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Frank Zappa - Francesco Zappa CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



2.59 | 133 ratings

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2 stars Yes it is true....Francesco Zappa was a real Baroque composer, not someone that Frank made up. However, he was not related to Frank in any way. Frank discovered some of his music in a Mormon archive library and decided to take it on himself to make Francesco's music available to the public. So, he performed some of his works on the synclavier and released it. It is more of a novelty item than anything else. Unless you are a lover of Baroque music, you will probably find this boring. I do love Classical music, but I find the music made in the baroque period quite boring for the most part, except for the music composed by the genius Bach. He was a genius because he understood that baroque music was for entertainment, but to make it right, it had to rely somewhat on certain rules, usually math based rules. Hence, why so many right-brain thinkers (accountants, mathematicians, logical thinkers) prefer baroque music out of all the classical styles. Creative thinkers (left brain thinkers) prefer the Romantic and Impressionistic eras. Baroque was the math music of the day, but I find it lacking in variety, dynamics, ingenuity, experimentalism (except for Bach), and so on. This album is very painful for me to listen to. Apparently, Francesco wasn't a person that stretched the boundaries of his type of music, because it sounds very typical. But I guess from what I have read, that he was popular in his day. Many baroque musicians were hired by royalty and such to perform and compose music for dances and etc. It is repetitive, but usually made up of short pieces that have a main melody repeated twice, a secondary melody based on the first repeated twice, then a repeat of the main melody sometimes. That was the usual pattern. The geniuses of this type of music expanded on it a lot by adding counter melody, variations on the theme, and many other techniques and they are the ones you usually hear about in the present day. The other issue with Baroque music is that a lot of it was written for the clavichord which was a precursor of the piano, and it was very difficult to change dynamics with that instrument, which is why the music all sounds one dimensional.

So, on this album, Frank uses an instrument that allows him to change some timbre and such, but this was early on in Frank's exploration of the instrument, so the music sounds very unemotional and clinical. Also, he still hadn't tapped into the sounds of the instrument or expanded his talent on it fully. That would come later. I wouldn't really recommend this album to anyone unless they were a completionist or someone that might be interested in baroque music, but only if they weren't too picky. There is better baroque music out there, even though I am not a big fan of it, I do know what it takes to make it better and more interesting. Francesco was not a major composer and Frank hadn't developed his talent for the instrument yet. For those reasons, I can only squeak a 2 star rating for this, leaving for collectors or fans, which I am that more than anything and which is the only reason why I own this on vinyl. Sorry Frank....2 stars.

TCat | 2/5 |


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