Visiting orchestras / Percussion

Ensemble Musikfabrik

Varèse & Zappa

Codex Dresdensis (detail), Maya handwriting 1200-1250

Codex Dresdensis (detail), Maya handwriting 1200-1250

© Wikimedia Commons

Past Dates

19:00 work introduction

“I used to love putting little black dots on music paper”, wrote Frank Zappa in an accompanying text for a new edition of works by composer Edgard Varèse. Falling under the guise of self-deprecating understatements, it only serves to cache the ambition that always drove Frank Zappa. The striving for recognition of his compository qualities, which he initially lived out in his rock music with a high degree of complexity while posing equally high demands on the playing technique of his musicians. Indeed, it all began with the record in question. It bore the number EMS 401 – and the title: “The Complete Works of Edgar Varèse, Vol. I”. And the cornerstone for a passion was thus laid, which accompanied him through to his death in 1993 at the age of only 53. Many people still regard this great ethnographer of American everyday life exclusively as a rock star – presumably because Asteroid 3848 is named after him. Yet as a gesture of genuine estimation it would be wise to forgo categorizations and other thought short-circuits. Blues and the music of experimental composer Edgard Varèse, jazz improvisations and pop platitudes all fused together in his vision of a new rock music.

Frank Zappa [1940-1993]
Revised Music for Low Budget Orchestra
Lemme Take You To The Beach

Edgard Varèse [1883-1965]
for bass voice and ensemble
based on texts from the book “Popul Vuh” of the Maya [1933/34]

Poème électronique
for tape [1958]

for 13 percussionists [1929-1931]

Frank Zappa
The Black Page
The Black Page #1
The Black Page #2

Echidna’s Arf (Of You)
Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?

Ali N. Askin transcriptions (Frank Zappa)
Michael Leibundgut bass
Dirk Rothbrust drumset, conductor (Frank Zappa)
Frank Wingold electric guitar
Ulrich Löffler keyboards
Christopher Brandt electric bass
Paul Jeukendrup sound direction
Ensemble Musikfabrik
Carl Rosman conductor (Edgard Varèse)

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event

Zappa, FZ, Frank Zappa and the Moustache Zappa Moustache are marks belonging to the Zappa Family Trust. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.