Review: Zappa at Montreal

Posted on: October 29, 2013

In Monday’s (10/28) Gazette (Montreal), Arthur Kaptainis writes, “Some concerts are defined as much by the audience as the repertoire. Such an event was the OSM Éclaté program of Saturday night, performed substantially for the urban up-and-comers of the Young Ambassadors Club, who partied on in the lobby of the Maison symphonique after the final chord of Frank Zappa’s Bogus Pomp faded away. Bogus Pomp aroused curiosity for a few reasons, not least the fact that Kent Nagano knew the composer and recorded the piece in 1983. Far from the rock pastiche we might have feared, it opened with a 20th Century Fox-like fanfare and continued in cinematic mode for several minutes before musicians began to stand up and sit down, making the satiric intent clear.… There was just enough dissonance to guard against our taking the tonal idiom at face value.… The performance was brimming with life. And while Zappa obviously made his living in the rock realm, he seemed to know his way around the orchestra.” Also on the program were Jörg Widmann’s Teiresias of 2009 and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. “The take-away message for all concerned: This is a very good orchestra.”

Posted October 29, 2013