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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:25 am 
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One of my favorite Zappa classical songs is the ballet "Sinister Footwear", does anyone know if this was recorded by Zappa with a classical orchestra? I have a bootleg version but would love a proper release of the whole thing (with an orchestra). I love all the classical works apart from orchestral favorites. My first favorite was 200 motels, would kill (yes kill) for a decent CD version of it.

I think TYS and LSO are both great in their own right and I think it's a bit pointless trying to see which one is best, they are both excellent and unique.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:44 am 
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I really love The Perfect Stranger. I think the dualty of the material on it
is "so Frank." It's all very dark sounding as well. There is so much drama in it all.
Very cinematic.

I remember when I first saw the Yellow Shark in the shops I was so taken by the portrait of Frank.
It tore my heart out to look at it........his eyes......so tired and sad......
His face so ravaged....he looked a bit like that "classic" image of the "old composer."
Anyway, I love the Yellow Shark...it sounds heavy and very important.
knowing what was waiting for Frank just around the corner.
Ya that shot of him sitting there afterwards just kills me. So hard to watch.
I wish there was some way to include the awesome "Overture" piece.
It is so otherworldly. I love it.

I hope the ZFT will find a way for some orchestra to record the complete Sinister Footwear in
today's state-of-the-art recording! That's what the world needs now.


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:49 am 
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No one commented about 200 Motels...

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:59 am 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
No one commented about 200 Motels...

I did 2 posts ago :-)

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:06 am 
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jeddy wrote:
I remember when I first saw the Yellow Shark in the shops I was so taken by the portrait of Frank.
It tore my heart out to look at it........his eyes......so tired and sad......
His face so ravaged....he looked a bit like that "classic" image of the "old composer."
Anyway, I love the Yellow Shark...it sounds heavy and very important.
knowing what was waiting for Frank just around the corner.
Ya that shot of him sitting there afterwards just kills me. So hard to watch.


This is a great decription of that moment of recognition and resonates totally with my own experience, when I saw The Yellow Shark for the first time on display in a record shop in Copenhagen in December 1993. Your post also reminds me that at the time I was struck by the emotional depth of TYS - an element which has always been a part of Zappa's music, but seemed mostly absent during the Eighties, apart from the guitar improvisations where he would still get glassy-eyed and deep.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:13 am 
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mistrijah wrote:
I think TYS and LSO are both great in their own right and I think it's a bit pointless trying to see which one is best, they are both excellent and unique.


Agreed, this is how I approach things, also/tend to genuinely find, more often than not, in my resultant impressions and feelings towards different material (i.e. I take things for what they are and/or appreciate and enjoy what I like in them). 8) Probably a more mature and fulfilling sensibility; certainly has been for me personally. Preference, if any, may be a better way of looking at such comparisons as opposed to "better or worse" (how I personally adapted this discussion to myself).

jeddy wrote:
I really love The Perfect Stranger. I think the dualty of the material on it
is "so Frank." It's all very dark sounding as well. There is so much drama in it all.
Very cinematic.

I remember when I first saw the Yellow Shark in the shops I was so taken by the portrait of Frank.
It tore my heart out to look at it........his eyes......so tired and sad......
His face so ravaged....he looked a bit like that "classic" image of the "old composer."
Anyway, I love the Yellow Shark...it sounds heavy and very important.
knowing what was waiting for Frank just around the corner.
Ya that shot of him sitting there afterwards just kills me. So hard to watch.
I wish there was some way to include the awesome "Overture" piece.
It is so otherworldly. I love it.


Interesting impressions; The Perfect Stranger is possibly one of the classical/orchestral albums I'm most familiar with to date and your impressions are highly relatable for me too. 8) I love the dark and somewhat sinister vibe on that album, myself, and also enjoy the 'marriage' of the two distinctive sound sources. In fact, so far in my experience with listening to this release, it's probably the synclavier material that has had the biggest impression on me; that shimmering, twinkling sound effect in/of The Girl In The Magnesium Dress mesmerises me, and the spooky, sparse soundscape of Jonestown is highly fascinating for me too. I don't think I've properly digested the orchestral pieces on this one yet though, certainly the two lengthy ones.

