Unfortunately, Vangelis is no longer attached as composer to Danièle Thompson's upcoming new movie "Cézanne et moi".
Sources close to Vangelis confirm that Vangelis will not be involved with this movie. Due to Vangelis' involvement in projects with ESA and NASA his time schedule proved incompatible with the film's production schedule.
It seems that the score is now slated to be composed by French composer Éric Neveux.
Greek music website MusicHeaven.gr conducted an interview with music journalist Nikos Mouratidis. In the interview Nikos reflects on his career in the music business and his work as an A&R with a number of artists including Vangelis.
Vangelis collector Roland Weissflog was the first to report a release that comes as a big surprise to anyone: On Friday, November 20 a small French record label named Monster Melodies has released a soundtrack recording of Vangelis' original score for Henry Chapier's obscure 1973 movie "Amore" on vinyl.
Amore was Vangelis' second collaboration with movie director Henry Chapier, after recording a score for art house obscurity "Sex Power", a year earlier. While an LP was released for the Sex Power score, in very limited quantities, nothing was released of the music for Amore. Nor did anyone since its original release find a way to watch the movie, until some years ago French media archival organization INA finally released the movie online as well as on DVD.
So, now suddenly we can buy a full soundtrack album, on good old vinyl, which obviously raises a lot of questions. It seems unlikely that Vangelis would sign of on such a release and indeed, sources close to Vangelis confirm that Vangelis has nothing to do with this release, nor does he support it. The recordings obviously do come from the archived masters and the album seems to suggest that all rights have been taken care of. We have no doubt that some rights were arranged with third parties, but whether that gives anyone the right to produce a "Vangelis" album without his consent is very questionable. It is in this day and age not entirely uncommon for small labels to produce a record on their own merrit, hoping to stay under the radar and get away with things. Think for instance of the recent Dutch Sex Power reprint on vinyl, which later had to be retracted in several countries. Either way, the label's official position seems to be that this is a fully legal release, but the fact that Monster Melodies did not add this record to their official web site, nor to its public online ordering catalog may be a tell tale sign indeed. The exact situation around the new "Amore" release remains unclear at this point, but it seems questionable at best.
Putting all that aside for now, this does provide for more than half an hour of unreleased Vangelis music for our listening pleasure. Reactions to the quality are mixed, but considering that this is a 1973 score, released on vinyl after being archived for so many years, we were not too dissapointed. There is some distortion in the louder parts and the entire score is mixed in mono (as the movie asked for a mono soundtrack), but all in all, it's very listenable. Any shortcomings are easily set aside because of the beautiful music that makes up this album. There is plenty of space for (variations on) its haunting main theme, intercut with some really pleasant tracks in Vangelis' well known high quality delicacy. Like almost any Vangelis soundtrack release, this contains both more (and longer) pieces than the movie does, as much as some great parts heard in the movie are missing on the record.
Thanks to Roland Weissflog for finding and sharing info on this release.
Over the past two days, the media have increasingly picked up on word that Vangelis will be collaborating with GZA, a rap star from New York with considerable success as a solo artist, after rising to fame being a founding member of the famous Wu-Tang Clan rap collective.
It all started with a photograph being posted on Facebook by GZA, not naming Vangelis, but mentioning working with a "very rare collaborator". The snapshot clearly shows the rap artist in a studio with Vangelis playing keyboards inside of his synthesizer setup, surrounded by synthesizers and the controlers of his legendary custom built music performance system.
Internet music news sites had identified Vangelis within hours, and the news started spreading, from music gear fan sites to underground music news blogs, eventually reaching the main stream media including Danish news papers and the primary source of on-line news in the Netherlands. The ball, it seems is still rolling. Chances are, you've read about this long before you ended up reading this post on the Elsewhere Vangelis site. We do feel we have reputation to maintain, so we wanted to be more sure of the validity of this news. And indeed, it does check out. Sources close to Vangelis confirm these media reports.
And while jaws are dropping left and right over Vangelis' exploration of such an unexpected corner of the world of music, it seems that Vangelis himself may just be the one person who is not surprised, as he shares the following official statement about his latest collaboration:
There are not any paths and corners hidden in music. Although you may think that I am entering into another field, music is one, with endless fields full of different mathematical equations, therefore sounds and expressions...
