Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Frank Zappa - Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.52 | 142 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This album represents Frank Zappa's most serious classical release. It was even originally released on EMI's Angel records, one of the most distinguished classical labels. Zappa was also fortunate enough to have Pierre Boulez, a remarkable composer himself, commission the title piece, and conduct the Ensemble InterContemporain for three of the albums seven pieces (the rest were played by Zappa himself on his Synclavier).

The sound of the recording is exquisite. It helps to have an orchestra that was serious about playing Frank's music (as opposed to the hackneyed attitude of the London Symphony Orchestra on the two albums they recorded). The instruments all sound crystal clear as they navigate Zappa's difficult material.

The title track is the best piece. The music is dark and beautiful at the same time. While Zappa still shows his Stravinsky influence, he was really developing his own compositional style as well. One thing that astonishes me is that I can hear his guitar phrasing is many of the passages.

Most of the Synclavier pieces are similar to those on "Jazz From Hell" and other FZ albums of the time, but Jonestown (referring to the mass suicide/murder of a religious cult by their insane leader) stands out as one of the darkest pieces Zappa has ever written.

My only complaint is that this album, at 36 minutes, is much too short.

Evolver | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this FRANK ZAPPA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.