As for TYS, I anticipate your experience and feelings towards Frank's state and/or emotional movement by the occasion are gona be very similar to my own (and, in fact, the cover does already, akin to yourself, break my heart a little to view; he just looks ill, worn down and saddened, so alien to his past typical strength and usual self-assurance and vitality). Probably gona be a very mixed feeling experience to actually listen to and explore those performances, for me, at least initially.


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:36 am 
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After all this emotionalism, I hasten to to add that there's nothing 'worn' or 'diseased' about the performances on The Yellow Shark! And of course it's a celebration, but there's enough great new music there to balance it out. Listen to Outrage at Valdez, Ruth is Sleeping, Get Whitey, Times Beach. Zappa the composer reached another summit towards the end, IMHO, and he finally had an ensemble in tune with his vision.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:52 am 
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I love the Yellow Shark music, the cover not so much, a very sad looking Frank. I have a giant Yellow Shark poster but I can't put it up....it's just too sad.

Several years ago I got twenty to thirty newspaper clippings from a German lady...they all turned out to be FZ obituaries, very depressing, to this day they remain in the envelope, as opposed to the scrap book.....


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:16 am 
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Plook wrote:
Lumpy Gravy is possibly FZ most underated release IMHO... :smoke:


Plook Speaks

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:01 am 
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thenoisydrum wrote:
Plook wrote:
Lumpy Gravy is possibly FZ most underated release IMHO... :smoke:


Plook Speaks


Lumpy Gravy has just never grabbed me. I got into Zappa at the same time as I started buying CDs as opposed to vinyl, so I've never owned that on LP. For some reason it annoys me that the CD is mastered in the way which it is, with only two tracks. I know it shouldn't make any difference, but for some reason it does.

For the last couple of months I've been replaying lots of the Zappa stuff I've not been so familiar with, and so far I've only listened to three CDs which have not really captured my attention: Lumpy Gravy, Uncle Meat and Yellow Shark. I've finally understood Civilization Phaze III, and I've even (surprisingly to me) really enjoyed Everything is Healing Nicely and Does Humour Belong in Music. I can't yet bring myself to relisten to Tinseltown Rebellion.

So if LG is as good as you say, it's certainly underated by me! I will give it another go soon.


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:15 pm 
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mistrijah wrote:
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
No one commented about 200 Motels...

I did 2 posts ago :-)

Sorry I missed ya, mistrijah :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:04 pm 
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ChrisPaul wrote:
thenoisydrum wrote:
Plook wrote:
Lumpy Gravy is possibly FZ most underated release IMHO... :smoke:


Plook Speaks


Lumpy Gravy has just never grabbed me. I got into Zappa at the same time as I started buying CDs as opposed to vinyl, so I've never owned that on LP. For some reason it annoys me that the CD is mastered in the way which it is, with only two tracks. I know it shouldn't make any difference, but for some reason it does.

For the last couple of months I've been replaying lots of the Zappa stuff I've not been so familiar with, and so far I've only listened to three CDs which have not really captured my attention: Lumpy Gravy, Uncle Meat and Yellow Shark. I've finally understood Civilization Phaze III, and I've even (surprisingly to me) really enjoyed Everything is Healing Nicely and Does Humour Belong in Music. I can't yet bring myself to relisten to Tinseltown Rebellion.

So if LG is as good as you say, it's certainly underated by me! I will give it another go soon.


Try the lumpy money CD, you may like it more... available hardly anywhere :-)

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:20 pm 
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TYS shows how fluent Zappa was in the various musical languages of modern classical composition. I think, though, that Greggery Peccary(I have it on the first Lather release) is a better example of him speaking in his own musical language.


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:27 pm 
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What amuses me is how proprietary some Zappa fans get about his voice. He was allowed to ham it up because somehow when it was done in his voice it comes out sounding so much better than anyone else doing it and therefore, somehow, everyone else is just copying him?? Sounds like fanboy talk to me. The way it came out of Zappa's mouth is just accidental, he's not the only valid satirist/comedian/musician/etc in existence. As Frank was fond of saying, the mind is like a parachute and it only works when it's open.