GZA is cancelling his European tour for "circumstances beyond [his] control" and will now be working on this new material, for an album called "Dark Matter", reportedly inspired by astronomy and quantum physics and destined for a release in Spring 2016.
None of the news articles answer any of the obvious questions about the extend and nature of their collaboration, simply because no such thing has been announced at this point. Work is in progress, and time will tell.
Vangelis has agreed to compose the score for Danièle Thompson's new movie "Cézanne et moi". Principal photography kicked off yesterday for Thompson's first period movie, focussing on the friendship between painter Paul Cézanne and author Emile Zola. French movie stars Guillaume Gallienne and Guillaume Canet star as the two artists.
Vangelis' involvement was announced with the following statement: "The Greek composer Vangelis agreed to compose the music for the upcoming film by Danièle Thompson, "Les Inséparables" on one condition: That she would read her script to him from start to finish. And that's what she did..."
Thompson: "It's very difficult to choose the music for a film, you have to have confidence in the sensitivity of a musician who will understand what you do not explain it to be shown. This is a very strange dialogue that we have with the musicians. I was lucky, I had the biggest: Michel Legrand, Nicolas Piovani, Eric Serra and this will be my next film Vangelis, all really great people."
Thanks to Kevin Chartron for the initial tip.
Here's a rare occasion to hear Vangelis in an interview. Vangelis was interviewed by Norman Lebrecht for Sinfini music, and the result was just posted on the classical music web site. The recording took place in a London hotel suite. [Corrected afterwards: Information Elsewhere on the web points to this interview having been conducted several years back.]
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? (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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:
On November 19, Decca releases a 2CD compilation album with tracks selected from their recent classical releases. The first CD contains "Aspiration", the second CD contains "Chariots of Fire", both from the recent new Vangelis album, "Chariots of Fire - The Play".
According to tweets by someone involved in the project, a new official sheet music book is being prepared for a release, in a few months time. It will contain piano transcriptions of a wide selection of well known Vangelis compositions.
With "Trashed" having played on several film festivals, there are some Vangelis enthusiast lucky enough to have been able to view this movie. Word on the music is very positive. The music is said to be very elaborate, varied and quite refreshing. Vangelis performs the opening track in his large scale orchestral style, while many other parts boast a much more electronic feel. Some recollect the truly heart breaking passages that accompany the more poignant scenes. The end titles track is referred to as extremely delicate and tender.
Don't miss your chance to see this movie, if it screens at a festival near you.
For those who want to know more about Vangelis connecting with astronaut André Kuipers in the International Space Station (see earlier reports), Kuipers has just released a biography ("Droomvlucht, Het verhaal van Astronaut André Kuipers", written in Dutch by journalist Sander Koenen, ISBN 987 90 488 1303 2). One page in the chapter "The Soundtrack of Life" is dedicated to his passion for Vangelis' music, including mention of the uplink with Vangelis. He calls floating in space while listening to Vangelis playing live on his piano a very special moment. The story slightly differs from the recent interview: Vangelis' management was hard to reach, but apparently Vangelis himself contacted ESA to see if something was possible, so Kuipers was pleasantly surprised to discover the Vangelis video connection had been planned for him.
The new Vangelis scored documentary "Trashed" has won the Toyota Earth Grand Prix Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Associate Producer Tabitha Troughton received the award with the words: "To have won this award is incredibly important. Thank you from the entire Trashed team! It was an extraordinary experience traveling around the world with this film. I'm aware that a movie cannot solve the trash problem in the world but what I can do is to bring this problem to the minds of the people; to bring out what we already know. It just needs addressing."
Angela Gheorghiu has posted photographs on Facebook from her latest performance: A fundraising Gala in London, in aid of the Royal Opera House Foundation, attended by Queen Elisabeth II. Vangelis is present on this photograph:
We knew that Vangelis enjoyed an uplink to astronaut André Kuipers at the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this year (see the July 21 update). Now, Kuipers talks about his passion for Vangelis' music as well as the uplink in an interview with Dutch news paper De Volkskrant, printed in their Saturday edition magazine. Here follows a translation to English from the relevant part of the interview:
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The film "Trashed" featuring Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons and an original score by Vangelis, will get its first official theatrical release in the cities of New York and Los Angeles, on December 14. There are also plans for the film to go on sale at Amazon and iTunes as a digital download, sometime in early 2013. More on this later.
