4 cellos

Arr. Walter Boudreau

The Black Page, which first appeared on Zappa in New York (recorded live in 1976), took its name from the comment of a band member to the effect that his chart contained so many notes that the page was black.

The work, which started out as a percussion solo, later had two other versions with a more melodic component, known as The Black Page No 1 and No 2. Both are notoriously difficult to perform (though the second is somewhat less so), and No 1 has served on occasion as a test piece for Zappa’s gruelling auditions—he once instructed guitarist Steve Vai to memorise it and play it “as fast as he could,” and on another occasion required the drummer Vinnie Colaiuta to sight-read the daunting solo percussion prelude.

This evening, several versions of the work will be heard in arrangements by Walter Boudreau. First Quasar will play an arrangement of Black Page No 1 for saxophone quartet then Uccello, will perform Black Page (inspired by the original percussion solo) and Black Page No 1, both for cello quartet.

A Deruchie [ii-07]

Performances