This week on BBC Radio 3 "Chariots of Fire" film producer David Puttnam is a daily guest on the "Essential Classics" programme. On today's episode he talked about his approach to working with film composers, and in particular he talked about working with Vangelis. On the show David Puttnam also shared some of his favorite classical compositions to be played on the programme, among his picks, Vangelis' "Eric's Theme" arranged by his son Sacha Puttnam and performed by The London Telefilmonic Orchestra. See our update from last year on Sacha's cover album that included 4 rearrangements of Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" score.
Last week the UK vinyl pressing of Vangelis' "Blade Runner" was released. Two editions are available, a regular black vinyl edition and an upcoming 500 limited edition red vinyl offered only at participating HMV shops and some record stores starting next Saturday June 20. This exclusive vinyl edition can only be purchased in person at the store and cannot be reserved or purchased online.
After the successful US release of Vangelis' Blade Runner score on limited edition vinyl by Audio Fidelity in 2013, now UK's Warner Music will make the soundtrack available in the UK through its label Rhino Records. Availability of the LP is scheduled for early June. Many UK online record stores are accepting pre-orders.
Twilight Time's Blu-ray edition of the Vangelis scored "The Bounty" (1984) movie (see our February 7 update) was released with a slight delay, but it's the content that matters. Sadly, this is where the disappointment really starts. At least, for anyone who got excited about the promise of an isolated score track of Vangelis' wonderful warm score. For reasons beyond our comprehension, Twilight Time has delivered this with an isolated score in Mono. The sound also feels weirdly processed and unusually thin.
They probably didn't manage to find access to proper recordings of the music, but that doesn't negate the fact that the whole point of an isolated score is to enjoy the music undisturbed in good quality. You don't expect the music to loose all of its wonderful warm spacial stereo sound when switching to this track. We did all stop listening to mono music somewhere before the '70s, and with good reason. This is not an isolated score, but a degraded one. None of the announcements made any mention of this.
They did manage to include the full end title music (contrary to most DVD releases of this movie), which continues running a minute or so after the titles have left the screen, but what's the point if the quality is sub-par?
Thanks to Paul MacLean for his early reports on the mono issue, sorry we couldn't get this out earlier...
Classical pianist Effie Agrafioti and jazz pianist George Kontrafouris are performing concerts together. Vangelis has composed a piece especially for Agrafioti, which according to the program listings will be performed on these occasions.
The concerts will take place at Megaron Moussikis in Thessaloniki on May 8 and at Megaron Moussikis in Athens on May 20.
Yesterday marked the first occasion in Western Europe to view a public screening of the latest Vangelis scored movie: The French Algerian co-production of "Crépuscule Des Ombres" at the Film Festival in the Belgian city of Mons.
Here follow the first two reports we received on this event:
Special thanks to Marc Vanholsbeeck and a fan from Belgium, for sharing their thoughts!
Several years after www.VangelisCollector's Don Fennimore found a way to purchase the then considered mythical Vangelis scored Microsurgery video tapes, a number of popular blogs have brought new publicity for the 1998 medical educational releases' 10+ hours of unreleased Vangelis music.
This inspired Greek online magazine "Greka Magazine" to go out and conduct an interview with Dr. Tegos himself, to find out more about the backgrounds of this inimitable release. The interview has only been published in the Greek language, but there is always Google Translate, which works out pretty well in this case, especially when English is the target language.
Vangelis' scored movie "Crépuscule Des Ombres" will be screened in Belgium on February 25 at the Mons International Film Festival (FIFA). Tickets will go on sale on February 13.
The nation-wide release of the film in its native country Algeria is planned for 2015 though an exact date remains unknown. For more information on "Crépuscule Des Ombres" check our updates from November 11 and May 10.
This week Vangelis' scored film "Antarctica" (1983) was released on Blu-Ray and DVD for the first time in France. The film is presented in its original Japanese audio track with French subtitles.
Another film getting the Blu-Ray treatment is "The Bounty" (1984). US-based company Twilight Time plans to release the film on March 10. Twilight Time is renowned for making releases of restored films and including the isolated scores, however note most of their releases are issued in limited quantities.
Thanks to Michael McMahan for the heads-up on "The Bounty" release!!
After it was announced today that Greek singer Demis Roussos passed away in the night from Saturday to Sunday, Vangelis has released the following statement to the press:
Demis my friend,
I have just arrived in London and I've been told that you decide to take the long voyage.
I'm shocked because I can't believe that this happened so soon.
Nature gave you this magic voice of yours which made millions of people around the world very happy.
As for me, I keep those special memories that we share together those early days and I wish you to be happy whenever you are.
Goodbye my friend goodbye
Demis Roussos and Vangelis where both founding members of Aphrodite's Child and collaborated on many other occasions, mostly in the early stages of their careers.
A fun article appeared on ESA's official blog enumerating the sounds of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as well as the musical compositions created for the Rosetta space mission.
A new video of Vangelis was posted on Angela Gheorghiu Facebook page on the occasion of Romania's National Day. Vangelis was one of several international figures congralating Angela, artists included Andrea Bocelli, José Carreras, Evelino Pido, Corneliu Fanateanu, and the director of the Royal Opera House Kasper Holten.
Last Sunday the premiere for "Crépuscule Des Ombres" was held in Algeria, attended by the film's cast, members of the press, and representatives from the government including the prime minister of Algeria Abdelmalek Sellal.
Film reviews reflected on the conflict centred around the three fictional characters in the film during the Algerian War. Khalid an Algerian who returns to his land from France to discover the ugliness of occupation and joins the resistance. Saintenac a French army major stationed at his fort in the desert. And Lambert, a French soldier who is a conscientious objector, believing in the legitimacy of the struggle for independence. The story unfolds in the second part of the film as the three characters - for unforeseen circumstances - are gathered together, questioning their convictions. Mohamed Lukhdar-Hamina is revered in his native country Algeria, he said he came out of retirement so he could realize this film. He stated he attempted to tell the truth in this film, and therefore he considers it to be a good film. He said his message is not of hate but to look past the ancient conflict and to bring a universal lesson and to communicate with the younger generation.
The premiere for French-Algerian produced film "Crépuscule Des Ombres" was held in Algeria today. A TV news report covering the event showed some scenes from the film; the director Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina was interviewed and said he considers this film to be his best work. Two official trailers were aired as well.
Some news from Algeria on the new Vangelis' scored movie "Crépuscule Des Ombres". Tomorrow on November 16 the film will get its official premiere in Algeria and will be attended by film director Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina and members of the film's cast. While the premiere is not open for the public, news point out the public won't have to wait too long for the film's release in Algeria, with a date to be announced soon.
The European Space Agency (ESA) videos celebrating its Rosetta mission with new compositions by Vangelis were mentioned on major media outlets from around the world. Here are a selection of links.
ESA's Rosetta Mission posted Vangelis' third and final video clip as soon as confirmation the Philae spacecraft made a successful landing. The latest track is called "Rosetta's Waltz". We post all three videos below, from the most recent clip to the oldest:
On the day that ESA's Rosetta Mission attempts to deploy a lander to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency has released two (of an expected total of three) music video's, sharing with the world three new original Vangelis compositions, inspired by and composed for this unique mission.
Do brace your self for some brutal fade outs at the end of these video's. It's quite a crime that these pieces are incomplete. Nevertheless, all our thanks to ESA for this special occasion, in multiple ways.
We will report back here when the third and final video is released.
As first reported back in July, Greek record label Cobalt Music is releasing a deluxe box set on the 400th anniversary of El Greco's death. The box set is now available to purchase from Greek online music stores:
Thanks to Kevin Nolan for the heads-up!!
As you may have heard, listening to the radio program that we announced earlier this week, Akiko Ebi spoke a lot about Vangelis in her interview on French classical radio.
The Vangelis music she brought were the original Vangelis performances, not performed by her on piano, like we originally thought. Sadly, the radio station failed to play the unreleased Vangelis track that we wrote about. While Akiko spoke about this track (refered to "Jeu de Lumière") the radio station played an excerpt from Mythodea. This seems to have been a mistake. Mythodea was not listed on the program's track list, which registered "Jeu de Lumière" playing at that moment instead.
It might be a good idea to complain and request for the track still to be broadcast. For instance, contact presenter Olivier Bellamy here. It could help, if enough people respond.
The show's playlist, falsly claiming "Jeu de Lumière" was broadcast can be seen here, after opening the 18:00 slot.
Akiko spoke candidly about her passion for Vangelis' music, and about meeting him in person for the first time in 1990 at the Martha Agerich festival in Paris. She also spoke about Vangelis generosity, and his philosophical values. For music she brought Antarctica, while the show added a poor orchestral cover version of "Conquest of Paradise".
This afternoon at 6pm local time, French classical radio station "Radio Classique" will broadcast an interview with French / Japanese pianist Akiko Ebi (well known to Vangelis enthusiasts from documentaries like "Musiques Au Coeur de Vangelis" and "Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaka").
Although we can't be sure what will actually be broadcast, word is that Akiko played no less than three Vangelis compositions during this interview, one of which is currently unreleased.
Let's hope her performances of this music will be broadcast.
Reliable sources near Cobalt Music confirm that the "El Greco - The Anniversary Edition" box set is slated for a release in the early days of November. It will be available internationally through various on-line retailers.
The limited edition box set contains the Vangelis soundtrack on CD, on LP, the movie on DVD and a book about the paintings in a gorgeous luxurious box.
There is still no release date available for the expected deluxe El Greco box-set release. A Greek design company has posted their design for the box set on their web site. We have at this time no information on whether this design is final or what the status of the project is.
Thanks to Dietmar Paul for sharing his find!
Holly Johnson shared some interesting insights about his collaboration with Vangelis on the track "Europa".
Holly Johnson's new album "Europa" is released today in the UK. As reported last June the album's title track "Europa" is a song written by Holly and Vangelis 24 years ago. The song was recorded for this album with the participation of Vangelis. A second mix of the song appears on the deluxe version of the CD as a bonus track (labelled "original mix".) Both versions of the song were recorded recently, with only a few sounds remaining from the demo, as originally recorded by the two musicians in the early nineties.
UK newspaper The Guardian is streaming Holly Johnson's upcoming album on their website. Fans eager to listen to the song co-penned with Vangelis "Europa" before the album's official release can do so at the following link:
Last week Editions Zoroastre began shipping orders of Frédéric Rossif's film "La Fête Sauvage", available on DVD or Blu-Ray. The beautifully restored film was originally released theatrically in 1975 and it featured an original score by Vangelis. For more details on the restoration project, please check our earlier updates from June 21, 2014 and February 13, 2013.
For the time being, the film is available for purchase exclusively on the film's official website until September 22 when it will then be also available from the French Amazon. On December 2 the film will be available nationwide in France at retail stores like FNAC and Auchuan, as well as on video on demand services.
Plans for similar restoration projects for Rossif's Vangelis scored documentaries are being considered, such plans will get momentum if "La Fête Sauvage" gets great support and is a success.
In addition to the upcoming deluxe box set of Vangelis' score for the "El Greco" (2007), which will contain the score on CD and vinyl, plus a book and DVD of the movie, Cobalt Music in Greece will release the score on vinyl as a separate release.
The box set is planned for the end of this month. We'll report here when it's released.
Marnix Peeters' Dutch / Flemish novel "De tenondergang en de ongelooflijke wederopstanding van Eddy Vangelis" has been released, and indeed features a protagonist who comes to love Vangelis' music. He browses for records on a Holiday in Greece and enjoys Spiral as his favorite Vangelis album. There are several references to Vangelis' music, and he does change his name, as a tribute to the composer.
