Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Shut Up 'N Play Your Violin 

Red {an orchestra} pays tribute to Frank Zappa.

1390959.t.jpg
Orchestras typically shy away from rock music. But Red {an orchestra} isn’t your typical ensemble, as it proves this weekend when it performs The Importance of Being Zappa, a tribute to experimental-rock weirdo Frank Zappa. Non-traditional repertoire is Red’s hallmark, and Jonathan Sheffer, the local group’s artistic director, is constantly game for such ventures. “Zappa’s music has always been high on my curiosity list,” he says. “I’m definitely a fan -- in the sense that I’m fascinated by it.”

But Sheffer didn’t simply let his fascination run wild. Given Zappa’s vast output, complex writing, and huge range of influences, Sheffer saw a chance to really explore the subject in depth and from multiple angles. The Importance of Being Zappa includes four major pieces by Zappa: “Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat,” “Be-Bop Tango,” “Naval Aviation in Art?,” and “G-Spot Tornado.”

In addition to the Zappa tunes, Red will perform three works by classical composers who had a profound impact on the songwriter, who died in 1993. Listen for Zappa’s musical architecture in Edgar Varèse’s “Integrales, his rhythmic voice in Igor Stravinsky’s “Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments,” and his predilection for odd instrumentation and multi-tracking in Anton Webern’s Op. 10 “Five Pieces for Orchestra.” None of these compositions is likely to appear on another orchestra’s program anytime soon -- let alone within this context. “This concert is really getting into some stuff that’s not performed often,” says Sheffer. “It crosses into a million different areas.”
Feb. 16-17, 8 p.m.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Highlights

More by Zachary Lewis.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation