STRATFORD FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
Lawrence Smith, conductor; Charles Libove, violin; Ray Still, oboe
Gary Brooker: vocals and piano (also three stringed guitar, celeste, bells, harmonica, guitar, etc.)
Matthew Fisher: organ (also vocals, acoustic guitar marimba, recorder, etc.)
Robin Trower: lead guitar (also vocals, sleigh tambourines, etc.)
David Knights: bass guitar
Barrie Wilson: percussion (including conga drums and tabla)
Keith Reid: poet-in-residence
Assisted by the Festival Rock Chorus
STRATFORD FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
J. S. BACH: Overture from the Suite No. 4 in D major
Bach called his four orchestral suites "Overture" for they followed the pattern of the French operatic overture, which consisted of an overture proper (in three sections: slow-fast-slow) followed by a suite of dances – for French operas usually opened with a ballet.
J. S. BACH: Concerto in C minor for Violin and Oboe
Allegro – Adagio – Allegro
Charles Libove, violin; Ray Still oboe
This is a reconstruction of a lost composition. The original has disappeared but fortunately Bach had also arranged it for two pianos [sic!] and orchestra, and it was a simple matter to arrange it back again, once it was figured out what the original instruments were.
with the STRATFORD FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
(The following numbers have been specially arranged by Procol Harum for the Stratford Orchestra in this premiere performance.)
A SALTY DOG ... Words by Keith Reid; music by Gary
("... explore the ship, replace the cook, let no man alive [sic]...")
IN HELD 'TWAS IN I ... Words by Keith Reid, music by Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher
An eighteen minute mind-bending hallucination ... (and that title is not a misprint)
PROCOL HARUM: Themselves and their music
Numbers to include:
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Skip Softly My Moonbeams
For the benefit of Mr. Kite – and with the possible exception of those who are always surrounded by fog – Procol Harum is a corporate body of dissenters whose tastes, ideas, and ideals are too many and varied to name, and to enumerate them here would be superfluous as they are all condensed and expressed through their music (which reads pretentiously – but then the truth often does!).
Music – in particular Procol Harum music (which is what they and this piece of literary garbage are all about) – may be said to be their one point of unity, the one thing on which they can stand firm and be sure. This is what they believe in and what they are about. They as individuals offer their opinions and emotions on life through their music and these varied slants come together like the facets of a diamond to form a whole, a unit which is forever extending itself amoeba-like growing, and engulfing all experiences and using them to add to its mass and inevitably change its form.
There is no desire to be "the best" as there is no such thing – (who decides "the best" and what does it mean) – the best what!?! Procol Harum's driving force is the desire to achieve the ultimate within themselves; an impossible ambition as each day shows new possibilities (or rather the decline of impossibilities).
I, for one, am content to sit back and savour the marvel of the fruits of their labor.
More about Procol Harum at Stratford, 1969