Initial response to the seedy but humorous and absurd(ish) story seems favorable.
Cherry Red Records label Esoteric has just re-released Vangelis' "Heaven & Hell" album on vinyl. The record contains Vangelis' recently remastered version of the album (with extra digital reverb added and a bit of music cut out) pressed on 180 gram vinyl.
The gatefold artwork apparently is an exact replica of the original artwork, making it hard to distinguish this edition from the original release, judging from the outside.
Incidently, Universal has also re-released Aphrodite's Child's "666" on vinyl, as a part of their Back-To-Black series.
French language Algerian news paper AlWatan is the first to publicly report on the new Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina movie "Crépuscule Des Ombres", praising not only the film as an artistic success, but also Vangelis' new original score, admiring the "lyrical dimension it beautifully adds to the film."
The "Festival Film Francophone d'Angoulême" in the west of France will have the first advance screening of the new Vangelis' scored movie "Crépuscule Des Ombres", directed by Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina.
The film festival's web site also has a synopsis of the story in French, and the first poster design for this French-Algerian produced war movie. The movie stars Samir Boitard, Laurent Hennequin and Nicolas Bridet.
The screening takes place on Tuesday August 24 at the CGR cinema in Angoulême", starting at 14:30.
Special thanks to Alain Guillem for the tip!
According to acclaimed Belgian literary novelist Marnix Peeters, his upcoming third novel tributes Vangelis by having its protagonist adopts Vangelis as his new family name.
The novel by Marnix Peeters, 'De tenondergang en de ongelooflijke wederopstanding van Eddy Vangelis' ('The downfall and the incredible uprising of Eddy Vangelis') is to be published august 22 by Amsterdam-based Prometheus - the book tells the story of a man who, after a great number of tribes and tribulations, turns his life around, and adopts the name of the Greek musician Vangelis. It's Peeters' third literary book - following his highly acclaimed debut 'De dag dat we Andy zijn arm afzaagden' (translated into Italian as 'Il giorno che segammo il braccio a Andy') and last year's 'Natte dozen' ('Wet boxes').
We'll check out the book when it's released, to see if this promise is met. Writer Marnix Peeters once selected music for Belgian national radio station Studio Brussel and has enjoyed a successful career as a music journalist.
Although as a rule we prefer not to report on cover versions of Vangelis music, here's one release that catches the eye and even more so the ears...
Sacha Puttnam, accomplished classical pianist and also son of Chariots of Fire producer David Puttnam has release a CD called "Puttnam plays Puttnam", where he performs classically styled cover versions of music from the movies produced by his father. The release includes performances of Vangelis' Chariots of Fire, Eric's Theme and two versions of Abraham's Theme. All tracks have been tastefully reworked and are well produced, but it's probably the delightfully delicate performances that really makes these recordings hit home.
Holly Johnson's web store now shows the artwork for his upcoming new album "Europa", which will contain the Vangelis collaborative track with the same name. Remember to look also at the deluxe version of the CD, as it lists an "original version" for the Vangelis track. The song was originally composed by the two legendary musicians in the early nineties.
The release is planned for September 29.
"Cobalt Music", the successor to the former record label "Universal Music Greece" is about to release a deluxe box set version of Vangelis' original score for the 2007 movie "El Greco". The release comes on the occasion of a year of celebrations, exhibitions and other festivities in Spain and Greece, as 2014 marks the 400 year anniversary of the famous painter's death.
The score to "El Greco" was originally released in 2007 on CD in Greece by Universal Music Greece and later also sold in Spain. Since earlier this year, the music was also released to most of Europe in the digital domain.
Reliable sources close to Vangelis confirm that a limited edition deluxe box set will be released in Greece shortly. No exact date has been announced yet.
The release will be limited to a 1000 copies. The box will contain the soundtrack CD, the same soundtrack pressed on vinyl, a DVD of the movie and a book on El Greco by Taschen.
The contents will be packed in luxurious box, designed to match the artwork of the original CD.
Check back here for more details, as soon as they are announced...
The tracklist of Holly Johnson's upcoming "Europa" album is published on his website. There will be two editions of the album: a regular 11-track album CD and vinyl, and a limited edition 13-track signed CD. Both CDs contain Holly's updated version of "Europa" that he and Vangelis originally worked on in 1990, (see our update from 21 June). Also worth to note that the deluxe edition CD of "Europa" has an "original version" of the title track as a bonus track.
1 Follow Your Heart 2 In And Out Of Love 3 Heaven's Eyes 4 So Much It Hurts 5 Dancing With No Fear 6 Europa 7 Glorious 8 Hold On Tight 9 Lonesome Town 10 You're In My Dreams Tonight 11 The Sun Will Shine Again 12 Europa (Original Version) 13 So Much It Hurts (Piano Version)
This week Frédéric Rossif's newly restored film "La Fête Sauvage" is playing at selected theatres across France. Check local cinema listings for showtimes.
On Monday (June 16) the film was premiered in Paris at the Cinémathèque Française. The event was attended by invited guests and the general public. Yves Rescalat from Editions Zoroastre - who oversaw the restoration of the film - gave a speech before the film's presentation. He remarked on Frédéric Rossif's film and how it became a timeless classic. He highlighted the great partnership between Vangelis and Frédéric Rossif as witnessed on this film. Several members from the original film crew were in attendance, and Yves informed the audience that some however couldn't attend, including Vangelis who sadly was caught up with work and couldn't be at the evening's event in Paris.
Yves explained the film's restoration used the original 16mm negatives after a hunt that took 6 months of research. The film's frames were restored at the legendary Eclair Laboratories. Some of the film's original crew were involved in assisting with the restoration work (see our earlier post from 13 February 2013 for more info.)
The new restoration has resulted in images with far greater detail than what has been previously seen on home video, with vibrant colours, and better highlights and contrast of the subjects and the backgrounds. The film is presented in widescreen format. The audio has also been fully restored and it sounded fluid and clear. According to Editions Zoroastre, the upcoming Blu-Ray and DVD release of the film (see our update from 31 January 2014) will also include the restored "music and effects" (M&E) audio as an alternative track, providing enjoyment for those who wish to view the film without the dialgoue.
Singer and painter Holly Johnson, better known to most as the singer of "Frankie Goes To Hollywood" with 80s mega hits "Two Tribes", "Relax", and "The Power of Love" - announced he is making a music comeback with his first studio album in 15 years, featuring a song he began writing with Vangelis in 1990 titled "Europa". Holly announced the news yesterday via media outlets and on his official website. Here's what Holly's website wrote about the song "Europa":
The title track began life with Vangelis in Paris over a decade ago, where Johnson - a Blade Runner obsessive - teamed up with the legendary composer in an underground studio; a converted concrete bunker on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, which had been originally designed for Hitler's occupation. Some twenty four years later, Holly and Vangelis, together with long-time collaborator Mark Ralph, finally finished it off.
Holly Johnson's album "Europa" is to be released on September 29. Pre-order of the physical album is possible at Holly Johnson's website, and pre-order on iTunes is expected to start in August:
The popular online music website Consequence of Sound launched a tournament in search of the greatest film composer of all time. The tournament started with round one with 24 composers and it concluded with Vangelis among the top 12 composers.
Now round two is underway and you can cast your vote for your favourite composer. Voting is easy: it requires selecting the composer of your choice at the voting booth on page 8 and submitting your email address:
Last February UK magazine HiFi+ published an interview with Vangelis. HiFi+ has made the interview available online.
Journalist Nikos Mouratidis has released on his web site a slightly expanded version of his 2007 interview with Vangelis, originally published in Greek Newspaper Eleftherotypia.
Thanks to Noel Koutlis for the tip!
Details on an expected commercial release are still pending, which means the public needs more patience before they can listen to the new "Habanera". Collecting fans however may want to keep their eyes open, as it happens to be that a "Special Edition" version is already out there. A limited version of Montserrat Caballé's new album "Armenia and Artsakh - An Isle of Christianity", including her new Vangelis collaboration "Habanera" was handed out to guests attending the release party in Paris, on December 13, 2013. See our January 30 update.
The Special Edition is packaged as a cardboard sleeved box, slightly larger and considerably thicker than a DVD box, with a Digipack-like book construction inside with over 40 pages in color, holding the CD inside the front cover and both a DVD and Blu-Ray inside the back cover. The booklet contains extensive credits, photographs and some background on old Armenian and Artsakh churches, photographs of Caballé's journey through and concert in Armenia.
The DVD and Blu-Ray both contain the same content: A video for each of the album's main 7 chapters, plus its bonus tracks (Habanera, Yerevan and a rendition of Queen's "Is This The World We Created" with Brian May personally involved. The videos show churches, landscapes and landmarks, sometimes with extra's in traditional clothing passing through. The video for Habanera is intercut with interview bits with Caballé. It never really adds much to the music, but the footage makes sense for the project's apparent goal to promote Armenia.
In line with the Special Edition's limited quantity, all three disks were produced as burned media (CD-R, etc.), each with a professional printed design on the surface.
Habanera is a graceful track, a beautiful melody sung by Caballé, with a strong counter motif on strings. It's obviously produced by Vangelis, with a full, smooth and wide sound, warmly mixed by Frederick Rousseau. The instrumental parts are performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with a beautiful solo on duduk in the middle, performed by Vardan Grigoryan and backed by slow, seemingly improvised percussion that sounds very "Vangelis".
Caballé's voice might not be as intense and pitch perfect as it used to be, but the song stands firm nonetheless. A very welcome and strong addition to Vangelis' repertoire in music with classical vocals.
"Like a Dream", the Vangelis composition released originally in 1997 on "Friends For life" was re-recorded with an orchestra, the same way she has performed this song in live concerts over the years. It's still a charming song, but the performance lacks the natural flow of the original. The variation in tempo and intensity differ from the original Vangelis performance, and not for the better.
The other tracks - none of them written or recorded with any Vangelis involvement - are intriguing, well written, moody and often quite intense. But they fail to match the recording quality or production of Habanera.
Queen's "Is This The World We Created?" was re-recorded with Brian May on guitar, replaying his part from the original version, where Freddy Mercury was singing. The second repeat of the music is backed by warm orchestral strings.
Copies of this product seem to be incredibly rare, exclusively handed out to invited guests at the event in Paris. We'll keep our eyes open for the intended commercial release and report back with any news we may find.
Some may be interested in the re-release of the Melina Mercouri album called "Si Melina... M'Etait Contée", which includes four tracks composed by and performed with Vangelis. On of these tracks is a reworked version of a theme from "Fais Que Ton Rêve Soit Plus Long Que La Nuit". The newly released CD is reportedly remastered.
Thanks to Henk Engelen for sharing this tip.
As reported earlier on our April 19 update, the threatrical film premiere of the newly restored "La Fête Sauvage" will be held in Paris at the Cinémathèque Française on 16 June. Tickets to attend the film premiere are now on sale for the general public and can be pre-ordered from the Cinémathèque Française's website.
Check our April 19 update for additional details.
Some good news here! There will be a new original score by Vangelis to look forward to. Vangelis has composed the music for an upcoming French Algerian movie with the title "Le Crépuscule des Ombres".
Sources close to Vangelis confirm his part in the project. The score is entirely performed by Vangelis on his synthesizers.
