The “Classical” Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa came to music by Edgar Varèse in his teens and was, according to Pierre Boulez, “hypnotized by [music of] Edgar Varèse.” The influence of this music was not so much that Zappa became a follower of Varèse, but that it stimulated his ambitions to become a composer. On this episode of New Sounds, hear music composed by the late guitarist and innovator, Frank Zappa. Listen to some of his dense and demanding work written for the Ensemble Intercontemporain (and commissioned by Boulez.) Hear The Ensemble Modern, Zappa’s “last band,” from their recent CD of Zappa’s works, along with brass arrangements of Zappa tunes by the Meridian Arts Ensemble. Plus, Frank Zappa spins Baroque composer Francesco Zappa’s classical pieces on his Synclavier and the Finnish Ensemble Ambrosius plays Zappa’s music on Baroque instruments.

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