Finally on DVD is the historic 1969 Concerto for Group and Orchestra-In Concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, composed by Deep Purple's Jon Lord and Conducted by Malcolm Arnold. Along with The Moody Blues, The Nice, and ELP, Deep Purple were among the first rock bands to fuse that genre with classical music, and this concert was long a favorite of Purple fans worldwide. Now, lovers of the original album can savor the sights as well on this excellent DVD, recorded at the famed Royall Albert Hall.
The 52 minute set (the actual show was probably longer, but the DVD seems to be mirroring the length of the original LP) consists of an intro and three movements. The tension between the orchestra and group results in an almost push-pull sort of relationship, rather than actually having both entities performing as one. The first movement kicks off with the orchestra before Purple come crashing in, with Ritchie Blackmore launching into an extended, almost 5 minute long guitar solo that rivals just about any other savage solo he ever did, and on this occasion he plays an old Gibson semi-hollow electric guitar, no Stratocaster in sight! The look on some of the faces of the distinguished members of the orchestra is priceless while Blackmore is jamming out on this extended jaunt, and makes one wonder if the solo was planned at all. Ian Gillan comes in for some awesome vocals on the second movement, and the third sees things getting pretty bombastic for both the group and the orchestra. Lord manages to lay down some wicked Hammond licks, and the rhythm team of Ian Paice and a VERY young looking Roger Glover keep a tight groove.
This is simply a must have for Deep Purple fans. There is a neat commentary track with Jon Lord and he explains a lot of the proceedings that went on which add to the fun nature of this set.
2) First Movement: Moderato-Allegro
3) Second Movement: Andante
4) Third Movement: Vivace-Presto