There are many signs that Vangelis has been and still is hard at work in a studio in London, preparing the release of the choral symphony "Hope", performed so beautifully, late last year in Doha, Qatar.
Due to great public demand the staging of "Chariots of Fire (the play)" has now been extended past November, and it will be running until February 2013. To purchase tickets follow the link at:
The 20th Raindance Film Festival in London will show "Trashed", featuring an original film score by Vangelis. The film will be screened twice at the Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus:
Last week, specialist soundtrack label BSX records announced their upcoming new release: Their own new recording of Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack. The music from the film, but re-performed by another keyboard player. Of course, the one question on everyone's mind: Why?!??!?! I realize that not every last minute of Blade Runner music was released on the Blade Runner Trilogy 3CD, but it came pretty close, and bootlegs do fill in the gaps for the true completists out there.
It sort of looks like they tried to bring their version as close as possible to the famous OWM bootleg CD of Blade Runner, judging by the duration of tracks like End Titles and Blade Runner Blues. But... a re-recording? Doesn't that completely undermine the point of an original soundtrack release?
While there has always been a tradition of re-recorded orchestral scores on the soundtrack market, the taboo to recreate complete electronic scores was broken only some years ago and now saeems to have become a sort of trend. Among the memorable electronic scores of the '80s that were given this sort of treatment are Tangerine Dream's Legend, Ennio Morricone's The Thing and of course Vangelis' own The Bounty.
Now, BSX records asked German synthesist Edgar Rothermich, mostly known for continuously working with Chris Franke as his assistant, engineer and producer on many albums and film scores, to reconstruct the music as accurately as possible. Judging from the sound samples available so far, he must have spent a lot of time trying to get it all right. And in a way, it's all in there. But in another, it really, really isn't. It does not feel alive, it does not have the warmth, and it does not radiate the brilliance of the original recording. This is not a replicant, this is a robot. If you don't grasp the difference between the two, you missed the core of the movie. The notes are there, but the vibe is not. Not in the performance and not in the sound. And if any of that lacks, compared to the original, then... what's the point?
Let's be frank though: The CD will probably sell out. Quite fast. This is limited to a run of 1500 copies. BSX albums almost always sell out, because of their loyal following. This one has the added bonus of a large group of Blade Runner enthusiasts who will worry about regretting missing out on anything related to the movie, if they don't act fast enough. And the price is not so bad at all.
Expected release date: September 19, sold through various specialist soundtrack sales channels, and directly at
Thanks to everyone who wrote in with this information. Emmanuel Gea and Maarten van Strien were the first to reach us.
This week another video from the 70's leaked that shows Vangelis rehearsing music, which is almost completely unreleased to this date:
Mojo published their promised Vangelis interview in their October issue, currently on sale in the UK and many other countries. The one and a half page article deals with topics like the '68 Student riots in Paris, the release of abstract works like Beaubourg and Invisible Connections and the music for the Chariots of Fire stage play.
The highlight no doubt is the question that has been on everyone's mind, about the upcoming sequel to "Blade Runner". Vangelis: "Ridley is a friend and a great director and it's mainly up to him. "
The October issue of MOJO music magazine is out this week in the UK, has a brand new interview with Vangelis. More later...
Just a few updates on Vangelis related chart positions... The London Symphony Orchestra version of "Conquest of Paradise" has reached its fourth week at the top of the UK Classical singles charts, maintaining its nr. 1 position. The "Chariots of Fire - The Play" album is still at 25 in the classical charts, while "The Collection" went to 55 in the UK pop charts. At the same time, "The Collection" is entered international charts reaching 79 in the Netherlands, 93 in Spain and 40 in the Belgian album charts.
Gregorian previously covered Jon & Vangelis' "I'll Find My Way Home" on "Masters of Chant IV" and Aprhodite's Child "The Four Horsemen" from the 666 album on "The Dark Side"
Thanks to Ilias Nadareishvili - Kyrimlidis for the tip!
