Olli Virtaperko (taken from the cd liner notes):
"Ensemble Ambrosius is a group that concentrates in contemporary music, using mostly baroque instruments. Ambrosius was formed in 1995 and from the very beginning the music of american composer Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993) has been one or our main focusses.
The members of Ensemble Ambrosius have all gone through extensive studies of
the performance practice of early music and have at some point studied in the Sibelius
Academy, Helsinki, Finland.
June 14, 2003, the Ensemble Ambrosius performed a Zappa set called "Baroque Zappa" at the Umeå Internationella Kammarmusik Festival. This festival took place from 2003/06/09 to 2003/06/15. A big part of the festival was dedicated to the music of Frank Zappa.
In 2007, the Ensemble Ambrosius contributed their version of Frank Zappa's
'The Idiot Bastard Son' to "20 Extraordinary Renditions", Andrew Greenaway's project that got released on Cordelia Records.
The Ensemble Ambrosius opened the 2010 edition of the Zappanale
festival with a concert in Hamburg. The ensemble also performed at the
|1||ensemble ambrosius: the zappa album
(2000, cd, austria, bis/northern lights label bis-nl-cd-5013) – all compositions by frank zappa
|2||ensemble ambrosius: metrix
(2001, cd, ??, ??)
20 extraordinary renditions
(2008, cd, uk, cordelia records) - all compositions by frank zappa
zappanale 21 - promo-cd 2010
(2009, cd-promo, ger, arf society)
(2010, dvdr, ger, private release)
napoleon murphy brock: zappa
spielt für bach
(2011, cd, ger, s-j-s-edition nr.5) - lots of compositions by frank zappa // feat. napoleon murphy brock
2003/06/14 “Baroque Zappa" at the Umeå Internationella Kammarmusik Festival
Olli Virtaperko: cello * Jonte Knif: keyboards * Ere Lievonen: cymbal * Matti Vanhamäki: violin * Anni Haapaniemi: oboe * Jani Sunnarborg: fagot * Tuukka Terho: lute * Ricardo Padilla: percussion
Frank Zappa: Night School * Uncle Meat * Igor's Boogie * Toads of the Short Forest * Dupree's Paradise * The Black Page #2 * Zoot Allures * Big Swifty * The Idiot Bastard Son * RDNZL * Echidna's Arf (of you) * G-Spot Tornado
György Ligeti: Continuum
Olli Virtaperko: Metrixs, Hymni
Knif: Pienet sienet
Let's Make The Water Turn Black
Echidna's Arf (Of You)
|I know people
who regard the Ensemble Ambrosius' "The Zappa Album" as one of
the best albums of a band or ensemble that performs the music of Frank
Zappa. I agree.
The Ensemble Ambrosius is scheduled to open the 2010 edition of the Zappanale festival with a concert in Hamburg. The ensemble will also perform at the festival itself. I took the opportunity to ask Olli Virtaperko a couple of questions.
UniMuta: You released your "Zappa" album in 2000. It's a fabulous record on which you perform Zappa's music on baroque instruments. I know that you performed it in concert at the Umea Festival in 2003, and I saw you performing it in Brugge, Belgium, in 2004. Do you get many occasions to perform?
Olli Virtaperko / Ensemble Ambrosius: We perform so seldom that the only logical way to rehease the group is to do it by project-related basis.
Virtaperko / Ensemble Ambrosius: We'll
have a program that consists both Zappa and my own compositions. Most of
the Zappa pieces will be from The Zappa Album, but re-arranged, as we
have some new instruments, such as a Finnish folk music instrument
kantele, whish blends very nicely with broque instruments.
However, we also plan to play some new Zappa pieces as well. And
Napoleon Murphy Brock will be joining us in both Hamburg and Bad Doberan,
so that brings an extra flavour to the events with some potentially
surprising new repertoire.
recorded an album with Zappa material, I can imagine that you're into
the music of Frank Zappa. Will you be staying the three days of the
Zappanale festival & are their bands that you want to see?
Virtaperko / Ensemble Ambrosius: I
have not have had time to study the program properly, but the little
that I've seen looks very promising. Some major Zappa musicians are
partisipating the festival, so I'd imagine it will be both interesting
Ensemble Ambrosius has released a second album, "Metrix", with
pieces that were written by you and by Jonte Knif. Is this the new
direction that the Ensemble will be taking? Will you be performing
material from "Metrix" as well?
Olli Virtaperko / Ensemble Ambrosius: I would imagine some material of "Metrix" will be played, but as far as our own music is concerned I think we'll concentrate on more recent material. We will be performing 'GACH' and 'Questa storia del mago non mi convince'. Both are written by me. Stylistically those two pieces lie in the category of "modal, jazz-rock-influenced music that utilize some classical compositional approaches", but we'll also play a couple of purely "conteporay classical" pieces of mine. As far as stylistical diversity of our program is concerned I'd like to say that I like to mix things and styles within a concert program, but in individual compositions I prefere to make clear stylistical choises and stick in them - in that sense I'm a conservative-sort-of-a-personality with little interest in "cross-over" as such. My main job and passion is composing music. But I also understand that the concept of Ambrosius is built on Zappa, so it will stay as the core of our doings also in future - which is nice, by the way: it's wonderful music and great fun to play. I'm lucky enough to have lots of other compositional commissions so that I don't have to overload Ambrosius with my own music to fullfill my personal musical ambitions. I think the balance that we now have between Zappa and our own material (50-50) is fine.
UniMuta: Thank you very much Olli. These concerts are something I don't want to miss.
dates to remember are August 10 for the St.Katharinen-concert in
Hamburg, and August 13 for the Zappanale concert in Bad Doberan.
|Here are some more pictures from the Ensemble's Zappanale
Pictures taken by Steffen Schindler.