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BBC Proms 2013

BBC Proms 2013

Nancarrow (arr. Y Mikhashoff) Study for Player Piano No. 7
Zappa (arr. A Askin) G-Spot Tornado
Glass Symphony No. 10
Zappa (arr. A Askin) The Adventures of Greggery Peccary

Christopher Purves baritone
Mitch Benn narrator
Nicholas Collon conductor

Aurora makes its debut late-night appearance for the BBC Proms with a characteristically eclectic programme of American music ranging from a virtuosic 15-player arrangement of one of Conlon Nancarrow’s extraordinary Studies for Player Piano to the UK première of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 10.  At the heart of the programme is Frank Zappa’s The Adventures of Greggery Peccary, a mind-bending mock-rock opera which shows Zappa at his most explosively creative.

Pushing towards the furthest limits of technical possibility, Yvar Mikhashoff’s chamber orchestra arrangement of  Nancarrow’s Study for Player Piano No. 7 showcases the virtuosity of Aurora’s team of outstanding Principal Players. Frank Zappa once said of Nancarrow’s music, “The stuff is fantastic… You’ve got to hear it. It’ll kill you.”

Zappa himself was introduced to Nancarrow’s music by Jimi Hendrix’s recording engineer in 1967, and his dense textures and multiple interweaving lines show their influences in Zappa’s own subsequent writing – not least in The Adventures of Greggery Peccary. Packed full of surreal humour and political comment, the piece featured on the legendary 1978 Studio Tan album and tracks the surreal happenings in a day in the life of a pig named Greggery.

The programme is completed by the Tenth Symphony of Zappa’s fellow Baltimorean, Philip Glass, performed here for the first time in the UK.

Concert end time: approx. 11.30pm

Frank Zappa image – Copyright © 2013 Phil Franks. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission.