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The Yellow Shark

BBC SO Total Immersion: Frank Zappa

A big yellow circle with Sharks circling in it. Out of the circle come blue, yellow and pink sun rays.

Guildhall’s Ubu Ensemble pay homage to Frank Zappa’s iconic last album The Yellow Shark, harvested from his appearance at the 1992 Frankfurt Festival.

Following a diagnosis of terminal cancer, in 1991 Zappa agreed to appear as a featured composer at the Frankfurt Festival the next year. What started as a cautious collaboration turned into an inspired one when Zappa started working with the German contemporary music orchestra, Ensemble Modern.  The concerts that followed have gone down in history, thanks in part to The Yellow Shark. The album contains live recordings from the festival in which Zappa’s tongue-in cheek command to his audience to ‘get serious’ rubs shoulders with now-classic Zappa scores including the unmistakable melody of 'G-Spot Tornado'.

This performance focuses on works that rhapsodize on Zappa’s intense, disciplined interest in classical counterpoint. Music by the composer’s beloved Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky and Anton Webern provide essential context.

This performance will finish at approximately 4.30pm


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