Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels (The Suites) Nominated For Grammy Award For Best Classical Compendium
Album Captures Acclaimed Performance At Walt Disney Concert Hall By Los Angeles Philharmonic And Los Angeles Master Chorale, Conducted By Esa-Pekka Salonen
The spectacular sold-out one-night-only orchestral performance of Frank Zappa’s masterwork 200 Motels (The Suites) recorded at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 23, 2013 has been nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for Best Classical Compendium. The 13-song suite was conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. It was produced by Frank Zappa’s late widow Gail Zappa and GRAMMY®-winning producer, engineer and mixer Frank Filipetti. The 59th Annual GRAMMY® Awards will be held on Sunday, February 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast live on CBS from 8-11:30 pm (ET/PT).
Zappa, who died 23 years ago (on December 4, 1993), was posthumously awarded the GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. In his lifetime he received seven nominations and won the GRAMMY® for Best Rock Instrumental Composition in 1987 for Jazz From Hell.
“This nomination is incredibly special to us as it celebrates Frank Zappa as a Classical Composer and was one of the last albums that my mother worked on creatively. 200 Motels (The Suites) was an important project for Gail and real labor of love.” says Ahmet Zappa. “It was an amazing night of music -- the performances were extraordinary and the Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen was phenomenal. I know Gail so enjoyed working with all of the artists on this wonderful record. We are excited to have the release recognized.”
The 2013 200 Motels (The Suites) performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Master Chorale was a special evening – and some might even say it was predestined. Written and produced by Frank Zappa to accompany his 200 Motels feature film, portions of the score were premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta conducting in May 1970 at UCLA (a performance the Los Angeles Times’ then music and dance critic Martin Bernheimer called “an unsettling evening”), before the kaleidoscopic film and double LP soundtrack’s release in 1971.
For the Philharmonic performance, it was arranged into a 90-minute set of suites and featured an enormous group of players including a 166-member ensemble comprised of a 115-piece orchestra, more than a dozen singer-actors and a 32-member chorus. Of the once-in-a-lifetime performance, the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Esa-Pekka Salonen — who led a large L.A. Phil enhanced with rock musicians and the Los Angeles Master Chorale — was cheered like a rock star. The orchestra looked to be having a ball.”