Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” Is Heart-Wrenching Beautiful With Danish Orchestra

Procol Harum’s timeless classic, “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” has captivated audiences for decades, but its magic reached new heights when the band performed it alongside the Danish National Concert Orchestra and Choir at Ledreborg Castle, Denmark. Frontman Gary Brooker has openly acknowledged the song’s inspiration from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No. 3 in D Major, making the orchestral rendition at the August 2006 concert a fitting tribute.

The collaboration resulted in a breathtaking performance of 15 songs, later released as a live album. The orchestra’s enchanting introduction to “A Whiter Shade of Pale” sets the stage, with Brooker’s entrance after 90 seconds demonstrating his timeless vocal prowess at the age of 61, reminiscent of the original recording from 1967. The stunning live rendition became an online sensation, garnering a whopping 99 million views on YouTube.

Procol Harum’s decision to partner with the Danish National Concert Orchestra was a stroke of genius, given the classical influences evident in their music. The orchestra’s contribution adds layers of depth, while the choir’s velvety voices elevate the performance to celestial heights.

Fans were effusive in their praise, hailing it as the definitive rendition of the masterpiece. Comments flooded in, lauding the emotional depth and resonance of the performance. Another standout moment from the concert was “A Salty Dog,” with the choir delivering a moving rendition over the iconic piano introduction.

“A Whiter Shade of Pale” remains Procol Harum’s crowning achievement, topping charts worldwide and selling over 10 million copies since its release on May 12, 1967. Its cryptic lyrics and evocative imagery became synonymous with the 1967 Summer of Love, earning it a place among the greatest songs of all time according to critics and fellow musicians alike.

The songwriting credits initially excluded bandmate Matthew Fisher, but a legal battle in 2009 resulted in his rightful recognition as a co-writer for the music. Reflecting on the song’s genesis, lyricist Keith Reid emphasized the mood and imagery he sought to evoke, inspired more by literature than by any decadent experiences.

For fans eager to delve deeper into Procol Harum’s rich repertoire, their official channels offer a treasure trove of musical delights. From spectacular orchestral renditions to timeless classics, their YouTube channel and Facebook page provide a gateway to the band’s unparalleled fusion of classical and rock music. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a newcomer, Procol Harum’s music promises an unforgettable journey through the realms of sound and emotion.

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