ST-74202 Francesco Zappa
Produced by Frank Zappa
Released on November 1984
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
ST-74202 cover  

P resented here as an unearthing of music from the (fictitious) 18th century composer Francesco Zappa, these keyboard works answer the musical question: What would Domenico Scarlatti have sounded like if he’d been given a Casiotone for Christmas? The transition from rock to rococo is likely to be too abrupt for any but the most dedicated Zappa fans. Previous “classical” forays from Frank Zappa have incorporated elements of humor and iconoclasm that fans could relate to, but Francesco Zappa is by-the-books keyboard music, weird only insofar as it lacks any trace of weirdness. For my money, this is the dullest album in Zappadom, a curio for the desperately curious. The fact is, any number of “real” classical composers -- Vivaldi, Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti, Georg Handel -- have produced similar works with real merit. Frank Zappa adds nothing to their existing body of work, content for the moment to replicate their talent on some small scale. The music, orchestrated by the composer, aided by Synclavier wrangler David Ocker and performed by the Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification Consort (worth a chuckle), is no more than a light collection of piano pieces recorded on the Synclavier with all the warmth and charm of a block of ice. It’s ironic that something this staid would represent a radical departure for the composer, but that’s the enigmatic Zappa for you.

ST-74202 back cover ST-74202 inner sleeve
ST-74202 back cover ST-74202 inner sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. OPUS 1
    No. 1 1st Movement ANDANTE    3:28
    2nd Movement ALLEGRO CON BRIO    1:27
    No. 2 1st Movement ANDANTINO    2:14
    2nd Movement MINUETTO GRAZIOSO    2:02
    No. 3 1st Movement ANDANTINO    1:52
    2nd Movement PRESTO    1:50
    No. 4 1st Movement ANDANTE    2:20
    2nd Movement ALLEGRO    3:02
    No. 5 2nd Movement MINUETTO GRAZIOSO    2:26
    No. 6 1st Movement LARGO    2:05
    2nd Movement MINUET    2:01
  2. OPUS IV
    No. 1 1st Movement ANDANTINO    2:42
    2nd Movement ALLEGRO ASSAI    1:58
    No. 2+ 2nd Movement ALLEGRO ASSAI    1:17
    No. 3 1st Movement ANDANTE    2:22
    2nd Movement TEMPO DI MINUETTO    1:58
    No. 4 1st Movement MINUETTO    2:07

    Music composed by Francesco Zappa

CREDITS

FRANK ZAPPA -- conductor, orchestrations
THE BARKING PUMPKIN DIGITAL GRATIFICATION CONSORT --
David Ocker -- Synclavier document encryption
Mark Pinske -- engineer
Bob Stone -- engineer
Donald Roller Wilson -- cover painting
Gabrielle Raumberger -- collage
New Age Art -- graphics

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US November 1984 Barking Pumpkin LP/CD/CS ST-74202 inner sleeve
CAN 1984 Capitol LP/CS 6518  
JPN 1993? Video Arts CD VACK-1254 digitally remastered
US 1995 Rykodisc CD RCD-10546 digitally remastered
JPN 2002 Video Arts CD VACK-5092 digitally remastered

 

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