The London Olympics are over now, but the charts still feel the vibe. The London Symphony Orchestra's version of Chariots of Fire, as performed on the opening ceremony, is still nr 1 in the UK, Classical singles chart, with another version of the theme at nr 9 and Abraham's Theme at nr 18. The same track is at nr 51 in the overall singles chart, while its album "Isles of Wonder - The Opening Ceremony" is nr. 2 at the compilation albums (various artists) chart.
Vangelis' own "Chariots of Fire - The play" album is now at 16 in the classical album charts, while "The Collection" climbed to nr 29 for pop albums.
Both new albums are released on most of Europe, while in-storea availability varies from country to country.
The better CD stores in the UK, Italy, Portugal have both albums in stock. Shops in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Ireland mostly carry "The Collection", while "Chariots of Fire - The Play" can be ordered.
In Hungary, "Chariots of Fire - The Play" can be found in some shops, but "The Collection" needs to be ordered.
For some reason, Germany has to wait until October 4 before they can find "The Collection" in stores. "Chariots of Fire - The Play" has been released, but stock differs greatly per shop.
Fans in Austria complained that neither "Chariots of Fire - The Play" nor "The Collection" are available in any Austrian shop. Nor can the store clerks order it or name a release date. Ordering via the German Amazon site (Amazon.de) is recommended for Austria.
"The Collection" should now be available also in South Africa, although stock in stores has yet to be confirmed. The United States is still waiting for a release of "The Collection", but "Chariots of Fire - The Play" was released on August 7.
Thanks to Dietmar Paul, Giuseppe Andreaza, Zoltán Horváth, Pat Gleesson, Paul van Kesteren, Foster Cullen and anyone else who reported their findings!
British film critic Barry Norman writes an article on the music of "Chariots of Fire" and its inspirational power in the film as well as in sports.
An article on the longevity of "Chariots on Fire" - including its music - during this Olympic Games, published on an Australian online news website:
The London Symphony Orchestra's new version of Vangelis' theme to "Chariots of Fire" has topped the UK's official Classical Singles Chart this week, knocking off Batman's composer Hans Zimmer "Rise" from the top spot.
We have obtained the full, uncut version of the recent interview published in "The Observer". Enjoy:
As reported in an earlier update, tomorrow (Sunday August 5, 12:00 UK time) a new interview with Vangelis will broadcast on BBC Radio 3. On the programme "Private Passions" Michael Berkeley is meeting with Vangelis to talk about music. During the programme's one hour show Vangelis will pick some of his favourite classical and jazz pieces. You can listen to BBC Radio 3 online at any time at this link:
Here is the list of local times when the interview with Vangelis will be on air tomorrow (August 5):
The website Classic Arts has the cue sheet of the musical selections for the programme:
Last week the classically trained pianist Myleene Klass made a special appearance at Heathrow Airport to welcome arriving passengers to the Olympic Games by playing her arrangement of Chariots of Fire. Heathrow Airport put together a nice video of her performance which you watch here:
Nothing generated more internet buzz last week on Twitter than Friday night's Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, so to know which part created the most buzz of that event is certainly relevant.
Quite incredible to find that the Mr. Bean act, combined with the Orchestral performance of Chariots of Fire beat any other topic that evening.
Finally, to close this topic: Some prime footage of Vangelis greeting the Olympic flame with Chariots of Fire:
Thanks to our reporters on location, the footage is much appreciated!
Among the many newly released cover versions of Chariots of Fire, there is a new version that stands out: Jon Anderson recorded his personal version of Race To The End. This song was composed by Vangelis in 1981, based on the melody of Chariots of Fire, with lyrics by Jon Anderson. The song was first performed by Demis Roussos. Jon Anderson has now recorded his own version and released it on iTunes and Amazon MP3 download.
Another interesting version is the one performed at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by famous music conductor Simon Rattle. This is the performance seen with actor Rowan Atkinson spoofing as Mr Bean on the synthesizer.
A selection of links relating to the Olympic Torch Relay passing at the Gielgud Theatre last Thursday.
With all the attention for its soundtrack release, Vangelis greeting the Olympic flame and nods to "Chariots of Fire" in the Olympic opening ceremony, you might almost forget there is an actual stage production to enjoy in London.