If you don't like Ensemble Modern performing Greggary Peccary then I'm sorry for you, my favourite version is still Frank's, but I could still enjoy a night out at a live performance of that piece being delivered with voices other than his.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:56 pm 
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polydigm wrote:
If you don't like Ensemble Modern performing Greggary Peccary then I'm sorry for you, my favourite version is still Frank's, but I could still enjoy a night out at a live performance of that piece being delivered with voices other than his.


+1

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:57 pm 
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i love this one. it clicked at first listen, and it's been a favorite for a few years now.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:16 pm 
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yes!
I love EIHN as well!
It's such a "grab bag" of styles.
Frank even attempts some "minimilism" compositions on here.
And he really never liked that style.

This cd reaaly fleshes out the whole Yellow Shark period and seems very playfull.
One of my favourite post-Frank releases.
Very underrated.


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:53 am 
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As I've said elsewhere, EIHN has been one of the biggest pleasant surprises for me since FZ died. I had no idea what it was until it arrived in my letterbox and I was officially blown away.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:35 am 
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It's actually my favorite of his more classical recordings, which I don't care for much.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:44 am 
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jeddy wrote:
yes!
I love EIHN as well!
It's such a "grab bag" of styles.
Frank even attempts some "minimilism" compositions on here.
And he really never liked that style.

This cd reaaly fleshes out the whole Yellow Shark period and seems very playfull.
One of my favourite post-Frank releases.
Very underrated.


i've been thinking of how to put into words why i like eihn so much and am having trouble...but your explanation helps.

besides really liking the compositions themselves, maybe because it's got a more informal feel to it, and yes, kind of a grab bag.

i also see it as somehow a missing link or a bridge between yellow shark and cp3, even though it was recorded before either. it reminds me of both those albums.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:07 am 
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ChrisPaul wrote:
I was listening to the LSO CD today and decided that it's my favourite of the orchestral albums. Am I wrong???


getting back to the original question:

i think lso is magnificent, especially vol. 1. but here's the thing:

i own and listen to a lot of classical music. a way to measure how much i enjoy a particular work is by comparing it to other versions of the same work, with different conductors. each conductor has their own insights into a work. in many cases performances vary greatly, but are equally valid in their interpretation. in other cases, certain performances outshine others (as a matter of personal taste).

lso is a stand-alone, that is, there's no other recording of those works, under the same conditions, by which to compare the performance we know. i can't help but feel that the performance on record, while very enjoyable, lacks some "sparkle". not to take anything away from nagano...he did a great job under the circumstances. but i think frank spoke of how the lso was under-rehearsed for the performance, and how time and money were severely limited. as previously mentioned, i would love to see the music fall into the hands of another conductor who would embrace it and take the time needed to properly explore the music. boulez, i fear, is too old and/or doesn't have the time.

i've always thought that michael tilson thomas would be a good choice. maybe i'll drop him a line.

fantasy part of this post: i am a huge fan of leonard bernstein in his new york philharmonic days (1958-69). many of his performances during that period are benchmarks for me. i would have loved to have heard his realizations of frank's works. and i guarantee he would have performed them, lenny was that kinda guy.

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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Quote:
i've always thought that michael tilson thomas would be a good choice. maybe i'll drop him a line.

fantasy part of this post: i am a huge fan of leonard bernstein in his new york philharmonic days (1958-69). many of his performances during that period are benchmarks for me. i would have loved to have heard his realizations of frank's works. and i guarantee he would have performed them, lenny was that kinda guy.


I agree Michael Tilson Thomas would be a terrific choice. MTT is good at balancing his relative celebrity and the integrity of the music.

I'm wondering, though, if a European conductor would be better. I don't know enough to make any suggestions; I'm just throwing it out there.


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:47 pm 
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How about Simon Rattle?
He's done a wounderful job with Stravinsky in the past....


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:51 pm 
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You know....
this whole side of Frank has really been under-represented by the ZFT.
Dweezel is doing the rock stuff but who's keeping the orchestral thing alive?
There has been sporadic performances throughout the years but we need something more!
A full blown YELLOW SHARK DVD?

A kickass recording of SINISTER FOOTWEAR?

HELLS YA!


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 Post subject: Re: LSO
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:01 pm 
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You'd have to give the Royal Academy a lot of credit for what they've done recently and this 200 Motels thing coming up sounds pretty promising.

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