Zappa plays for Bach – „Just play my music“

Wednesday July 13th, 2022 - 20:00-22:00

St. Katharinen Hamburg

At the Stockholm concert of his last tour in 1988, Frank Zappa met two musical natural talents from Sweden: then 17-year-old Mats Öberg and the drummer Morgan Ågren, 20. He invited them on stage that evening to perform "Big Swifty". Zappa later told a TV interviewer: "They both played just amazing". Mats received an offer to go on a world tour with his idol Zappa, which had to be canceled due to Zappa's advanced illness. Mats Öberg, who was born blind in 1971, presents his new solo album "Frankful", a musical homage to the classical composer Frank Zappa, in St. Katharinen, in keeping with the cathedral acoustics of Hamburg's main church. In Mats Öberg's hands, the complicated, multi-layered rock numbers are transformed into improvised treasures in the style of jazz pianists Keith Jarrett or Chick Corea. When asked how he actually learned the music of great composers, Mats Öberg said as a child: "I hear them and they just get stuck in my brain."

Napoleon Murphy Brock, born in 1945, also had to study notes, keys and tempo changes to get accepted as lead singer and saxoponist with the “Mothers of Invention” in the early 1970s. "It was a completely new kind of musical cosmos for me," he says today, "Frank Zappa didn't allow any music stands on stage." In the second part of the concert, Mats Öberg accompanies Napoleon on the keyboard on a journey through this cosmos with the program "Zappa pure". The Zappa standards "Oh No", "Uncle Meat" or "Peaches En Regalia" will be presented in a complex way by the two exceptional talents in a well-rehearsed duet. Whether it's a contrapuntal bass line or virtuoso harmonica playing - the duo ties in with the baroque art of improvisation on a theme that Georg Philipp Telemann, who worked as Director Musices at St. Katharinen for decades, demanded from the musicians. Solo, duo, tutti - Zappa disciples know no limits.

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