My Favorite Records

By Frank Zappa

Hit Parader, August 1967

If you want to learn how to play guitar, listen to Wes Montgomery. You also should go out and see if you can get a record by Cecil Taylor if you want to learn how to play the piano.

You ought to look into the complete works of Anton Webern on Columbia (K4L-232), conducted by Robert Craft. That's four records. Robert Craft is not always an excellent conductor, and his performances are not always absolutely accurate, but they probably didn't give him a very good budget because it was modern music, and they wanted to get the job over with, and he was probably under pressure, so don't mind the mistakes that are on there if you're following it with a score.

Also, Pierre Boulez conducts his own composition: "Le Marteau Sans Maître". I don't know what label that's on, but it's the one with Boulez conducting. The one by Robert Craft has too many mistakes.

Also you ought to get Bartk's first, second and third piano concertos, which are all very groovy and good to dance to. I have the version on Westminster (18277) by Edith Farnadi with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. I've never heard any other version of the second and third piano concertos so I don't know whether or not that's the best recording. It might not even be available. I heard another version of the first at Andy Kulberg's, of the Blues Project, who has an extensive collection of modern music.

Also, buy everything that you can by Igor Stravinsky and dance to it - especially "L'Histoire Du Soldat", which means "Soldier's Tale", and the "Agon" ballet, which is a beautiful thing.

There's a record by Karlheinz Stockhausen on the Deutsche Gramophon label called "Gesang der Jünglinge", it's the "Song Of The Youths"; "Kontakte" ("Contact") is on the other side. Buy that (DGG 138811).

I hope you spell all the names right because if any of these composers read Hit Parade, and see a mistake, they're going to be real mad at you.