August 5, 2013 – 4:57 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

BBC Proms 2013 [no label, 1CD]
Aurora Orchestra with Nicholas Collon (conductor)

Live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK; July 31, 2013. Excellent webcast.

Here is a Zappa tribute that fans of the man should enjoy.

Ivan Hewett wrote in

Here the usual attributes of subtle orchestral artistry were not required. What was needed was machine-gun precision and the endurance to maintain a hectic, loud, repeated pattern for minutes at a stretch… In The Adventures of Greggery Peccary, Zappa’s satire on modern America… Mitch Benn narrated the story with a nicely satirical touch, and Christopher Purves was gleefully over-the-top as Greggery, the fraud who dupes America with a pointless invention and (presumably) gets rich.

Zappa had hippy woolly-mindedness in his sights as much as corporate greed, and having two targets robbed the satire of force. But the music was a different matter. It had a wonderful combination of sharp focus and sly stylistic parody, and in this dazzling performance seemed like a proper masterpiece.


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…

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.

Probably the best antidote to those national day jingles currently being aired in town.

Thanks to tom_phillips (TomP) who recorded the show and sharing it at Dime.

320k AAC > i-Stream (44.1k wav) > Nero (remove announcer, tracking, volume+balance adjust) > TLH (md5, flac 6 + SBE/decode check)

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Both Symphony No. 10 and The Adventures of Greggery Peccary have been arbitrarily split for easier access.

Track 01. Study for Player Piano No. 7 (Nancarrow arr. Yvar Mikhashoff) 9:43 (16.3MB)
Track 02. G-Spot Tornado (Zappa arr. Ali N. Askin) 4:07 (6.9MB)
Symphony No. 10 (Philip Glass) 26:22 [UK première]
Track 03. Part A (9.6MB)
Track 04. Part B (14.4MB)
Track 05. Part C (20.4MB)
The Adventures of Greggery Peccary (Zappa orch. Ali N. Askin) 22:32 *
Track 06. Part A (16.1MB)
Track 07. Part B (10.2MB)
Track 08. Part C (11.6MB)
Total time = 62:44min

Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Collon (conductor)
Christopher Purves (baritone) *
Mitch Benn (narrator) *

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  1. 15 Responses to “BBC PROMS - FRANK ZAPPA 2013”

  2. thanks bigO, this looks interesting.

    By barth on Aug 5, 2013

  3. thanks so much, nancarrow is amazing, no matter who plays it

    By maruja on Aug 5, 2013

  4. george duke age 67 is gone.
    for fans of zappa and the mothers who arent sure which albums hes on.. Chungas Revenge, 200 Motels and Apostrophe are the most obvious ones.

    By darth on Aug 6, 2013

  5. Darth, thanx for the news… I hadn’t heard. Personally, Frank’s late 60’s-early 70’s jazz period - which George Duke was, ahem, “instrumental” in realizing - was my favorite of Zappa’s.

    By lowendbill on Aug 7, 2013

  6. lowendbill - i dont know if id call that period his jazz period but its my fave period too. i love hot rats too and well pretty much anything that includes long instrumental jams. i have a hard time remembering which music is on which album with fz especially since he has so much product. official product is something like 84 albums i think. unofficial is ridiculous. and if u think about it the period of his output was essentially 1966-92. thats 26 years. i dont know anyone else who has put out that kind of material in that time frame.

    as far as duke is concerned tho. i think he is on more than just those 3 albums i mentioned but those are the ones he is most credited for appearing on. u can hear his efforts more clearly on the rhino reissues in the 90s and then the subsequent reissues since then. even more so than the originals. im not so sure that is good but if u love duke then check those out.

    as for duke recordings in general.. check out this link -

    By darth on Aug 7, 2013

  7. George Duke also played on ‘One Size fits all’, which was one of Frank Zappa’s personal favourites. Mine too.

    By Daniel on Aug 7, 2013

  8. George Duke’s web site is very comprehensive.

    Go to the “History” section to view his discography. He was very prolific, not only as a musician, but also a producer. He left a fine legacy.

    By Dingus on Aug 7, 2013

  9. darth… perhaps “instrumental-driven” is a more accurate term. At any rate, semantics aside, I agree witcha! Besides the quantity of music, certainly the variety is astounding… for better and worse. And for all the musicians that Frank gave a chance to shine, all of Frank’s dumber-assed endeavors may be forgiven.

    By lowendbill on Aug 7, 2013

  10. “Frank’s dumber-assed endeavors”

    What would those be, lowendbill?

    By Dingus on Aug 7, 2013

  11. @ darth,

    george duke played on 13 fz albums

    By Hausmeister on Aug 7, 2013

  12. haus - no need to tell me. u could have listed them tho for ppl who might have been interested. i only mentioned his 3 most obvious famous and memorable contributions. many fans of fz remember his appearance on roxy and elsewhere. a lot of his fans know him from his stint with jean luc ponty.
    i found a very nice bio here too -

    By darth on Aug 7, 2013

  13. haus - no need to tell me. u could have listed them tho for ppl who might have been interested

    darth don`t you get it when someone tries to do something nice for you and you come back with an insult?
    what is wrong with you that you cannot be gracious once in your miserable life?

    By fast eddy on Aug 7, 2013

  14. Dingus, thanks for the link. I didn’t follow Duke’s solo work very closely, just his work with Frank Zappa, and I had no idea he was also a producer, even on Mel Brooks’ movie “Spaceballs”! I like that he has personal notes for each of his solo LPs. I wish he had made a few comments about the people he worked with as a sideman though.

    What was most interesting was Duke’s essay in the “Corner” section: “Is Music Necessary, Are School Music Programs Important?”. Unfortunately he passed before writing part 2 about the odds of making a living in music. Here’s the link again, for those who may have missed it:

    By Mark E. on Aug 7, 2013


    By music for like minded darths on Aug 8, 2013

  16. excellent!! thank you!!

    By Paul on Jan 3, 2014

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