I visited the Gielgud theater on July 14 to be a part of the event and share my findings on a new page on this site. Read the Official Elsewhere review here:
The contents of the Olympic Games opening ceremony were carefully kept a secret. The notion of "Chariots of Fire" being used had leaked, back in June, but was unconfirmed, and nobody knew how it would be used.
Vangelis famous theme was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra [edited: Not the Philharmonic!], conducted by Simon Rattle.
The music turned out to be part of an act to provide some comic relief, with the illustrious Mr. Bean (played by Rowan Atkinson) apparently having joined the orchestra to become "the guy who plays the throbbing synthesizer sound". Thankfully, the performance of the music was kept in tact (although slightly adjusted to the scene), while the act turns into a filmed sequence where the famous Chariots of Fire beach running scene was parodied.
The act and music were awarded with a warm applause.
Earlier parts of the spectacle included a re-enactment of the history of Brittain, an ode to the NHS (National Health Service) with live music by Mike Oldield with a reading by J.K. Rowling, a journey through the history of British pop music and various other spectacular dances. And was it my imagination, or did the audience cheer when a performance of Jerusalem reached the words "Chariots of Fire"?
At this moment, the national flags are being carried into the stadium, and the olympic flame has yet to be lit.
News channel CNN aired a televised segment on the film Chariots of Fire that keeps inspiring athletes and the wider public. The video segment covers footage from the red carpet premiere of the digital remastered version of "Chariots of File" film in London, as well as the stage adaptation premiere at the West End. A short interview with Vangelis is shown, next to interviews from both the film and the West End actors.
Yesterday NBC interviewed Vangelis soon after the Olympic Torch Relay passed the Gielgud Theatre. The footage shows the Olympic Torch bearer as she received the good wishes of the public who gathered in thousands at the West End. Forward to the 1:00 minute mark for the segment.
WhatsOnStage is now also sharing their footage of the Nawal El Moutawakel carrying the torch, stopping to wave at Vangelis and the actors in front of the Gielgud theater.
Special thanks to Mark Dawson for sending in his wonderful photos
Inconveniently social media site twitter was down when the Olympic Torch passed the Gielgud theatre, however some photos did eventually appear showing a smiling Vangelis along with stage actors Jack Lowden (Edic Liddel) and James McArdle (Harold Abrahams).
Thanks to Tweeters @ChariotsOnStage, @charlie_girling, @DMTWestEnd, @ninacaittwohig, @SchillingDirk
As anyone who followed the Torch relay footage on TV or the internet streams will have noticed, something went wrong with the broadcast, as both audio and video coverage from the ground was lost, and the BBC had to resort to airing (beautiful) areal pictures of almost all of the torch relay event.
Luckily, someone who attended the event was able to write in. Therefore, we can confirm it did happen as planned!
Vangelis attended the happening, and along with the main actors of the play, he took position on a kind of stage in front of the theater, which lifted up before the torch arrived.
At that moment, "Chariots of Fire", the slightly updated version of "Titles" and the first track on the new soundtrack album for the stage production, played loudly from the speakers. The crowd around the theater was massive and cheered along with the music. Before she continued her run, the torch bearer nodded visibly to Vangelis and the actors. After that, camera crews and journalists came to interview all three stars.
And then, something special happened. The lady who had carried the torch passed the theater, returned to the scene and met with Vangelis. She was very emotional, and in a very touching moment, took to explain that Chariots of Fire, as well as Vangelis' music were big inspirators for her to participate in the 1984 Olympic games. They posed together for pictures to be taken.
This must refer to Nawal El Moutawakel (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nawal_El_Moutawakel), who won the olympic medal in the 400 meters hurdles at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
The vibe at the scene must be incredible.
Some very special thanks to our reporters on location! I'm glad you got so close to the action...
It seems that the news media are mis-informing us on the issue of Vangelis performing live in front of the torch, today. We just got word on this from official sources: The torch will pass the Gielgud Theatre, and Vangelis will be there to witness the moment. His music will play from the speakers, but it will not be a live performance.
Our apologies for the confusion, but since the media and the olympic organizers were so clear about it, we felt we could not risk allowing the occasion to slip by.
