Friday, November 21, 2014

Frank Zappa - Francesco Zappa

Today (November 21st) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Franceso Zappa, the late 1984 release from Frank Zappa.

The interesting thing about this album is that all of the pieces of chamber music were composed between 1763 and 1788 by an Italian composer Francesco Zappa. For the record, Francesco Zappa and Frank Zappa are not related.

The music was brought to Frank Zappa’s attention by David Ocker who knew that the composer was popular with some college music students. Since the original pieces had not been published, Zappa decided to do so. He then programmed some of them into a Synclavier synthesizer. Zappa then conducted the performance of the pieces with his Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification Consort.

Side one is made up of eight tracks, comprising the first and second movements of the first four parts of the composer’s Opus I.

Side two begins with three additional movements from Opus I. They are then followed by six movements from the composer’s Opus IV.

The entire album clocks in at a total of thirty seven minutes.

I had not heard Francesco Zappa until doing this blog review, and I found it very enjoyable and relaxing. What always continues to surprise me is how versatile and experimental Frank Zappa was when it came to recording music. As shown with this record, he could take something that was centuries old, apply modern technology to it, and produce some fantastic results. This is one you will definitely want to check out if you have an ear for old world classical music.

For more of Frank Zappa, click here.

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