The movie sees Algerian director Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina return to the art of movie production and direction after almost 30 years. He is one of the foremost names in Arabic cinema and is most well known for his epic "Chronique des années de braise" (Chronicle of the Years of Fire / Chronicle Of The Years Of Ember) about the Algerian war of independence, which won a Palme d'Or in 1975.
The story is said to deal with Algeria's struggle for freedom and independence from France in the last century.
Some patience will be needed, as these are fresh developments. Check back for more details here, when they become available.
Esoteric Recordings announced on their website the upcoming release of Vangelis' "Heaven and Hell" on 180 Gram Vinyl. The release features the new remaster of "Heaven and Hell" supervised and approved by Vangelis.
The limited edition release comes in a gatefold vinyl sleeve and will feature new liner notes, album reviews from the British press, and coverage from fanzines and on relevant websites. The release is scheduled for 30 June 2014.
The theatrical premiere of the newly restored "La Fête Sauvage" has now been scheduled for Monday, June 16, starting at 8pm.
Address: "French Cinémathèque" 51 rue de Bercy 75012 Paris France
The film will screen in the venue's primary hall, the "Salle Henri Langlois".
Tickets for the premiere will be on sale for the public and can be pre-ordered online at the web site of the "French Cinémathèque", as soon as they have announced the event. We'll notify you here when sales start.
A limited number of tickets may still be available at the box office on the day of the event.
The nation-wide theatrical release in France will start two days later on June 18. Check out the official new theatrical movie poster, displayed here.
On June 25, Universal Music in Japan will be releasing a new edition of Aphrodite's Child's legendary "666" album. The album has reportedly been remastered from "an original UK analog master tape", but there is no sign of any involvement by Vangelis in the remastering process or its release.
What's new is that this will be available on the high quality SACD format, an audiophile "successor" to the audio CD.
A CD version of this re-master will also be available, in choices of a normal or platinum edition. The "SHM" classification is a deliberate marketing myth we purposefully choose not to perpetuate.
All three versions are packaged in cardboard sleeves as "mini-LPs".
Thanks to Reese Tietje for the tip!
Some news on the upcoming re-releases of "La Fête Sauvage":
The official release date for the Blu-Ray and DVD is September 8. The gift that will be included in the early pre-orders is a series of 10 frames taken from an actual 35mm print of the movie. The frames are taken from the "working copy" of the movie, of which only one exists. Actually, products ordered before the end of this month will still receive this special gift. The offer ends in the first week of April, and prices will go up by two Euros.
The theatrical re-release of the movie is now scheduled for June 2014.
HiFi+ magazine in the UK has just published a rare new interview with Vangelis. The article is published in Issue 108 (February 2014), which is the current issue that should be available in UK shops as of today.
The article spans three pages and includes Vangelis talking about topics like the recent remasters and the qualities of the Yamaha CS80.
Special thanks to Richard Clews!
We have some additional info on the new Vangelis composition for Montserrat Caballé (see our January 30 update. According to our reliable sources, Vangelis composed "Habanera" for Montserrat specifically, in honor of her 80th birthday. One could say it is an homage to her. It was the producers of her new album "Armenia and Artsakh - An Isle of Christianity" who decided that the music should be included on the CD.
In addition to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the track features a performance by Armenian duduk virtuoso Vardan.
The album is produced as one box, containing both a CD and a DVD, as well as a booklet with photographs and information, including passages about the album's special guests: Vangelis, Brian May and Montserrat Marti. Brian May is involved in Montserrat's rendition of Queen's "Is This The World We Created?".
The DVD contains the same studio recorded music as the CD, but illustrates it with footage of churches, landscapes and other iconic imagery from Armenia and Artsakh.
Zoroastre are about to unveil the new web site for their fully restored theatrical and home video releases of Frédéric Rossif's Vangelis scored "La Fête Sauvage".
Before DVD and Blu-Ray editions as well as on-line streaming availability are released to the public, the legendary wild-life documentary will first be re-released in French theaters (nation-wide). Dates have yet to be announced. The movie has also been proposed to the Cannes Classics part of the Cannes Film Festival, taking place in May.
Additionally, Zoroastre will include a special gift with the first series of pre-orders, although details on the gift or its limitation are currently still kept a mystery.
Both DVD and Blu-Ray editions will be made as a media book, with 78 pages of text (in French) and images. The DVD version will actually include two DVDs: One with the movie in the highest possible encoding quality. The other with the extras. The Blu-Ray will also come in the highest possible encoding quality, but the format allows for the extras to be included on the same disk.
Similar restoration and release plans for Rossif's Vangelis scored documentaries on Picasso and Georges Braque are being prepared, but those projects will only make progress if "La Fête Sauvage" is a success.
A recent performance by opera legend Montserrat Caballé revealed the existence of a Vangelis composition, titled "Habanera".
Reliable sources confirm that this is a newly composed song, written specifically by Vangelis for Montserrat Caballé. Montserrat wrote the lyrics in the Catalan language.
The track has been recorded by the [Corrected:] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Abbey Road studio in London, and produced by Vangelis.
The first public live performance of this new composition took place at the "Voices of Hope" charity concert in Barcelona, on January 3. The concert raised funds for cancer research.
The track is expected to be released on CD and on DVD, on her new album "Armenia and Artsakh - An Isle of Christianity". The album will also include an orchestral performance of their earlier collaboration, "Like a Dream", as well as recordings of some classical songs and an Armenian traditional, performed with her daughter Montserrat Marti.
Caballé was invited for a private visit to Armenia and to Artsakh (also known as Nagorno Karabakh) and performed a concert to celebrate her 80th birthday. Although the new Vangelis song was not performed at that concert, the visit inspired Caballé to record her new album and to dedicate it to the values of these regions.
The visit to Artsakh, an Armenian dominated region or autonomous state (depending on who you ask) located inside of Azerbaijan caused some political uproar, when she was subsequently blacklisted by Azerbaijan, attracting attention from the world-wide media.
On December 13, last year, the new CD and DVD were presented at an event in Paris, attended by political dignitaries from France, Britain, Armenia and Artsakh, as well as some well known names from the entertainment industry, including Charles Aznavour, Claudia Cardinale and Omar Sharif.
A commercial release of the album is being prepared, but further information on that is still pending.
Thanks to Marc Van Holsbeek for his early reporting of a link to the Barcelona article.
NASA has just released a video showing planet Earth and its moon from space as seen by NASA's Juno spacecraft. NASA's video uses original music by Vangelis, composed specifically for this mission.
At the American Geophysical Union (AGU-13) annual meeting, NASA's Juno mission team showed a video with a longer excerpt from Vangelis' music than the one published by NASA on YouTube. The team explained the images of this film pay tribute to the philosophical perspective of the late Dr. Carl Sagan's with all of humanity sharing one planet. It was also revealed the NASA team was able to collaborate with Vangelis who saw the importance of this film and composed music to it.
Special thanks to Masanori for reporting on the AGU-13 conference
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the "Chariots of Fire" Stage Play tour of 2014 is no longer going ahead at this time. The announcement was made on a number of the theatres involved with the staging of the show. The Malvern Theatre in Worcester revealed the producers of the play may reschedule the tour for spring in 2015.
With the six newly remastered Vangelis CDs out on the market since about a week, it's time to have a more in-depth look at what they have to offer.
Each CD is housed in a 4 panel digipak. The updated cover designs are similar to the the remastered releases of Odes and Rapsodies from 2007, as well as the recent digital download version of Earth. The updated designs show resized and cropped images of the original albums' artwork in the center of a white background.
The indication "Remastered by Vangelis" is printed on the album's shrink wrap, seen only before removing the plastic.
Inside each digipak's slit pocket is a 12 page color booklet. The artwork for the original album - without the added white border - is used as the booklet's front page. The inside of the booklet details the credits, with images from the original albums displayed. There are also some scans of vinyl singles, posters or adverts relating to the album's original release.
The album artwork is printed in color onto the face of each disc.
With fans waiting for so long to see proper remasters of some of these albums, the sound is what these releases are all about.
Four of these albums date back to the seventies when Vangelis was signed with RCA, while two of them were recorded much later for Arista, both in the digital era of the late eighties and early nineties. It is to be expected that handling can differ greatly between these albums.
The most striking aspect of these new releases is that for the four RCA albums, Vangelis decided to go quite a bit further than the usual processing that is mostly understood as "remastering". Traditionally, a "remaster" would be a CD for which the sound was re-transferred from its original analog master tape, and / or a recording with updated mastering processing, compared to the original CD releases. This could involve different dynamics processing to remove volume difference, equalization to correct the spectrum, or perhaps some noise reduction or enhancer processing, to subtly improve or update (details of) the profile of the sound recording. You would however still be listening to the actual mix of the original release, as it was then recorded and mixed, with instruments and mixing technology and taste of the time of the original release.
For the four RCA albums, Vangelis applied extra reverb to the existing masters, using modern digital equipment. He also used other modern postprocessing technology for certain tracks, changing the nature of their sound. At the same time, two tracks were edited into shorter versions. While such re-envisioned versions can be pleasant to listen to or provide an interesting view on how Vangelis would have liked his albums to have sounded in hindsight, some may be disappointed that their hope for a high quality mastered, authentic CD version of the music they have loved since for long did not come true with this release. Such CD may still not be available.
Here's what the individual albums have to offer, in chronological order of the original releases:
Heaven and Hell is the oldest of the albums, and probably the one most tampered with. A modern digital reverb has been added to all of the album, which now sounds like the album is being listened to inside a large concert hall. It sounds pleasant, but some of the music shifts into an entirely different genre. Furthermore, an edit can be heard near the 6:56 mark of the album's first half. A chunk of music of some 23 seconds was cut from the track, listed on early LP prints as "Symphony to the Powers B". Do get this CD if you want to experience the newly processed sound, but don't expect this to be able to replace the original recording.
This album has been processed more subtly. No cuts were made. Only minor reverb was added to most tracks, except "Alpha", "Albedo 0.39" and perhaps also "Nucleogenesis Part 2", receiving extra added reverb. But no tracks were edited on this album and the resulting sound is quite close to the original. Just not entirely authentic. Note: The track index between Main sequence and Sword of Orion has shifted a bit, moving the last notes from "Main Sequence" to become the first notes of "Sword of Orion".
All tracks seem to have been re-processed separately. Modern reverb has been added to all tracks, but in varying degrees. Both "To The Unknown Man" and "3 + 3" sound washed out, but it works out much better for "Spiral", which received only minor amounts of extra reverb. "Spiral" however was edited: One of several repeats was cut out, near the 2:22 mark, removing 11 seconds of music and introducing an audible cut. The vamped up version of "Ballad" actually sounds refreshing, while "Dervish D" seems like it was reborn, both warmer and more groovy. If you accept that this isn't the literal remaster many hoped for, those re-envisioned versions may really make this CD worth your purchase. And then of course there is the bonus track: "To The Unknown Man Part 2". A charming piece of music, straight from the masters, with a bit of reverb added: It sounds fantastic.
A bit of digital reverb was added, consistant throughout the album. While changing the nature of the album, some may find this makes the album's psychedelic sound a bit more accessible. Equalization has been adjusted, but it seems to introduce a new hiss, not heard on the original album. Nothing has been cut.
This is one album that many would say never needed any remastering, and it looks like Vangelis must have agreed. This recording synchronizes sample by sample to the European CD release of Direct. No reverb was added, or equalization changed, in fact, there are no audible changes at all. Some volumes were slightly adjusted. This is indeed the best they could get out of this, and it's good to have this album among the re-releases. One note: The track separation between "Will of the Wind" and "Metalic Rain" has been moved to a slightly earlier point, with an audible thud present where the index was found on the original CD.