[Correction: The word from official sources is that Vangelis will not be playing live. He will attend, and music will play, but it will not be performed live.]
We're still awaiting confirmation, but signs that Vangelis will perform live on his keyboards, the moment the Olympic torch passes the Gielgud Theater at London's West End are amassing.
Projected arrival time at Shaftesbury Avenue is 17:28 (5:28PM), local London time. That would be at 18:28, Central European time. But these are just projections. It could be early, it could be late. Start preparing when it reaches Oxford Street, then Regent street. Shaftesbury Avenue with the Gielgud is next.
Two articles on the internet mention Vangelis will be present when the flame passes the Gielgud theater, and he might even play.
We're trying to confirm this information. Please check back later.
On Sunday August 5, at 12:00 pm, BBC radio 3 will broadcast an hour program on Vangelis, build around a new interview and including classical music selected by Vangelis.
We'll post a more thorough review of this CD in a later update, and we're also working on a proper review of the theater production at the Gielgud Theatre London. But for now, a few first impressions on the new album: It comes highly recommended!
The tracks known from the movie has been nicely touched up, while Vangelis is in great form on the new tracks. He doesn't hold back, rich sound, sometimes semi symphonic, sometimes electronic, always inspired. Some lovely new melodies including the bag pipes on "Home In The Glen" or the simple but extremely effective "Ballad". Great improvisational work on "Physical Energy" with thundering percussion. Some lovely subtle passages as well, including "Believe". References to the well know themes, sometimes obvious, sometimes very subtle appear throughout the work, but never overtake the new material. This is as much as new album as it is a re-celebration of "Chariots of Fire".
No wonder the album is so well received by fans, who enjoy the spontaneity in the composition and in Vangelis' playing, the melodic nature, the variety of the music that was included and the sheer energy of it all. Some side notes about slightly careless editing or mastering can not spoil the joy.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in or posted their opinions at the Yahoo Group.
More Chariots at the London Olympics: Classical pianist Myleene Klass treated arriving passengers at Heathrow airport to her special version of "Chariots of Fire" today. Reportedly she drew huge crowds with her performance.
Both "Chariots of Fire - The Play" and "The Collection" were released in most parts of Europe and some other parts of the world as well. Both can easily be ordered online, while depending on each country, the better CD shops have albums in stock. Reports on finding CDs in the bins are welcome at email@example.com, and we'll try to summarize here on where to look to find the CDs. Quite simultaneously, online sales for both albums have started almost everywhere.
An official domestic release in the U.S.A. of the "Chariots of Fire - The Play" CD is planned for August 7.
We have received several complaints from fans who use iTunes and purchased downloads of "The Collection", writing that the editing is sloppy. Since the CD is so carefully produced, we looked into it and as it turns out, something must have gone wrong when Warner distributed the recording to their digital online partners. So please, be aware: What you hear when you purchase downloads from "The Collection" is not what you are supposed to hear! The faulty online tracks have abrupt editing and sometimes parts of other tracks fading in or out, where the CD on the other hand provides the intended smooth listening experience.
Hopefully this problem will be fixed soon. More details here, when we find out.
Here's a big one... While we already knew that Vangelis' theme for Chariots of Fire will be used in the official opening ceremony for the Olympic Games ("quite prominently" is the word on the streets!) it has now been announced that the same Vangelis theme will be used for every medal ceremony in the Olympic Games.
Specifically for this purpose, the London Philharmonic Orchestra has recorded, with personal permission of Vangelis, five new versions of the Vangelis composition. Each of these "remixes" has been assigned to a selection of the sports, and the respective version will play while the winners climb the stage to receive their medals.
To quote Kate Mansey in the Sunday Times:
Nicci Hallifax, producer of the victory ceremonies, said: "Chariots of Fire was chosen because we wanted a piece of music that would be emotive to the audience but hopefully to the athletes as well. This piece of music that everyone will recognize, it has a great story behind it and it is very British."
There's going to be a lot of Chariots of Fire on TV screens around the world this summer!
In the mean time, the remastered Chariots of Fire movie is now playing in 120 UK cinema's, the London Zoo and Olympic delivery companies should be using Vangelis' theme music, and Chariots should also feature on big screens in London's Victoria park.
