Frank Zappa, Francesco Zappa

No relation, apparently. Now, mind you, classical music (even the synthetic variety) is not the normal brief of this reviewer, but I salute this rather unusual entry in the Zappa canon on three levels: first, it's delightfully obscure, second, it's delightfully different, and three, it's delightful. It is exactly as it bills itself, a digital performance ("his first digital recording in over 200 years," proclaims the album cover) of some of the notable or at least easily obtainable works of this lesser known Baroque-era Italian composer, no less and no more. The Synclavier's relatively limited tonal oeuvre does wear out its welcome a bit too quickly despite Zappa's light touch and short tracks, and frankly (hah) you could have just as easily said Wendy Carlos did this and no one would notice, but it did clearly satisfy his dual artistic goals of advancing the formalism of pop music while simultaneously giving big ripping middle fingers to the pop music industry. And hey, that's worth something. (Content: pure instrumental.)