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Frank Zappa - Francesco Zappa CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



2.57 | 126 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars One of many weird little releases in the discog of FRANK ZAPPA comes in the tribute form of FRANCESCO ZAPPA, who was a composer who lived from 1717 - 1803, born in Italy but mostly resided in the Netherlands. He was highly regarded as a virtuoso cellist in his day but spent most of life composing, organizing concerts and teaching music. Very little of his music was known and his name caught the attention of FRANK because of the ZAPPA part I would guess. It turns out there is no relation at all but after discovering his existence FRANK went to great lengths to dig up some of his works in order to bring them to digital life after 200 years. So obscure was his music that the only place it could be found was in the Mormon library and since none of his music had been published at this point, FRANK took the liberty to do that as well.

This is baroque music from beginning to end and it's entirely performed by The Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification Consort and conducted by FRANK ZAPPA himself. Basically it's David Ocker playing synclavier for the 17 opuses that make up this album. The tracks mostly sound alike and if you ask me it sounds a lot like one of those Wendy Carlos (formerly Walter) "Switched On Bach" albums. FRANK ZAPPA did this obscure composer good by bringing his music to life after fading into oblivion. Actually I would have preferred that the music was more sophisticated with a full orchestra and some virtuoso cellist to interpret what FRANCESCO was most famous for.

I must say that this is indeed a pleasant little collection of baroque chamber music but this was one of the very last albums in the ZAPPA world that I have accumulated simply because it's not really a FRANK album at all but merely a tribute to a long lost musician from over 200 years ago. For that I salute FRANK for giving this man some deserved recognition but at the same time I understand why he didn't achieve the fame of his contemporaries like Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and the like simply because he wasn't up to that level of greatness. Still it is fun to hear one of the lesser known artists of the era and it really makes me wonder how many of the lesser known artists I like now will be unknown in 200 years. A nice anomaly of an album but obviously not an essential FRANK release.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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