Since the isolated score track is not included in every version of the Chariots of Fire Blu-ray release, questions have been raised about which version to get. It seems, for instance, that the Portuguese version does not include the isolated score track. It is so far confirmed only in the Dutch, German, UK, and Japanese editions of the Blu-ray. Probably also in the Danish, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish editions. The best solution however, might be to obtain the UK edition, since the Blu-Ray does not come with any region protection: It will play back anywhere in the world.
Note also that not all editions come with the 4 track sampler CD, with music from the well known Vangelis movie score CD. In the UK, both versions with and without the sampler CD exist.
Thanks to all who posted Blu-ray related messages on the Vangelis discussion group on groups.yahoo.com, the former Direct mailing list.
While officially the new "Chariots of Fire - The Play" album has yet to be released, some Hungarian CD shops did receive (and sell) their copies of this album, while ironically, "The Collection" has yet to be found in Budapest. Either way, good to see both new CDs in the wild. Check your local music stores on Monday when, for most European territories, the official release date has been reached.
Thanks to Zoltán Horváth for his input.
Despite the official release being 2 days ahead, "The Collection" has already been found in many CD stores since yesterday, or even the day before. Copies were found in Ireland, The Netherlands (FRS, Mediamarkt) and are probably available in other countries as well.
The CDs are housed in a transparent jewel case that folds open for access to the 2nd CD. A cardboard sleeve with pretty much the same artwork as the CD booklet covers the case. The booklet contains a short text on the qualities of Vangelis' music and career, and ties the release to the Olympic Games in London: "What better time could there be to discover - or rediscover - the vast catalogue of a composer for ever synonymous with the olympic ideal or striving for perfection?", it asks. Included are 4 photographs of Vangelis taken in the last 15 years. One seems to be new.
Tracks on the album are largely split up, only joined together when sound effects run into the next (or previous) track. The order of the tracks is exquisite, carefully adjusted to ensure a smooth listening experience.
Chariots of Fire is the original version from the movie soundtrack album, not the retouched version on the album for the stage production.
As we wrote before, there is new material to enjoy. "Line Open" for those without access to the Conquest of Paradise maxi CD single, the extended "Blade Runner (Main titles)" track, which now finally starts with the movie's actual opening, after which it segues into the regular "Main Titles" track we all know. And of course, there is the wonderful newly composed "Remembering".
It's great to rediscover music. Not because it was forgotten, but carefully recombined into a different experience. Recommended!
Thanks to Pat Gleeson, Jordi Bloem and Jan Dijkstra for reporting their CD finds.
On the morning of Friday July 27, at 8:12, bells all across the UK will be playing Vangelis' theme tune to "Chariots of Fire", to mark the start of the London olympic games.
Kevin Walton if The Cathedral at St Albans Abbey, one of the participating bell chancellors said: "Since the tower was built by the Normans, bells have rung out to call people to worship, but also to herald events of great solemnity. ... We are delighted to share in this innovative, nationwide celebration of the games and we hope to hear bells ringing out across St Albans and the region. "
Several reliable sources tell the story of Vangelis having recently enjoyed an uplink to astronaut André Kuipers at the ISS: The International Space Station constantly circling the earth for scientific research and further exploration of space.
The uplink, both audio and visual, linked from Vangelis to NASA, who connected him to the station. The conversation lasted no less than 50 minutes. At one point, Kuipers gave Vangelis a virtual tour, showing him around the station. Also, Vangelis improvised on his piano, overheard by Kuipers at the space station.
André Kuipers is a Dutch astronaut working for ESA (European Space Agency), who has just returned from his second tour at the space station. During media interviews surrounding his first mission, André repeatedly expressed his love for the music of Vangelis, which inspired him before and during his travels into space.
Digital download sales of "The Collection" commence as early as July 20. So, as the clock struck 0:00 today, the first online stores began releasing the new Vangelis compilation album to their customers.
The newly composed track "Remembering" is a delightfully relaxed piece of electronic music, with lush sounds, crisp sequencing and a dreamy melody on harp, while the piece slowly builds to the part where Dimitris Tsakas performs a jazzy saxophone solo. Very pleasing sound and together with the extended Blade Runner opening, no doubt a worthy reason for many fans to get on board for this ride.
