Le Concert Impromptu plays Zappa

The wind quintet Le Concert Impromptu perform Frank Zappa compositions “King Kong” (above) and “Peaches en Regalia” (below) in these extracts from Jean-François Zygel‘s series ‘The Music Box’ with additional guest Didier Lockwood. The theme is on “Bach to the Future”, the concert impromptu interpreter of works by Bach, Reicha, Zappa and other improvisations. Originally broadcast on France 2 on August 26th, 2010.

I find it increasingly intriguing how European television broadcasters seem far more ready to broadcast groups performing Frank Zappa such as Le Concert Impromptu than their North American counterparts. I mean, I keep a eye on stations like Canada’s BRAVO and similar stations in the U.S., yet it’s always European stations that take the bold step and actually invite these groups and broadcast them.

Le Concert Impromptu is:

Yves Charpentier – Flûte
Hervé Clignez – Clarinette
Christophe Tessier – Basson
Anne Chamussy – Hautbois
Didier Velty – Cor

Note: spoken entirely in French.

10 Responses to “Le Concert Impromptu plays Zappa”

  1. Hugo says:

    Thanks for this. I discovered they even made a record of Zappas’
    http://www.le-concert-impromptu.com/fr/zappa.html

  2. Henry says:

    THis great! whats the name of the record and how can I get it please?

  3. Harry Barris says:

    These guys are very, very good for a small chamber wind ensemble performing Zappa material! They do a great job with such *limited* instrumentation: lacking percussion which is an important component of FZ’s arranging style.

  4. heini says:

    I saw the Omnibus Wind Ensemble in the 90s and remember their interpretation of Inca Roads and How Could I Be Such a Fool very fondly. Their rendition of Peaches en Regalia seemed to suffer from the lack of the drums that keeps the song flowing and knits the themes together, though. Le Concert Impromptu somehow keep this piece from falling apart. Don’t know how they do it, but I like it.

  5. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Harry Barris:

    These guys are very, very good for a small chamber wind ensemble performing Zappa material! They do a great job with such *limited* instrumentation: lacking percussion which is an important component of FZ’s arranging style.

    A quote from heini:

    I saw the Omnibus Wind Ensemble in the 90s and remember their interpretation of Inca Roads and How Could I Be Such a Fool very fondly. Their rendition of Peaches en Regalia seemed to suffer from the lack of the drums that keeps the song flowing and knits the themes together, though. Le Concert Impromptu somehow keep this piece from falling apart. Don’t know how they do it, but I like it.

    It’s been my observation that in the absence of percussion, another instrument or instruments can take over the role the percussion instrument(s) would have played. This is evident in both Le Concert Impromptu and Omnibus Wind Ensemble’s arrangements of Zappa compositions, and illustrated no more so than in “Peaches en Regalia”. Le Concert Impromptu’s performance of “Peaches en Regalia” not only manages to adhere to Zappa’s unique and challenging changes in tempo that make Peaches the iconic piece it is, by dividing the role that percussion instrument(s) would have played among their limited instruments, they remained absolutely true to the original. In the case of the Omnibus Wind Ensemble’s rendition, though, the tempo seems to crawl along, and their solution to a lack of percussion appears to have been to drop those percussive elements from the arrangement altogether. The result being an inferior rendition, in my opinion.

  6. overhere says:

    I think you will find that Europeans recognise that he was inspired by manu European composers (Varese par excellence). In addition, he presented a view of USA which was not apple pie. He inspired many in Eastern Europe before the wall came down

  7. phil jones says:

    Can I just say , that fellow Didier Lockwood is an absolute music monster, who played with frank (picture of him and frank hugging) , he has his first instrument the violin there but, boy can he play the trumpet like you wouldn’t believe, not only that the flute just as well, mind blowing, buy his work you wont regret it!!

  8. Slap says:

    A quote from phil jones:

    Can I just say , that fellow Didier Lockwood is an absolute music monster, who played with frank (picture of him and frank hugging) , he has his first instrument the violin there but, boy can he play the trumpet like you wouldn’t believe, not only that the flute just as well, mind blowing, buy his work you wont regret it!!

    This guy definitely has a resume. Anybody who’s played with Gong, Magma and FZ is OK in my book!

  9. HotRats says:

    “I find it increasingly intriguing how European television broadcasters seem far more ready to broadcast groups performing Frank Zappa”

    I guess it’s simply because we in Europe have a closer and deeper relationship (for historical reasons) with classical music and classical culture in general.

  10. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from HotRats:

    “I find it increasingly intriguing how European television broadcasters seem far more ready to broadcast groups performing Frank Zappa”

    I guess it’s simply because we in Europe have a closer and deeper relationship (for historical reasons) with classical music and classical culture in general.

    Quite true, HotRats. Still, that doesn’t answer the question as to why European broadcasters “seem far more ready to broadcast groups performing Frank Zappa” than their North American counterparts. I mean, of all the classical music and classical culture, why Zappa?

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