The last of these remasters is actually the best of the pack. This is what remastering should be all about. Relative track volumes have been adjusted, which works out for the better. Equalization, especially in the higher frequencies is slightly adjusted or enhanced, with surprisingly positive results, even if the original album might not seem to need this. The changes are subtle, but they raise the quality level. This is what you hope to get from a remaster. Very well done. And then there is that fantastic bonus: "Sing With Your Eyes", instantly one of the best tracks on the album.
The 6 remastered Vangelis albums from Sony Music's back catalog were recently released on the Esoteric label. As previously announced each CD is housed in a digipak case and comes with a booklet that restores the original artwork. We will comment on the sound quality and any relevant changes for each album later on.
Here's an English translation of the Angela Gheorghiu interview reported in our November 9 update:
Special thanks to Marius Pop for sharing his translation!
Amazon.co.uk has added samples for their digital download versions of the upcoming Vangelis remasters on the Esoteric label, including the bonus tracks. The samples also reveal that at least some of the tracks on the older RCA albums have processed with additional reverb, altering them more than what is usually considered to be "remastering".
A couple of digital download stores have an advance release of Luz Casal's new album, which means that the new Vangelis composed track is now effectively available.
It does turn out that the song has been recorded by Luz' band and does not include Vangelis' own performing.
Two more theatres have announced performances by the upcoming tour of the Vangelis scored Chariots of Fire stage play.
In the mean time, the State Kremlin Palace theatre still has some performances planned for the Vangelis scored orchestral update (and expansion) of the 1986 Wayne Eagling ballet "Beauty And The Beast".
There is progress on the documentary DVD: Rob Ayling from Gonzo has just confirmed that all customers who have pre-ordered the DVD will be getting it shipped this week. Their web shop now lists the DVD as in stock, with a final release date of November 13.
Soprano Angela Gheorgiu appeared in an interview on Romanian radio, where she talked again about the upcoming release of Vangelis' concert in Qatar. While she spoke, a part of the Vangelis composed and still unreleased "Piccola Bohème" could be heard in the background, a duet between Gheorghiu and tenor Roberto Alagna, performed at said concert.
The interview can be heard online, with the Vangelis segment (and music) starting at 5:09 in the first audio clip.
Perhaps someone who understands Romanian could translate her words for us to include here? (email@example.com)
Even more venues have been announced for the upcoming tour of the Vangelis scored Chariots of Fire stage play.
The newly announced dates are:
For more dates, see the previous overview in our October 30 update.
This is the artwork for "Alma", the international alternative to Luz Casal's Spanish "Almas Gemelas", featuring Vangelis' new track Paisajes.
Good news about the "Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaka" documentary: Gonzo MD Rob Ayling announces that improvements were made to the sound mixing, overseen personally by Vangelis. The definitive release is now in production and will be sent out as soon as the DVDs are pressed.
The Spanish branch of European music store Fnac is the first to share artwork and track list for the upcoming Luz Casal album "Almas Gemelas", featuring the new Vangelis composed track "Paisajes".
The Spanish release comes in a normal and a special edition. The special edition contains the same CD as the normal edition, with an extra CD of 7 more tracks. However, the only Vangelis collaboration is included on the regular CD.
1 Por que no vuelves amor 2 Ella y yo 3 Si pudiera 4 Si vas al olvido 5 No me cuentes tu vida 6 Almas gemelas 7 Maravillas 8 Vuelvo a mi lugar 9 Otro tiempo 10 Paisajes [with Vangelis]
1 Mi sono innamorata di te 2 Jardin d'hiver 3 O amor em paz 4 Ho capito che ti amo 5 Wave 6 Amazone a la vie 7 Triste
More performances of the "Chariots of Fire" stage play tour were announced. The Vangelis scored theatre play can also be seen in Northampton, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
An overview of what was announced so far:
The "Chariots of Fire" stage play added the city of Glasgow to its UK tour. Performances are scheduled to take place at the King's Theatre Glasgow next February:
Tuesday 4 February 2014, 19:45 Wednesday 5 February 2014, 19:45 Thursday 6 February 2014, 14:30 Thursday 6 February 2014, 19:45 Friday 7 February 2014, 19:45 Saturday 8 February 2014, 14:45 Saturday 8 February 2014, 19:45
Gonzo Media Group updated the release date of the upcoming Vangelis documentary with the delay taking longer. The new release date is for November 11.
As mentioned in our July 22 update stocks of the "Trashed" DVD went dry in the UK. The good news is the DVD is back in stock and the film can be ordered again from Amazon.co.uk or the TrashedFilm website.
The IFG Awards was held at the Acropolis Museum in Athens on September 16 (check our September 15 update). The IFG has launched a new website and includes many photographs from the event.
Earlier this year the "Chariots of Fire" stage play concluded its run at the Gielgud Theatre in London. As we reported in our January 11 update there are plans to take the production across a number of theatres. Next year a limited UK tour is getting underway starting with the city of Cardiff. On March 18, 2014 the play will be performed at the New Theatre for a period of 5 days:
Tuesday 18 March 2014, 19:30 Wednesday 19 March 2014, 19:30 Thursday 20 March 2014, 14:30 Thursday 20 March 2014, 19:30 Friday 21 March 2014, 19:30 Saturday 22 March 2014, 14:30 Saturday 22 March 2014, 19:30
As mentioned in earlier updates, Vangelis' former sound engineer Raphael Preston was interviewed for a Vangelis segment on BBC's Stuart Maconie's Freakier Zone . Jonny Trunk from BBC Radio 6 sat down with Raphael to talk about his time working with Vangelis at Nemo Studios. The episode is now available online at the BBC's website and will remain available online for a week. The segment with Raphael starts at 12:40.
As those who did tune in last weekend must have noticed, programming on BBC's Stuart Maconie's Freakier Zone (Radio 6) had changed: The promised interview with former Vangelis engineer Raphael Preston was delayed until further notice. According to sources from the BBC the interview is now planned to air in the next episode, starting at midnight in the evening of Saturday October 12.
Special thanks to Kevin Nolan for getting this cleared up.
Here is a closer look at the Luxury Album we mentioned earlier, which commemorates the recently released Vangelis stamp. The album is called "Contemporary Greek Philhellenes" and measures 30 x 27.cm and contains 128 pages. There are 6 chapters in the album each of which is dedicated to one of the distinguished personalities and is illustrated with photographs and extensive biographies in Greek and English. The commemorative album also contains the stamp and the specially illustrated envelope with a printed personal message. The chapter on Vangelis is covered in 12 pages and has an extensive lists on his awards and his works in film, ballet, theatre, concert, as well as his musical releases.
The album can be acquired from the online shop at philotelismos.gr with free worldwide shipping. As reported earlier proceeds of purchasing this album go to the foundation's charity in support of medical equipment for hospitals.
As reported in our September 15 update Spanish singer Luz Casal is to release a new album which will contain a song composed by Vangelis. In a recent interview with the Spanish newspaper "El Pais" Casal revealed the title of the album will be called "Almas gemelas" in Spain and simply "Alma" for the worldwide release. In France a release date of November 18 was set for "Alma" by the French label Parlophone.
[Edited: Better artwork]
Cherry Red's "Esoteric" label is about to release all 6 of Sony Music's back catalog Vangelis albums, from the RCA and Arista periods. The sound has been remastered, supervised by Vangelis, and the artwork is in line with earlier remastered releases of the "Odes", "Rapsodies" and (so far only in on-line form) "Earth" albums.
[Editted 17:01: The notion of a box set earlier today was misinterpreted from or misrepresented by a bundled sale from an on-line retailer. Be sure that no official box set is up for release and any box set artwork posted by retailers is false or fake. ]
The announced releases are: "Heaven and Hell", "Albedo 0.39", "Spiral", "Beaubourg", "Direct" and "Page of Life".
The first three albums might be the most anticipated remasters, as the sound quality of the original CD releases left much to be desired, even compared to the original vinyl releases.
What might perhaps be the best part of this news is that two of these albums actually include bonus tracks, not included on the original LPs or CDs: "Page of Life" includes "Sing with your Eyes", known only from the rare "Wisdom Chain" CD maxi single release, while the icing on the cake will be "To The Unknown Man Part 2", known from the Unknown Man 7" single, and never before released in digital quality.
Each of the CDs is housed in a digipack and comes with a booklet that restores the original artwork.
All releases are planned for November 25.
Thanks to Graham Carter and Rob Gretsinger for their heads-up.
Those who watched yesterday evening's episode of BBC4's "Sound of Cinema" enjoyed Vangelis appear at the start and the end of the program, as well as his own 8 minute segment, where Vangelis' music is the main topic. Vangelis performed bits of "Chariots of Fire" and "Blade Runner" (plus a combination of both at the very end), while the interview bits deal with both these films as well.
Those who are located within the UK can still see the episode online. This is limited to the next 7 days.
An exhibition of works by Georges Braque will soon provide a chance to attend screenings of the 1974 Vangelis scored and Frédéric Rossif directed documentary feature "Georges Braque ou le temps Différent".
Both the exhibition and the screenings take place at Paris' impressive Grand Palais, a prominent exhibition hall and museum in the heart of the French capital.
Schedule: Friday October 11 starting at 12am Friday October 18 starting at 12am Friday November 8 starting at 12am
Thanks to Don Fennimore for the tip!
The luxury album that commemorates the launch of the series of Greek postal stamps that includes a portrait of Vangelis is now available from Greece.
The BBC has a bit more for us up their sleeve, this time on one of their radio channels. In light of their "Sound of Cinema" season, former Vangelis engeneer Raphael Preston will appear in Stuart Maconie's Freakier Zone to talk about his work for Vangelis on the soundtrack of Blade Runner, and other topics. It airs on BBC radio 6, on October 6 starting at midnight local British time.
As reported in our November 9 2012 update, last year film director Oliver Stone announced plans on making a new edit of "Alexander". Last June the new edit of Alexander - titled "The Ultimate Cut" - premiered at the Shanghai International Film Festival and has screened at a number of other international film festivals. Last week Oliver Stone arrived at the San Sebastian International Film Festival to present his new version of Alexander, and had announced on his twitter account that "Alexander - The Ultimate Cut" will see a release on Blu-Ray disc probably mid 2014.
This week's "Sound of Cinema" on BBC4 included another few seconds of Vangelis in a preview to next week's episode, which will properly feature Vangelis. In the mean time, a longer Vangelis preview from the upcoming episode is presented on the program's web site.
Each episode is followed by a movie that is referenced in the episode, which in this case will be the Vangelis scored "Blade Runner", presented in its "Final Cut".
Be ready: Thursday September 26, at 9:00 PM local London time (GMT+1).
Thanks to to Jordi Bloem for the tip on the new clip and to Graeme Stewart for the tip on Blade Runner.
The release of the new Vangelis documentary DVD suffers a slight delay. The release date is now set for October 28.
Thanks to Bernd Kistenmacher for his early warning and to Jordi Bloem for reporting the confirmation.
The stamp series that contains the Vangelis stamp can now be ordered from a Greek philately site. Shipping is free worldwide. The special Luxury Album however has yet to be released, and should appear on this store at a later date.
The International Foundation for Greece, which selected Vangelis and five other notable Greek personalities to appear on the special postage stamps that will be presented and released tomorrow, will present each of these laureates with an award for their accomplishments in each of their fields. A ceremony in their honor will take place at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, followed by a dinner attended by over a hundred special guests. While Vangelis will not personally attend, acclaimed Spanish singer Luz Casal travels to Athens to accept the award on his behalf.
