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Yellow Shark
     

The Yellow Shark

5.0 1
by Frank Zappa
 

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During his last years, Frank Zappa concentrated on his "serious music," trying to impose himself as a composer and relegating the rock personality to the closet. His last two completed projects topped everything he had done before in this particular field. The Yellow Shark, an album of orchestral music, was released only a few weeks before he succumbed to

Overview

During his last years, Frank Zappa concentrated on his "serious music," trying to impose himself as a composer and relegating the rock personality to the closet. His last two completed projects topped everything he had done before in this particular field. The Yellow Shark, an album of orchestral music, was released only a few weeks before he succumbed to cancer (the computer music/sound collage album Civilization Phaze III was released 14 months later). This CD, named for a plexiglas fish given to Zappa in 1988, culls live recordings from the Ensemble Modern's 1992 program of the composer's music. The range of pieces goes from string quartets ("None of the Above") to ensemble works, from very challenging contemporary classical to old Zappa favorites. The latter category includes a medley of "Dog Breath Variations" and "Uncle Meat," "Pound for a Brown," "Be-Bop Tango," and the Synclavier compositions "The Girl in the Magnesium Dress" and "G-Spot Tornado" transcribed for orchestra. Being more familiar, these bring a lighter touch, but the real interest of the CD resides in the premiere recordings. "Outrage at Valdez," the piano duet "Ruth Is Sleeping," and "Food Gathering in Post-Industrial America, 1992" are all the gripping works of a mature composer, strongly influenced by Varèse and Stravinsky but overwhelmed by them. But the crowning achievement is "Welcome to the United States," a more freeform piece based on the U.S. visa form. Zappa shined when ridiculing stupidity. The average fan of the man's rock music will most probably feel lost in The Yellow Shark, but for those with interests in his serious music it is an essential item, more so than the London Symphony Orchestra and Orchestral Favorites albums.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/30/1995
Label:
Zappa Records
UPC:
0014431056024
catalogNumber:
310560

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frank Zappa   Primary Artist,Conductor,Voices,Track Performer
Michael Gross   Trumpet,Cornet,Flugelhorn,Piccolo Trumpet
Wolfgang Stryi   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone,Contrabass Trombone
Uwe Dierksen   Trombone
Friedemann Dahn   Cello
William Formann   Trumpet,Cornet,Flugelhorn,Piccolo Trumpet
Rumi Ogawa-Helferich   Percussion,Cymbalom
Jürgen Ruck   Banjo,Guitar
Claudia Sack   Violin
Veit Scholz   Bassoon,Contrabassoon
Hilary Sturt   Violin,Voices
Michael Svoboda   Trombone,Euphonium,Didjeridu,Alphorn
Mathias Tacke   Violin
Detlef Tewes   Mandolin
Ellen Wegner   Harp
Ueli Wiget   Piano,Cello,Harp,Harpsichord
Andreas Bottger   Percussion
Ensemble Modern   Ensemble
Daryl Smith   Tuba
Dietmar Wiesner   Flute
Peter Rundel   Violin,Conductor
Franck Ollu   Horn
Hermann Kretzschmar   Piano,Celeste,Harpsichord,Voices

Technical Credits

Harry Andronis   Engineer
Spencer Chrislu   Engineer
Frank Zappa   Producer,Liner Notes
Todd Yvega   Contributor,Synclavier Assistance
Ali N. Askin   Arranger
Jesse Di Franco   Art Direction
Dave Dondorf   Engineer
Brian Johnson   Art Direction
Brian Johnson   Art Direction
Peter Rundel   Liner Notes
Rip Rense   Liner Notes
Jesse de Franco   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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The Yellow Shark 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
This is Zappa's best classical music album. Zappa was one of the best musician composers of the 20th Century and this one shows off his serious music side to perfection.