(1994) Harmonia Meets Zappa

Harmonia Ensemble

... read moreIt's too bad that Frank Zappa didn't live to hear this recording of his works by Harmonia, a talented trio of Italians. This group has classical roots but is open to importing touches from several genres. Utilizing overdubs of their respective instruments and an occasional guest as well, Harmonia...

01:00′:43″ 16 Songs

1
Harmonia Ensemble
Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra
1:52
2
Harmonia Ensemble
Hungry Freaks, Daddy
2:57
3
Harmonia Ensemble
Peaches En Regalia
4:18
4
Harmonia Ensemble
What's New In Baltimore?
3:20
5
Harmonia Ensemble
Son Of Mr. Genes, Green
8:35
6
Harmonia Ensemble
Barking Playful Sandwich / T-Mershi Duweeen / Igor's Boogie, Phase Four
6:01
7
Harmonia Ensemble
Luna
1:35
8
Harmonia Ensemble
Little Beige Sambo
2:37
9
Harmonia Ensemble
Code 32
3:39
10
Harmonia Ensemble
Goggle 2
0:38
11
Harmonia Ensemble
Iudixio
5:54
12
Harmonia Ensemble
A Frank Lesson
5:40
13
Harmonia Ensemble
Waka / Jawaka
3:53
14
Harmonia Ensemble
What's New In Baltimore? (Theme)
1:49
15
Harmonia Ensemble
Hello, Freaks! (Live)
3:56
16
Harmonia Ensemble
Theme From Lumpy Gravy
3:59
Released 01 January 1994, ℗ Materiali Sonori

Review

It's too bad that Frank Zappa didn't live to hear this recording of his works by Harmonia, a talented trio of Italians. This group has classical roots but is open to importing touches from several genres. Utilizing overdubs of their respective instruments and an occasional guest as well, Harmonia will entertain the most knowledgeable Zappa fans as they explore new dimensions within his challenging compositions. "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" is a mix of Damiano Puliti's overdubbed cellos (one pizzicato and one arco) and multiple clarinets by Orio Odori in a swinging arrangement. A dramatic take of "Peaches En Regalia" features superb piano by Alessandra Garosi and a few humorous passages added to the theme by the group, especially the wild finale. Garosi tackles "What's New in Baltimore?" unaccompanied, inserting some original lines and some tongue-in-cheek barroom piano during its finale. The trio adds an intriguing introduction to "Son of Mr. Green Genes," which is eventually fleshed out with a sampled guitar solo. "Little Beige Sambo" was written and recorded by Zappa on the synclavier; Harmonia's version relies on programming as well, though it is quite different from the composer's version. But it is the stunning overhaul of Zappa's "Waka/Jawaka" that stands out as Harmonia's greatest achievement. This once intense uptempo piece has been slowed considerably to show off lyrical interplay between the overdubbed clarinets and cellos, while Garosi's piano adds a solo finale. A Baroque flavored reprise of "What's New in Baltimore?" is an appropriate conclusion. Harmonia also plays a number of original works that fit in well with the Zappa material. This highly recommended CD ranks alongside Ensemble Modern's interpretations of the late composer's music, though Harmonia didn't have the benefit of rehearsing with Zappa, as Ensemble Modern did. [This version includes two hidden tracks at the end of the disc.] ~ Ken Dryden