London Symphony Orchestra, Vol I
June 9th 1983
Note: This is the track listing for the original vinyl release. London Symphony Orchestra, Vol I was combined with it’s successor London Symphony Orchestra, Vol II (1987) and remixed and remastered for the combined London Symphony Orchestra, Vol I & II release in 1995.
Official Release #38
Label: Barking Pumpkin Records
Catalog Number: FW 38820
Produced/Composed/Orchestrated by Frank Zappa
The London Symphony Orchestra
Music composed & arranged by Frank Zappa
Conducted by Kent Nagano
David Ocker: Solo Clarinet
Chad Wackerman: Drum Set
Ed Mann: Featured Percussionist
Recording Dates: January 12-14, 1983
Produced by Frank Zappa
Mark Pinske: Recording Engineer
Island Mobile: Remote Recording Truck
URMK: Re-mix Facility ca. 1993
Spence Chrislu: Re-mix & Re-master Engineer
John Vince: Original Cover Design
Steve Schapiro: Back Cover Photo
Master 24 track recording medium: SONY PCM 3324 Master
2 track mix-down medium: SONY PCM 1610
Location of recording sessions: Twickenham Film Studio, London
Imaginary ambience reconstruction: LEXICON 224-X
Drum set microphones: AKG (except overheads)
Orchestral microphones: CROWN PZMS (30 or 40 of them)
KENT NAGANO was born in 1951 and grew up on a family farm in Morro Bay, California. His early musical training was equally strong in both Japanese and Western traditions. At the age of four, he began studying the piano with his mother, and by high school was also playing koto, viola and clarinet. After graduating from high school, he briefly attended Oxford University, then returned to the United Stares to complete his undergraduate work at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he was awarded highest honors. While earning a master’s degree in San Francisco, he served as assistant to the conductor Laslo Varga, and at the same time worked for the San Francisco Opera.
In 1977, John Reeves White, director of the New York Pro Musica, arranged for MR. NAGANO to represent the United States as guest conductor at the International Music Festival of Brazil. Between 1977 and 1979, he studied with the noted musicologist and conductor Osbourne McConathy, and worked with Sarah Caldwell and the Opera Company of Boston as associate artistic director. Upon his return to the San Francisco Bay area, MR. NAGANO became director of the San Francisco Chamber Opera Company. Today he is well known to audiences as the music director of the Berkeley Symphony and the Oakland Ballet Orchestra and is presently serving his third season as assistant conductor of the Oakland Symphony.
MR. NAGANO will be actively involved in Europe beginning in the spring of 1983 with invitations to conduct in Holland, Belgium France and Italy. These performances are mostly centered around contemporary literature for which MR. NAGANO has a notable reputation.
This is the first recorded performance of these works (Pedro’s Dowry, as released on the Orchestral Favorites album was another version for 40 pieces, and Envelopes, as released on the Drowning Witch LP was in a version for small rock band), and, as with every performance of new music, errors will occur. Every effort has been made to remove these, but without a much larger budget for rehearsal and recording time, the possibility of perfection in a premiere situation such as this is somewhat remote. A second volume of material from these sessions is being prepared, as well as the recordings of several chamber works which Pierre Boulez will conduct in January, 1984 (Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger). For those of you who enjoy this kind of musical entertainment, more is on the way.
Thanks to the membership of the L.S.O. for their valiant efforts, especially Ash, the Concertmaster, for his enticingly Australian violin solo improvisation during the disco section of Pedro. Special thanks to Ken Wahrenbrock from CROWN-PZM, and Curtis Chan from SONY for their assistance in making the sounds on this record possible.
Original Volume I liner notes written by Frank Zappa, 1983.