Frank Zappa, Heiner Goebbels, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra & Thomas Sondergard – Perfect Strangers (2014)

Posted by Green on August 14, 2021as

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Frank Zappa’s music crosses all boundaries, with fans in all musical camps. The recordings of his own band are legendary, but with the release of The Yellow Shark featuring Ensemble Modern, Zappa’s music became standard repertoire for symphony orchestras — or at least those that dare to accept the challenge! This is intense and demanding music, but who is better equipped for the task than the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, celebrated for the diversity of its repertoire and collaborations? The orchestra is led by former Chief Conductor Thomas Søndergård (now Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales). The Danish maestro is known for taking contemporary music seriously — and, yes, Zappa is contemporary music.

Heiner Goebbels is well-known as a dramatist, director, musician, and composer. The Suite for Sampler and Orchestra is from his large work “Surrogate Cities,” a fable of the modern city. It draws inspiration from Baroque music, Jewish prayer chants, and industrial noise. In the composer’s words, it is “an attempt to approach the phenomenon of the city from various sides, to tell stories of cities, expose oneself to them, observe them; it is material about metropolises that has accumulated over the course of time.”

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