Review Summary: All material contained herein is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be confused with any other form of artistic expression.
In 1984 Pierre Boulez, notorious composer of cryptical classical avant-garde music unlistenable to most people, after hearing the soundtrack of Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels, decides that this is exactly the sound contemporary classical music needs at he moment and commissioned Zappa some music for the Ensemble Intercontemporain to play.
Zappa on his side already considers himself a classical composer and is thrilled to have at his disposal a professional ensemble of classical musicians directed by Boulez (which figured in the famous list of influences on the liner notes of Freak Out!).
The result is a recording titled Pierre Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger. In which three orchestra pieces (The title track, Naval Aviation in Art? and Dupree’s Paradise) are alternated to four Synclavier compositions (The Girl in the Magnesium Dress, Love Story, Outside Now Again and Jonestown)
Each one of the tracks is accompanied by a program note in which the action is described. Each one more ludicrous than the next. This album is Frank Zappa at his finest. On one side he’s presented as a serious classical composer directed by the most influential name on the scene, inserted on a concert alongside names of American avant-gardists as his idol Varèse, on the oder he mocks the entire classical scene and his rigidness by writing classical music about “Gypsy Mutant Vacuum Cleaner “and republican couples “attempting sex while break-dancing”.