Edgard Varèse
Alan Clayson

Sanctuary Publishing Ltd., London
ISBN 1-86074-398-6
208 pp, paperback, 21,5 x 13,5 cm

This first English-language biography of a composer has several Zappa references and here are the very first and last paragraphs of the book:

I still possess a 7s 6d ticket stub for The Mothers Of Invention’s British stage debut on 23 September 1967 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. As an excitable schoolboy from a country town in Hampshire, this show was a pivotal event that informed not so much my artistic direction but an attitude about its presentation. Through received advice from Frank Zappa, the group’s leader, via the music press, I also became an even more difficult teenager during a running battle about haircuts, church and other issues with a mother who swore she’d die of shame if ever I appeared onstage with a pop group.

Shortly before his own death, in 1993, Frank Zappa’s commitment to keeping Varèse’s work before the public extended to the recording of the hitherto unissued The Rage And The Fury: The Music Of Edgard Varèse with Germany’s Ensemble Modern. ‘Frank didn’t want to call it a tribute’ explained studio engineer Spencer Chrislu. ‘He felt Varèse is completely misunderstood, and he didn’t think the music had ever been performed properly. He wanted [The Ensemble Modern] to feel the music and get in touch with the emotions waiting to come out of it.’

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