Frank Zappa

London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 1

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This LP contains the first set of recording to be released from a session held in January 1983 at which some of Frank Zappa's orchestral works were recorded by The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kent Nagano. The pieces are "Sad Jane," "Pedro's Dowry (large orchestra version)," "Envelopes," and "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation," in three movements. Although Zappa himself has criticized these recordings, they represent the best rendition so far of his orchestral ambitions, more accomplished than Lumpy Gravy or Orchestral Favorites. The music is moody and ponderous, slow with sudden dramatic passages, in the manner of Stravinsky, and exhibits little of Zappa's usual melodic invention and humor. (In 1986, Rykodisc released a CD version of the sessions under the title London Symphony Orchestra (RCD 10022) that deleted "Sad Jane" and "Pedro's Dowry" and added the 24 1/2-minute "Bogus Pomp.")

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