Vangelis is depicted on the stamp valued 0.80 Euro and will be included in a special luxury set album. Proceeds of which go to the foundation's charity purpose in support of medical equipment for hospitals.
Casal's new album "Almas Gemelas" (soul mates) will be released somewhere mid November, and will contain a new song composed by Vangelis. Reliable sources close to Vangelis confirm this. The song is called "Paisajes" (scenery) and is being described as romantic, fitting with Casal's own style. Vangelis performs all instruments himself. [Correction on November 15: Turns out it is performed by her band instead.] Luz Casal wrote the lyrics herself, in collaboration with Carolina Cortés.
More details about this later, as soon as they become available.
Today marks the release of the Vangelis stamp, pictured on the right. The stamps can be bought as a set of all six stamps, as a set of all six first day covers, as a set of the samps inserted in plastic covers, or in the form of the luxury album (Euro 35).
We received some feedback and photographs on last week's Cathédrale en Couleurs (Cathedral in Color), where the local orchestra and choir of Boulogne Sur Mer (France) peformed their own orchestral adaptations of Vangelis music under a lightshow on their cathedral and city wall. If you are interested, read here.
For those who missed the broadcast: The first episode of this new BBC series included a few seconds long clip of Vangelis. No doubt this footage will reappear in the third episode, where the Vangelis interview will mainly appear.
The International Foundation for Greece, which selected Vangelis and five other notable Greek personalities to appear on the special postage stamps that will be presented and released tomorrow, will present each of these laureates with an award for their accomplishments in each of their fields. A ceremony in their honor will take place at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, followed by a dinner attended by over a hundred special guests. While Vangelis will not personally attend, acclaimed Spanish singer Luz Casal travels to Athens to accept the award on his behalf.
Vangelis is depicted on the stamp valued 0.80 Euro and will be included in a special luxury set album. Proceeds of which go to the foundation's charity purpose in support of medical equipment for hospitals.
Casal's new album "Almas Gemelas" (soul mates) will be released somewhere mid November, and will contain a new song composed by Vangelis. Reliable sources close to Vangelis confirm this. The song is called "Paisajes" (scenery) and is being described as romantic, fitting with Casal's own style. Vangelis performs all instruments himself. Luz Casal wrote the lyrics herself, in collaboration with Carolina Cortés.
More details about this later, as soon as they become available.
We can share some more details about the new BBC documentary series "Sound Of Cinema: The Music That Made The Movies", starting this Thursday on BBC4.
As announced earlier, Vangelis was interviewed for this program and he reportedly also performed some music for the cameras. Sources close the BBC disclose that Vangelis will mainly feature in the third (and last) episode. However, be sure not to miss either of the first two episodes as well, as he will be appearing in all three.
The footage was shot October last year, when Vangelis was at work in a recording studio in London.
Schedule: Episode 1 BBC4 Thursday September 12 2013, 9pm to 10pm (confirmed) Episode 2 BBC4 Thursday September 19 2013, 9pm to 10pm (confirmed) Episode 3 BBC4 Thursday September 26 2013, 9pm to 10pm (confirmed)
Despite his appearance in "Talk To Al Jazeera" of last year and his upcoming appearance in a three part BBC series about film music, it's safe to say that the chance to see and hear Vangelis speak on video is still a rare occasion. The opportunity to see a complete two hour long documentary with in-depth interviews, historic footage from the archives as well as some fresh new music performances and a whole series of artists and stars with anecdotes and comments on Vangelis' career en persona is absolutely unprecedented.
If all goes well, "Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaka" will finally be released for purchases on the internet. It's time to have a closer look at what exactly is being released. And yes, it does turn out to be an absolute treat!
The history of this documentary is long and perhaps best forgotten when watching the DVD. Relevant is that most of this film was shot in 2007, perhaps even a bit earlier, and that now finally all rights seem to have been cleared: The general public will soon be able to watch it on DVD. Up till now, the only way to see this film was to be at just the right place at just the right time: Two rare and unannounced screenings at film festivals in Finland or Bulgaria, where early drafts of the documentary were presented.
Indeed, some excerpts were previously released to the public. You can see the first 11 minutes of the movie on Vimeo, while a different excerpt was released on the "All My Loving" DVD in 2007. However, watching those fragments is nothing compared to the experience of watching the complete movie.
"Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaka" provides a unique chance to catch a glimpse of Vangelis' life and career. While it centers around some of his most admired musical works (and some of his work as a painter), it tells, in the shape of interviews with Vangelis, his artistic friends and colleagues, as well as through video footage, both new and from the archives, the story of who Vangelis is as a person, who he works with, how he thinks and how he composes. Private as Vangelis is, even lifting just a tip of the curtain can help to paint the picture of who it is, who is the source of all this music that so many people cherish.
Vangelis is very relaxed in his interviews, which makes that quite possibly we catch a more authentic impression of the man than ever before. He does not hold back, talks about much more than his way of thinking, his career or what music is to him. For the first time we can hear him reminisce about his youth, from experimenting with sound to his parents hiding him from the hardships of going through both a world war and a civil war. Talking about his parents we see Vangelis at his most vulnerable.
While in his own interviews you get to see his serious side, mostly, it's the stories his friends and colleagues tell that manage to fill in the gaps by shining some light on his sense of humor, talent, generosity and perhaps even a darker side of his being. No effort was spared in interviewing friends and colleagues from many periods in his career, at locations all over the world. The enthusiasm and authenticity of these people always makes for a great listen. Whether it's Jessye Norman's grandeur, Sean Connery's earnest reverence, Ridley Scott's candor reminiscing, Kathleen Battle's sincerity, Roman Polanski's friendly admiration, Julian Rachlin's enthusiasm or Montserrat Caballé's heartfelt affection, each story adds to completing the picture.
In the end though, the main focus is where it really should be: Vangelis' music.
A large sequence shows how Vangelis simultaneously composes, performs and records his music, filming an example where he improvises a classical styled piece, which sounds like it's been performed by almost an entire symphony orchestra. Yet in reality it is being composed spontaneously by vangelis in one single performance, controlling the sound palette of his synthesizers and the dynamics of the mix using a series of foot pedals, while he makes up the music as he goes along. It also shows him preparing the performance, adjusting his setup while making notes, intercut with an interview where Vangelis explains how for him the traditional orchestra shares more than a parallel with the way electronic instruments mould their sound and performance by combining and manipulating separate sources of sound.
It's fantastic to see Vangelis at work again. No matter how often you see the footage known from TV specials like "Musiques Au Coeur", "The Man and his Music", or "Musical Express", it's still absolutely rivetting to watch him at work, to hear his music being born into existence.
Throughout the rest of the documentary you will see bits of Vangelis performing on his current synthesizer setup, shots of Vangelis playing piano (including a wonderful restrained piece, in the background of a bit of interview), as well as archive footage, like where he improvises for Ridley Scott, during post production of "1492, Conquest of Paradise". Other bits of unreleased music include commercials for "British Railway" and David Bailey's famous anti fur commercial.
Obviously featured are some of his more successful or ambitious works, like Chariots of fire, Conquest of Paradise, Mythodea, I'll Find My Way Home, Blade Runner, Alexander and the songs with Montserrat Caballé.
The DVD is released without any special extras, but the movie itself has all you could really wish for. Perhaps some optional subtitles in English and/or other languages would have been helpful. The movie suffers from an uneven mix, where some voices can be very hard to understand, when played at comfortable levels for the rest of the movie. But that could very well be the only serious complaint about this release. [Note: (Oct 30): Vangelis has since supervised a correction of the mix, which probably solves the reported problem! ]
Our conclusion can be short: Highly recommended viewing for the avid fans, as well as the casually curious music enthusiast.
Collectors may enjoy the fact that Vangelis' soundtrack release for "Antarctica" is getting re-released on a 180gr vinyl LP. The release is planned for October 7.
Label: Music On Vinyl Catalog: MOVLP820 UPC: 0600753429327 Type: 1LP, 180 GRAM
Seeminly coincidental, the movie "Antarctica" was only recently re-released on High Defintion Blu-Ray in Japan. The disc is not region protected, so anyone with a Blu-Ray player can watch this release.
Special thanks for their input: Don Fennimore for the vinyl release and Seiya Hirano for the Blu-Ray release.
On Saturday, September 7, French coastal town Boulogne-Sur-Mer is organizing an outdoor event, where a local orchestra and choir will perform music by Vangelis, while light colors will be projected onto their cathedral.
The tracks performed will include Conquest of Paradise, Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner, Hymne, L'Enfant, Hispaniola, Pulstar and more. The music was orchestrated by the director of the Boulonnais conservatory, Eric Scrève, together with Régis Ermorine. The music will be performed by 70 musicians of the Boulonnais Symphony Orchestra, with a choir of 120 singers. The spectacle will also be supported by dance performances.
To be clear: Vangelis is not connected to this event at all. Not to the performance, nor to the re-orchestration of his music. But the performance of exclusively Vangelis music, performed by a large orchestra with choir may appeal to his fans.
The performance on location at Porte Neuve starts around 9:15 in the evening, and lasts for an hour. Entrance is free. In the event that weather does not allow an outdoor performance, the concert will be moved inside the cathedral.
Vangelis scored eco documentary "Trashed" is getting a release for the consumer market in Germany, retitled in German to "Weggeworfen". The good news is that in addition to a DVD release, a high resolution Blu-Ray version.
The release is planned for November 7, and can now be pre-ordered from on-line stores, including Amazon.de.
Thanks to Don Fennimore for sharing his find with us.
Zoroastre, currently preparing the release of a restored version of the Vangelis scored nature documentary "La Fête Sauvage" (1975), has announced on their Facebook page that Vangelis has signed a letter of moral support, underlining the importance of this film.
Thanks to Kevin Polfliet for the alert.
The 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships currently taking place at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow. During the Opening Ceremony last Saturday Vangelis' music accompanied the hoisting of the IAAF flag; officially declaring the start of the games. Vangelis' theme was originally written for the Athens 1997 Opening Ceremony and apparently is still being used at IAAF events.
Gonzo Media Group released a trailer for "Vangelis and the Journey To Ithaka":
Hellenic Post (ELTA), the Greek postal delivery service has announced that they will release a series of stamps called "Distinguished Greek Personalities", honoring six accomplished Greeks in fields of arts, cinema, business, media, etc. Vangelis is one of them.
The series will be released on September 16, and will be on sale for exactly one year.
This is a rare occasion. Traditionally, the Greek postal services only allow people who are no longer with us to be on stamps. For this series, they make an exception.
The names were nominated by a foundation called the "International Foundation for Greece" (www.if-gr.org).
We'll report more details on this, when they become available.
The BBC has just announce a TV documentary series called "Sound Of Cinema: The Music That Made The Movies", scheduled for broadcast on BBC4, this fall.
According to the announcement, in the third (and last) episode, series presenter and pianist Neil Brand interviews Vangelis. The BBC writes:
Neil tells how pioneering electronic composer Walter Carlos brought a synthesized classical sound that perfectly suited Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971) and how influential disco producer Giorgio Moroder created the first Oscar-winning electronic score for Midnight Express (1978). But no-one demonstrated the emotional range and richness of electronic music better than Vangelis, with his scores for Chariots of Fire (1981) and Blade Runner (1982). In a rare interview, Vangelis talks to Neil about the inspiration for his work and performs excerpts from his scores.
