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Frank Zappa & Ensemble Modern – The Yellow Shark (Live 1992 Full Concert)

ZappaIn 1991, Zappa was chosen to be one of four featured composers at the Frankfurt Festival in 1992 (the others were John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Alexander Knaifel). Zappa was approached by the German chamber ensemble, Ensemble Modern, which was interested in playing his music for the event. Although ill, Zappa invited them to Los Angeles for rehearsals of new compositions and new arrangements of older material.[190] In addition to being satisfied with the ensemble’s performances of his music, Zappa also got along with the musicians, and the concerts in Germany and Austria were set up for the fall.

In September 1992, the concerts went ahead as scheduled, but Zappa could only appear at two in Frankfurt due to illness. At the first concert, he conducted the opening “Overture”, and the final “G-Spot Tornado” as well as the theatrical “Food Gathering in Post-Industrial America, 1992” and “Welcome to the United States” (the remainder of the program was conducted by the ensemble’s regular conductor Peter Rundel). Zappa received a 20-minute ovation. It would become his last professional public appearance, as the cancer was spreading to such an extent that he was in too much pain to enjoy an event that he otherwise found “exhilarating”.

Recordings from the concerts appeared on The Yellow Shark (1993), Zappa’s last release during his lifetime, and some material from studio rehearsals appeared on the posthumous Everything Is Healing Nicely (1999).

Frank Zappa died on Saturday, December 4, 1993 in his home with his wife and children by his side. At a private ceremony the following day, Zappa was interred in an unmarked grave at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.[192][193] On Monday, December 6 his family publicly announced that “Composer Frank Zappa left for his final tour just before 6:00 pm on Saturday”.

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