboards side on so you could see Jon’s work during the night, also he did not say anything to the audience during the Concerto, but maybe that is not the 'done thing' at these events. It was not a full house, but maybe having the concert on the same day as the Grand National was not the best plan.
Finally, when are Jon and Ritchie going to get together and do an instrumental album of their combined musical tastes?
review: Stephen Clare