Check back for more details and scheduling information, when it becomes available.
We have received some questions about availability of the "Vangelis and the Journey To Ithaka" DVD. To clarify: Initially, this DVD will be exclusively available on Gonzo's site. During a period of at least several months it will not be sold by any other retailers, including internet mail order sites like Amazon.com as well as the local DVD store in your town. This situation extends beyond the pre-ordering period at the Gonzo site. The date of September 23 is when Gonzo starts shipping their copies.
If all goes well, a wider release to other retailers will happen later this year, and will be announced on this site as well.
An update for those who follow our news alerts using the RSS feed: Sadly, Twitter has ended RSS support for their service. We have had to decide to cancel officially supporting an RSS feed. Please follow us on Twitter or check this page for news updates.
Here's some good news for today: The Gonzo Media Group has announced that the feature length Vangelis documentary "Vangelis and the Journey To Ithaka" will finally be available on DVD. The movie, directed by Tony Palmer, which was mentioned in rumors from time to time and saw its release delayed for several years, is now available for pre-order from the company that sells most of Tony Palmer's documentaries.
The release date is planned for September 23. A more general release will follow later in the year.
The two hour documentary includes interviews with Vangelis and many of his friends and colleagues, including Sean Connery, Hugh Hudson, Jessye Norman, Oliver Stone, Akiko Ebi, Julian Rachlin and many others. It also includes a lot of historical footage, most of which was never seen before. Vangelis can also be seen improvising new music.
Label: Gonzo Catalog: HST166DVD Type: NTSC Region: 0 (free) Duration: 1:59:40
Check back here for more news on this, when it comes in. Let's hope all will proceed as planned. This is one not to miss out on!
The Warner compilation album "Light & Shadow: The Best of Vangelis" has been released and can be ordered online, bought in shops (in the UK) or listened on-line in Spotify or other services. As expected, this record company compilation does not contain any new music, no liner notes and no pictures. At the same time, it does make a nice gift to introduce someone into the Warner era of Vangelis music.
Trashed has been released on DVD in Italy. The DVD comes with both English and Italian sound. In the meantime, the UK DVD release seems to have sold out or has been withdrawn from the market. UK customers can now only watch the movie as digital download, or import the Italian DVD instead.
Warner's upcoming compilation album "Light & Shadow" will only appeal to completist collectors, as Vangelis was not personally involved in this release and all music is taken directly from the albums we all know. However, here are some details on this release:
Label: Rhino (Warner UK) Catalog: 5310584262
Available on CD and as a digital download, starting July 15.
Thanks to Váradi László.
Dr. Stergios Tegos has released all cases presented in the "Microsurgery With Video Tapes" box set for on-line viewing and listening on his web site. Each case is backed by a unique Vangelis score, with a duration that totals up to more than 10 hours of unreleased Vangelis music.
Originally released in 1998 as a deluxe box with video tapes, sold for the education of Greek students in micro surgery, this series of filmed neuro surgery operations for long held the status of a lost holy grail. To Vangelis collectors and enthusiasts for many years this was an elusive item, known to exist only by rumors, until 2011, when Don Fennimore found a source to buy it and shared the info on www.VangelisCollector.com.
The box is still for sale on www.parisianouj.gr/index.php?target=products&product_id=31859 for a price of €450, and comes highly recommended as a unique collector's item.
However, for anyone unable to pay the high price, or playback the old VHS cassette's, Dr. Tegos now offers each and every one of these cases in high quality on his web-site, for free online viewing.
These are the integral versions, with the narration by Dr. Tegos intact. Some will find that most recordings of the music previously shared by fans over the internet was incomplete, as the narrated portions had been crudely edited out.
[Note: It turns out that some of these videos, for example cases 2 and 35, are incomplete, with one or more bits (accidently) cut off. Which makes the total length of material on the actual video tapes longer than the online versions. ]
The producer of "Mark Kermode: Film Music Live" Tommy Pearson sent a message via Twitter today that Vangelis is personally involved in arranging a cue from his score to "Trashed" for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The piece is getting its UK premiere performance on July 9 at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Check our previous update for further details on the event.
A new compilation album scheduled for release on July 15 appears on a number of online CD stores. According to our sources this CD is being prepared and released by Warner without Vangelis’ involvement. The CD - "Light & Shadow: The Best Of Vangelis" - is released by Rhino Records and consists of 16 tracks culled from Vangelis' East West albums. The tracklist:
1. Conquest of Paradise 2. Voices 3. Blade Runner (Main Titles) 4. Tears in Rain 5. Rachel's Song 6. Ask the Mountains 7. Twenty Eighth Parallel 8. Light and Shadow 9. Song of the Seas 10. Memories of Blue 11. Bitter Moon (Theme) 12. Dream in an Open Place 13. Monastery of La Rabida 14. Fields of Coral 15. Come to Me 16. Dawn
The UK's best known film critic, Mark Kermode, is to present a number of concerts across the UK this summer alongside the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO.)
On July 9 at Symphony Hall Birmingham, Academy-winning actor Jeremy Irons will join Mark Kermode as special guest. The audience will get to hear the CBSO performing music from some of the films in which Irons has appeared. Among the selections that Irons picked for the CBSO is music from his recent film documentary "Trashed" composed by Vangelis.
Thanks to Philip Smallman for the tip.
As reported in our previous update, PPL revealed that "Chariots of Fire" was the most played classical recording of 2012 in the UK. During the announcement a personal video message from Vangelis was played on receiving the award. The video has now been made available online on the PPL website.
UK music licensing company PPL announced that Vangelis’ "Chariots of Fire" took the first spot as the most played classical recording of 2012. The announcement came earlier today during PPL’s Annual General Meeting held in London. Vangelis sent a video message and said of this award: "This piece of music has survived through the years and today it is still healthy and strong which is thanks to you, the public. So thank you, thank you, thank you."
PPL is a UK company that licenses the use of recorded music played in public or broadcast on radio, TV and on the internet.
iTunes is slowly rolling out their release of the new Vangelis scored eco documentary "Trashed", now available in countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Fans of great image quality will be happy to hear that the iTunes release is presented in a proper high density resolution. This time, it's not just an up-scaled version from the DVD master. The HD picture quality on iTunes is crisp and sharp, much better than the DVD release or any version streamed on the movie's official site. Recommended!
Audio is available in 5.1 surround, just like it was on the DVD. This creates interesting opportunities for fans of the Vangelis score who play this on a 5.1 surround set: Disconnect your center speaker and you will hear the music without the added voice over by Jeremey Irons.
Thanks to Kevin Nolan for verifying the iTunes download.
Fans of electro music will probably be familiar with the genre's iconic duo Röyksopp. Röyksopp's two members were asked to curate a mix CD, to be released in the "Late Night Tales" series. They went on to select Vangelis' well known "Blade Runner Blues" track from the "Blade Runner" soundtrack album, presented here in full in its original version.
Released on CD, wav download, mp3 download and vinyl LP, officially on June 17, but downloads start at June 14, while pre-ordered CDs will be shipped as of June 10.
[Edited: Contrary to early announcements, the actual release turns out to contain a 4:40 excerpt.]
Audio Fidelity, the label that successfully released the recent vinyl pressing of Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack album, has now announced they will be releasing the same Vangelis album on a limited numbered SACD.
SACDs, or Super Audio CDs are a form of high quality digital disks, similar to CDs, but with much higher sampling rate and sampling precision, resulting in potential better audio quality than a standard CD.
The Blade Runner release will be a Hybrid SACD, which means that the single disks functions both as a regular CD and an SACD, playing as a regular CD on CD players, and in high quality on SACD players. The sound will be mastered by Kevin Grey, who was also involved for the vinyl release. The exact limit of this production has not been announced.
Label: Audio Fidelity Catalog: AFZ 154
Amazon.com sold out their stock of the vinyl release in just a few days time, and the record still tops many of the world's specialist vinyl stores' sales lists, including Acoustic Sounds.
Thanks to Patrick Schouten who was the first to send us the tip on this.
"Time To Say Goodbye" star Sarah Brightman has recorded a cover version of Vangelis' "So Long Ago, So Clear" from the "Heaven and Hell" album (1975), originally sung by Jon Anderson. The track only appears as a bonus audio track on a supplementary DVD, sold with some exclusive editions of the album (found on Amazon.com), as well as on the iTunes Deluxe edition of the album, and the Super Deluxe Edition (Earth Globe housed in a Black Box) version of this release.
Thanks to Graham Carter for the heads-up.
While Amazon in the UK is held up delivering their orders for the Trashed DVD, their North American counterparts list it as "In Stock" and ready to ship.
The documentary's official site has expanded possibilities to watch the film online, directly through their web site. They now allow to switch successfully to different viewing qualities, and now also allow an option to buy, rather than rent a viewing license. For US$14.99 you can download the film in the shape of an MP4 video file.
If you have previously paid to rent the movie, you can upgrade to downloading by paying the difference. The rental period has been extended also, now allowing to re-view the movie during the period of a week.
Both streaming and download options allow a choice between four different image quality settings. That sadly, is where the problem lies. All viewing options seem to be "upscaled" from a lower quality master, probably the same resolution as the DVD. Therefore, you can switch it to FULL HD quality, but you still basically get to watch an outdated standard defination video. We recommend downloading (or watching) it set to the 480P option, which is clearly better than the 320P option, while the others fail to improve on those results.
In a day and age where everyone owns a high resolution flat screen TV and movie fans prefer Blu-Rays over DVDs, the lack of a High Definition release doesn't really meet customer demand or expectations.
It is however on account of the quality of the film itself that we do still highly recommend seeing it by any available means: This is an involving and convincing presentation of some important problems that we face as humanity, earnestly presented by Jeremy Irons who adds a touch of dry humor to the ominous themes. The film is backed by a beautiful, colorful, diverse and engaging new original score by Vangelis.
As of today "Trashed" can be viewed at the film’s official website as a video on demand for 5.99 USD. Viewing is possible from a computer by registering with the Trashedfilm.com website and payment with a credit card. Note that the resolution of the video stream is 360p. Attempting to switch to higher resolutions does not work at this moment.
The DVD release of "Trashed" on Amazon.co.uk has been delayed for a week and will start shipping from April 29.
The supposed release of a new pressing of the rare 1970 LP called "Sex power", which is currently being listed by several on-line record stores, is not supported by Vangelis. According to sources close to Vangelis the legality of this release is currently being examined. Not only was Vangelis not involved in this release; he was unaware something like this was being prepared.
In anticipation of the release of Vangelis' spectacular concert in Qatar, we spoke to someone who had the fortune of watching a version of the "Making Of" documentary, which will be included on the live DVD.
If no major changes are still made to the documentary it will, among other things, include interviews with Hugh Hudson, Jeremy Irons, and the son of the Emir of Qatar. Footage is included of a private jam session of the guest performers who appeared at the ethnic opening part of the event and Vangelis attending rehearsals of the children's choir. Some parts of the documentary feature new original Vangelis music, which was not heard at the concert or anywhere else before.
Fans who are waiting for the upcoming vinyl edition of Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack may enjoy this video showing mastering engineer Kevin Gray discussing some of the characteristics of the sound, while working on the mastering to fit this sound on vinyl.
Today is March 29 2013. Exactly 70 years have passed since Vangelis was born in the picturesque village of Agria, near Volos, Greece.
We'd like to take the opportunity to wish the maestro a very happy birthday, with many years to come in good health and in good spirit.
- The Elsewhere team
The Institut National De L'Audiovisuel (INA), the French organization who maintain the country's official archive of audio visual footage celebrates Vangelis' birthday today on their web site with the release of a short television report about Vangelis, including unique interview and music performance footage that was probably never seen again after its original broadcast on June 17, 1981.
US daily radio music programme "Echoes" will dedicate a part of its show to Vangelis' music to celebrate his 70th birthday. The broadcast is scheduled for today (Thursday 28 March):
On May 26, the Heritage Orchestra will perform their rendition of Vangelis' score for "Blade Runner" at the Sydney Opera House. The concert will be performed by a 45-piece orchestra and is part of the Vivid Sydney 2013 festival.
To avoid any possible confusion: This is not a Vangelis event. Vangelis' name is advertised as composer of the film score. He will not be involved in this performance.
The upcoming release of Vangelis' Blade Runner album as a vinyl record (LP) is now scheduled for April 16.
Label: Audio Fidelity Catalog: AFZLP 154
At Sound Stage Direct, a shop that specializes in selling music on vinyl, Blade Runner as pre-order is already the top selling release.
Thanks to Keith Boleen for the release date.
Recent tweets by orchestrator Sylvain Morizet have aroused curiosity about the apparent re-orchestration of Vangelis choral symphony "Mythodea". Sources close to Vangelis reveil some context on what is going on.
Vangelis' 1993 composition, originally performed live almost completely on synthesizers was first orchestrated in 2001 by Blake Neely and recorded with the London Philharmonic orchestra, released on CD by Sony Classical. The 2001 orchestration was aimed at performing the work with an orchestra, but depended on a central Vangelis performance using his multi instrumental technique on his custom controlled synthesizer setup.
Now, due to serious demand in the classical music world, work is in progress on a new orchestration of the entire Mythodea composition that would allow the work to be performed by a large orchestra, without the necesity of Vangelis' central performance.
On this topic, Vangelis' orchestrator Sylvain Morizet tweeted just yesterday:
We will of course be following this topic for any new developments.
In adition to the upcoming UK release of Trashed on DVD (see our January 11 update), Amazon.com now also lists a US release, set for the same release date: Apil 22. Sadly there are no signs yet of any upcoming release on the HD Blu-Ray format.
An update on the upcoming DVD release of La Fête Sauvage: The extras will also contain a 42 minute documentary film portrait of Frédéric Rossif, directed by Ivan Falardi, produced in the late eighties. The audio language is Italian, while English and French subtitles will be provided.
A new performance was added to the Kremlin Palace's schedule of the Vangelis scored Beauty and the Beast ballet: September 12, starting at 19:00.
Jeremy Irons and "Trashed" film maker Candida Brady were in Brussels yesterday to voice their support to EU's announcement of a new initiative on dealing with waste and kicking off the debate on the issue of recycling. Jeremy Irons joined EU environmental commissioner Janez Potočnik at the press conference and spoke of his ideas on how to reduce waste.
"Trashed" was also screened at the EU Parliament yesterday with Jeremy Irons attending. The EU commissioner for Education Androulla Vassiliou met with Irons and Brady and proposed an initiative to encourage EU schools to screen a shortened edit of "Trashed".
The event has garnered great media interest from around the world, here are a selection of links from the web:
"Trashed" was first screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012 and features an original score by Vangelis.
While fans are waiting for the long awaited release of Vangelis' concert in Qatar, it seems that recent messages on Twitter by "Beauty and the Beast" orchestrator Sylvain Morizet are the first hints of a new project Vangelis is involved in. The relevant tweets by Morizet so far:
Our sources close to Vangelis confirm that the song Sylvain has orchestrated is a new song, composed for soprano Angela Gheorgiu. This is a part of a new project currently being finalized. In addition to Gheorgiu, other important artists are involved as well.
The project is unrelated to the Qatar event, which also involved Angela's classical voice.
Check back here for more news, we will post it as soon as it comes in.
As reported in our July 24 2012 update, the initial release of "The Collection" on iTunes and other online sources had a technical problem delivering badly editted tracks. We have confirmed that this problem has recently been resolved. It does however seem that at least on iTunes, the corrected version will appear only for newly made purchases.
Vangelis' "Blade Runner" soundtrack (1994 Warner version) will be released on vinyl soon. The release is mastered by Audio Fidelity and will be issued on 180 gram transparent red vinyl. The record will come in a gatefold sleeve and will include many stills from the film. The tracklist per each side of the LP:
Side A: 1. Main Titles 3:42 2. Blush Response 5:47 3. Wait For Me 5:27 4. Rachel's Song 4:46 5. Love Theme 4:56 6. One More Kiss, Dear 3:58 Side B: 1. Blade Runner Blues 8:53 2. Memories Of Green 5:05 3. Tales Of The Future 4:46 4. Damask Rose 2:32 5. Blade Runner (End Titles) 4:40 6. Tears In Rain 3:00
The release date will be announced soon by "URP Music Distributors" and it is expected to come out in two months. Check the "Blade Runner" vinyl release on Audio Fidelity's website:
The Kremlin Ballet added another performance of "Beauty and the Beast" to its 2013 schedule. In addition to the remaining performance dates on April 26, May 16, and June 26, a new performance is scheduled on November 17 at 14:00.
Check out the Facebook page for Romanian singer Cezar The Voice. He has posted a photograph of himself with Vangelis:
The singer has in recent times mentioned on more than one occasion that Vangelis wrote a piece of music specifically for him. We managed to confirm that Vangelis did indeed write this music. According to our information, this song has not yet been recorded.
We'll keep you posted on this topic.
Cezar is actually in competition to represent Romania at this year's edition of the annual Eurovision Song Festival, but he does not sing the Vangelis song on these occasions.
The Kremlin Ballet has done it again today and uploaded additional video excerpts from Wayne Eagling's "Beauty and the Beast" ballet; and music scored by Vangelis:
The French CNC organization (Centre National Du Cinéma et de l'image animeé) has granted a €70,000 subsidy to properly restore and archive the Vangelis score feature film nature documentary "La Fête Sauvage". As announced earlier, Zoroastre is working on a re-release of this movie on DVD, Blu-ray and a pay-per-view internet release. The CNC's help will secure that the restoration will be done in 2K quality, which means a much higher definition (sharper image) and precise colors than the Full HD quality distributed on Blu-Ray disks.
Part of the film's original crew Bernard Zitzermann (Chief operator) and Dominique Caseneuve (editor) will be involved in the restoration process.
Source material will include both a 16mm original negative of the film and three 35mm internegatives that were used to create the 35mm prints for the theatrical release in 1975.
The quality should match that of the restored "Georges Mathieu ou la Fureur d'Etre" documentary in 2006, which was handled in the same way. The quality of the 35mm print shown on the big screen at the restoration premiere in Paris was absolutely stunning.
The work that will be involved means that the release of the DVD will not happen before the Summer. Be sure to check back here as we will follow more developments on this project closely.
Today the Kremlin Ballet has released even more footage of their performance of the Vangelis scored "Beauty and the Beast" ballet, performed at the Kremlin Palace theater in Moscow:
The Kremlin Ballet has uploaded additional videos from Wayne Eagling's ballet "Beauty and the Beast". The next performance of the ballet is scheduled on February 26:
The Kremlin Ballet has uploaded to YouTube a few short videos from Wayne Eagling's ballet "Beauty and the Beast", with music by Vangelis:
Here are a couple of links with more coverage on "Beauty and the Beast":
Some photo albums shared by the Kremlin Ballet on their Facebook page. Some links may require logging in to Facebook:
There is good news on the "Beauty and the Beast" ballet. The Kremlin Ballet, who are currently preforming this expanded version of Wayne Eagling's 1986 ballet, are considering to take this production on a tour. If all goes well, they could take be continuing their performances at various venues throughout Russia, Europe and possibly the United States.
This would be a great chance for anyone who wants to see this choreography and of course to hear all of this unreleased Vangelis music being performed by a live orchestra.
You'll find more info on this web page, as soon as it becomes available.
Soprano Angela Gheorghiu has posted another photograph of herself with Vangelis on her Facebook page: "Dinners with friends during the 2 day stay in Paris".
On February 7 "Trashed" will get a special screening at the Houses of Parliament, London. Jeremy Irons will be joining a host of MPs and campaigners to raise awareness of dealing with global waste. The film makers have made available two tickets to the public by entering a competition at their Facebook page:
Furthermore, the film will be screened twice in Gloucestershire in February. The sceenings are part of a public awareness champaign by "GlosVain Against Incineration". "Trashed" screenings in Gloucestershire:
Enviromental film "Trashed" continues to receive praise with the latest coming from EcoWatch.org, recommending it as "must see documentary".
And there are more chances to see "Trashed". Make the best of them, if you can, as this score so far proved very popular among Vangelis fans.
We're a bit late for the screening in Rome, as this takes place tonight on Friday, January 25, at the Raindance Film Festival's Rome edition. According to the organizers, the screening of "Trashed" in Florence was a sell-out.
There's a bit more time for Paris, France, where Trashed will screen on February 24 and 25, at the "30e Festival international du film d'environment".
Thanks to Paul Van Kesteren for the tip about the Paris screenings.
Downloads of the Vangelis remastered version of "Earth" (see the January 21 update) are now also available in Italy and Germany, with more European countries likely to follow.
The day after the premier performance of the expanded "Beauty and the Beast" ballet, media in Rusland are starting to publish their reports. It seems to early for actual reviews, but here are some other media reports:
Sources close to the production were able to shed some light on Vangelis' music in this production.
While in 1986 the original Vangelis music was played from tape, now at the Kremlin Palace, all of it is performed live by an orchestra.
Vangelis, as always, composed the music performing on his synthesizers. The music was then transcribed by Irina Valentinova - Karpouchina, orchestrated by Sylvain Morizet and Jean Pascal Beintus. Finally, the individual scores were prepared for the orchestra by Guy-Paul Romby and Vladimir Kachesov. The New Russia State Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Igor Razumovsky.
Here is a complete list of the music being performed:
M1. Ouverture 6:00 M2. Creditors 3:17 M3. Suiter and Beauty 1:50 M4. Father and Beauty 2:30 M5. Beauty Solo 2:30 M6. Journey to the Forest 3:00 M7. Bats 4:00 M8. Deer 4:00 M9. Wolves 3:25 M10. Bears 4:00 M11. Doves 4:13 M12. Into the Mansion 2:00 M13. Father's Dream 4:32 M14. Garden 6:10
M15. Mansion 1:30 M16. Servants dance 3:30 M17. The Mask 4:45 M18. Beast's solo 4:37 M19. Jester's dance 3:47 M20. Sun and the Moon 4:13 M21. Solo Guy, solo Girl 4:58 M22. Best and Beauty - Pas de deux 7:00 M23. The Mirror 3:45 M24. Belle Returns 2:45 M25. Finale 5:00
Universal Music in France has released an online version of Vangelis' 1973 album Earth. It seems to involve the version remastered by Vangelis himself, since the style of the artwork matches the remastered releases of Odes and Rapsodies and indeed, the mastering differs from earlier releases.
Purists should note that this version, like the CD versions released in Greece in the late '90s, contains a recording with some additional reverb applied. For the original sound as released in 1973, you still need to play the vinyl records.
The remastered "Earth" album is available as download or stream from Amazon.fr, itunes.fr, Spotify, etc.
The best quality version can be obtained from www.qobuz.com, where a download in lossless CD quality is being sold.
So far, there is no sign that any actual CD release would follow.
Tonight is the official premier performance. We do expect to be able to share some more information in a new update tomorrow.
It has been revealed that Vangelis' orchestral music on "Beauty and the Beast" will be performed by the "New Russia State Symphony Orchestra" with Yury Bashmet acting as artistic director. The orchestra will be conducted by Igor Razumovsky who earlier today gave a radio interview to "The Voice of Russia" and spoke warmly of Vangelis' score:
As reported earlier Wayne Eagling was scheduled to appear today on Russian radio station cultradio.ru. Sadly Wayne couldn't attend but instead "Beauty and the Beast" dancer Alexandra Timofeeva appeared as guest. The radio program discussed the upcoming "Beauty and the Beast" ballet and among the topics was Vangelis' music.
The radio program has treated its listeners by playing fragments from Vangelis' "Beauty and the Beast" music, about 14 minutes of music was played. The radio program can now be listened online on the station's website. Vangelis music appears in the program at these times: (00:10 - 03:31), (12:21 - 16:59) , (23:18 - 26:57), and (38:29 - 40:49).
Russian media site m24u.ru made a news video segment on "Beauty and the Beast"'s upcoming premiere, showing scenes from the pre-rehearsals.
A photo from today's rehearsals of "Beauty and the Beast" was shared on microblogging site Twitter. The photo tweeted by one of the orchestrators shows the ballet dancers on stage with an orchestra spotted in the orchestra pit playing music, indicating that Vangelis' orchestral music will be played live during the performance.
Tomorrow Wayne Eagling will be appearing on Russian radio station cultradio.ru. On the prgramme Eagling along with the artistic director of the "Kremlin Ballet" Andrei Petrov will be interviewed on the topic of the ballet's Russian premiere this coming Tuesday. The radio interview will be broadcast at 13:05 Moscow time (10:05 CET time) on the programme "Personalities."
On Wednesday 23 January "Trashed" will be shown at the Odeon Cinema, in Florence, Italy (screen time 20:30.) The screening will be for one day only and will be shown in its original English version with Italian subtitles.
Media in Russia are slowly warming up to the upcoming new staging of Wayne Eagling's ballet choreography of "Beauty and the Beast" at the Kremlin Palace Theater. A press conference was organized on Thursday, with Eagling attending. The first photographs of the rehearses were released, showing off the lavish production design.
Interviews with Eagling reveal that the ballet was extended with extra choreography of no less then 45 minutes, seriously expanding the performance from one act to a two act production. Eagling explained that he added new characters, including Beauty's father, to show more of her background.
This must also explain Vangelis' involvement, extending and adding to the music. French orchestrator Sylvain Morizet has tweeted about his involvement in orchestrating music for this project, so it looks like either the new music, or all of it will be orchestral in nature. Sylvain seems to works together with Jean-Pascal Beintus on these transcriptions.
The premier performance takes place on Tuesday January 22, with further performances planned, at least on January 25 and January 26, with more following later in the year.
Plus, let's not forget the Kremlin performances of Wayne Eagling's ballet of "Beauty and the Beast", starting later this month. Originally performed in 1986 to Vangelis' music, this will now be restaged, with the original music. Vangelis is involved for some additional or updated music.
It's a bit earlier than planned, but the current run of performances of the Chariots of Fire stage play has come to an end. January 5 saw the last performance at the Gielgud Theatre. According to the show's producers, the starting gun has fired almost 3000 times on this stage, and the actors have collectively run over 1700 Kilometers on the stage's tracks.
The good news is that plans are being developed to tour the production across theaters, somewhere this or next year.
While last year's announced releases of the Vangelis remastered Rossif soundtrack albums never actually came available, the Sugar label has recently released their own reissue of Vangelis' "La Fête Sauvage" soundtrack album. As advertised, they did their own remastering, so we were curious to check out the results. Sadly, this is an example of how not to remaster an album.
It looks like they did go back to the master tapes, but the playback rate is slightly to slow, resulting in a lower pitch and a slightly longer album. Worse, the label indulges in what is often referred to as "The Loudness War", having processed the music to deliver the highest possible output volume, their use of Dynamic Limiters has ruined the continuity of the sound, and messed up the album's higher volume portions.
Even worse than that, the engineers must have noticed that parts of this album are mono (owing to the music being recorded and mixed in mono for the movie, with no intend for a soundtrack release), yet not realizing other parts were in fact remixed and added to in proper stereo. They processed the music to give a warmer stereo feel in the mono parts, but effectively killed the proper stereo parts of the master, right back to semi-mono.
By all means avoid this release. Anyone looking for the most authentic reproduction of the '70s release should best still look for the rare Polydor CD release, made in the '80s.
Angela Gheorghiu was invited for a special edition of "Sinteza Zilei" TV programme broadcast on Romania's Antena 3. In this special that lasted two and half hours, the world famous soprano talked about her excitement of working with composer Vangelis, as well as her performance on Vangelis' new Choral Symphony, performed last year in Qatar. She also mentioned the upcoming DVD of the Qatar concert. Midway in the interview a video segment was shown of Angela with Vangelis in a recording studio. The full TV special is now posted online on Antena 3's website.
Angela talks about Vangelis at 00:07:38. A second discussion about Vangelis starts at 01:04:14.
The video segment with Vangelis starts at precisely 01:05:07.
Thanks to Octavian Buda for the tip.
Here are the four reviews we received after the opening weekend of "Trashed", in Los Angeles and New York. Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences! We will still post more if we receive more in the days to come.
To anyone who will go and see "Trashed" in New York or Los Angeles, this weekend: Please feel invited to share your comments with us.
We will publish any review of the movie and its score, submitted before Monday, December 17, 8pm (CET).
Note that there is an opportunity here to attend the screenings that come with a Q&A with director Candida Brady in Los Angeles, or with Jeremy Irons in New York, and pose your questions about the movie, or its score.
Several news papers have now published their reviews of the movie, all with positive conclusions. The New York Daily News awards it 5 out of 5 stars.
The Zoroastre release of "La Fête Sauvage" on DVD and Blu-Ray got green lighted. The movie will be restored and released on DVD, Blu-Ray and online through video on demand services.
Both the original French narration and English naration will be available, as well as English sub titles and an audio track with music and sound effects only, omitting the voice overs.
Extra's should include a reunion interview, speaking to much of the film's production crew some 36 years after the film's release.
A release date has yet to be set, but we'll be reporting on that as soon as it's been announced, along with details on how to order your copy of the movie.
Additional performance dates are announced for "Beauty and the Beast" on the Kremlin Palace website. A complete list of performance dates as it stands today:
While details are still sketchy and things may change, according to the Kremlin Palace's website three dates are announced on their "events calendar" page. The premiere performance will be held on January 22, with two additional performances expected on January 25, and February 26.
Calender page for January:
Calender page for February:
It also put possibility to buy tickets on-line.
Please note that dates can notoriously change in Russia, more details will be posted here once they become available.
This Wednesday, December 5 an episode of Japanese TV series "Song to Soul" will focus on Vangelis and the theme for "Chariots of Fire". The program will air at 23:00 (JST, local Japanese time) on BS-TBS and runs for 54 minutes.
The show explores the popularity of Vangelis' theme in the film and details the story of how it came to life. Film director Hugh Hudson and former Vangelis sound engineer Raphael Preston appear in interviews.
More and more positive signals are coming in about "Trashed". The movie seems to be quite something! Those who were lucky enough to view a screening are impressed by the emotional impact of the movie on a strong and important topic that concerns us all. Word on the music by Vangelis is exciting, with several sources expressing their hopeful demands for a score release.
Since at least for now "Trashed" will open theatrically only in Los Angeles and New York, making it difficult for most of us to go and see this film, we are calling for those who can go and see it to share their insights and reactions with us.
The movie opens in both cities on Friday December 14, and we'll publish your reactions shortly after that weekend. More about this when the time nears.
Special thanks to everyone who saw Trashed and shared their comments so far.
Today's topic isn't actually a current event, but it's time to catch up with some things we missed in 2009 and thereafter. It seems that on several occasions, Vangelis contributed music to projects involving Blade Runner actor Rutger Hauer.
Check out this short film, produced at the Rutger Hauer Filmfactory 2009 master class, titled "Lonesome". The jazzy underscore is previously unheard music by Vangelis:
Also, Vangelis composed the original music for a recitation by Rutger Hauer, titled "Aboriginal Dreaming":
Furthermore, Hauer founded and oversees the "I've Seen Films" film festival, the title a pun on his famous Blade Runner line "I've seen things, you people wouldn't believe." Since 2008, the annual Milan based festival has screened and promoted short films from all over the world. On Hauer's request, Vangelis composed and donated the festival's theme tune. It's said to be about 25 seconds long, and seems to be played at the start of every movie shown at the festival.
Typically, another edition of this festival should take place in October next year.
According to sources close to Vangelis, the Kremlin has asked Wayne Eagling to help restage his "Beauty and the Beast". The project is currently in its early stages, but if everything goes well, the ballet will be performed somewhere next year at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia. The production is being prepared to be almost identical to how the ballet was initially performed at Govent Garden in London, 1986. There is also a possibility that some additional new Vangelis music will be incorporated.
More news here, when it becomes available.
Vangelis recently gave a brief interview to Greek scientific news site BioMagazine.gr, who published it on their site.
"Trashed", the new Vangelis scored environmental documentary, will now be playing in both Los Angeles and New York, starting December 14.
The official site for "Trashed" is preparing for an eventual home video release of this movie, to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray formats. You can (and probably should) register your interest by leaving your name and email address here:
As a reminder: Zoroastre in France is also still counting interest in a possible Blu-Ray and/or DVD release of La Fête Sauvage. Feel welcome to show your interest by e-mailing them on the address they have created specifically for this purpose.
AbuDhabiClassicFM music station confirmed via Twitter that today's programme "Lights, Camera, Action!" will feature selections from Vangelis' score to Trashed. The programme is due to begin in two hours from now. Here are some local times when the broadcast is due to begin:
13:00 GMT (London, UK)
14:00 Central European Time (Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, etc.)
15:00 Athens, Greece
08:00 Saturday, Eastern Standard Time (New York, USA)
Online audio feed is available at the station's website:
The programme lasts for two hours and will conclude with the End Titles to "Trashed".
Check yesterday's update for further information on how and where to tune in to the programme.
AbuDhabiClassicFM music station announced on microblogging site Twitter it had an exclusive by playing selections from Vangelis' film score to "Trashed". The station is based in the U.A.E and Vangelis' music was aired during the programme "Lights, Camera, Action!" hosted by Matt Sansom (14:00-16:00 CET).
According to the station's website the programme will broadcast again tomorrow (Saturday November 10) at the same time slot from 14:00 until 16:00 Central European Time (from 17:00 until 19:00 U.A.E local time.)
At this time it is unclear whether tomorrow's programme will be a repeat of today's show or will be an entirely new programme. If it is a repeat of today's broadcast then this will be an opportunity for fans and listeners to get a glimpse of Vangelis' new music. The station's audio feed is transmitted online at:
Check the station website's for information on other options to listen via satellite radio or downloading their own iOS app for streaming audio.
Fans who wish to listen in to Saturday's show should bear in mind that at least two Vangelis' tracks were played today, with the second track playing at the very end of the programme.
In an interview with entertainment website CraveOnline film director Oliver Stone revealed he plans to make a new edit of Alexander. Read the interview here:
Read earlier news updates in the archive pages (see below and on top of this page).