More impressions, when we get the CD in our hands.
Confirmed at www.qobuz.com/album/the-collection-vangelis/0825646581078 in France, and expected in other digital download stores as well.
The new Vangelis scored documentary "Trashed" is being shown to industry insiders and other lucky guests at a special screening in "The Hospital Club" in London.
Although not advertised as such by Warner Music, it turns out there is one more bit of unreleased music on the upcoming new Vangelis compilation 2CD: "The Collection". Sound samples available on the internet reveal that the "Blade Runner Main Titles" track now includes the actual opening of the movie: the famous thundering percussion with the lonely synthesizer lead playing the main theme. It seems to turn into the track we know from previous albums after it ends, extending it by almost 2 minutes.
The same excerpts, available on a French mp3 download store, also allow a first glimpse of "Remembering", the new track Vangelis composed for the occasion.
(Click on "Voir toutes les pistes" to see all tracks and on "Eqouter" to listen to each track.)
Thanks to Marc Vanholsbeeck for sharing his findings!
A new Vangelis page appeared on Facebook some two weeks ago, called VangelisOfficial. This confused fans, as Vangelis starting a Facebook page seems very unlikely. The page now explains itself, as being maintained by, and representing Warner Music, not Vangelis or his team. Warner is currently releasing the 2CD compilation album "The Collection".
It will be good to have a source of info on Vangelis' connection with Warner. Check here:
We received confirmation that, like the European release, the Japanese Blu-Ray of "Chariots of Fire" contains the music of Vangelis as isolated score.
Thanks to Don Fennimore for confirmation on the Japanese release.
Maryam D'Abo's personal and insightful film recounts her personal journey on her brain injury she caught in 2007. As we mentioned on the October 15, 2011 update, the film's original score is written by Vangelis and also by Mark Knopfler, with additional music from Bach's "Concerto for violin and strings" used in the opening titles.
Vangelis' score is low key, restrained, and appropriate, as Maryam recounts the trauma of her illness, as well her determination to bring awareness of the unpredictable illness. Three or more new Vangelis compositions appear in the film, but there is also a new performance of " La Petite Fille De La Mer". The film also uses short segments from Vangelis' previously released music, such as "Dawn" from the "The City", "Prelude" from "Voices", and music from "La Fete Sauvage".
"Rupture" was directed by Maryam's husband Hugh Hudson, and it has a voice-over by "Chariots of Fire" star Nigel Havers.
Viewers in the UK can watch "Rupture" on the BBC iPlayer:
The film is scheduled to be shown again on TV. BBC HD channel will air the film on Saturday July 14, at 23:30.
And a final transmission of "Rupture" will air on BBC-4 on Tuesday July 17 at 1:30, UK time.
A short trailer for the film was uploaded to Vimeo, it starts with Vangelis' music and concludes with Mark Knopfler's music.
Or follow this link to Vimeo directly:
Sadly it has been confirmed that the North American edition of the "Chariots of Fire" Blu-ray does *not* contain the Isolated Score mentioned in the July 10 update. So far, only European editions are confirmed to have the isolated score track.
Tomorrow the digitally remastered version of "Chariots of Fire" returns to UK cinemas. We put a short selection of links from the media coverage of red carpet premiere:
Tonight red carpet premieres were held in London and Edinburgh for the digitally re-mastered version of "Chariots of Fire". Original members of the cast, and a host of sports figures and celebrities gathered at both cities for the film's re-release. Producer Lord Puttnam attended the Edinburgh premiere at Festival Theatre, while director Hugh Hudson, actors Ben Cross and Nigel Havers attended the London premiere at Leicester Square.
Social media site Twitter was abuzz all day about this evening's event, with messages and photos being streamed continuously from both premieres. Multiple Twitter messages report that Vangelis was at the red carpet premiere in London.
The BBC website has updated its TV schedule with additional broadcast dates for airing of "Rupture - living with my broken brain." As reported earlier the first broadcast of Hugh Hudson's film is this week on Thursday, at 22:00 UK time on BBC-4. The film will be broadcast again on the same channel on Tuesday July 17 at 1:30 (that's 1:30 in the morning.)
More interestingly for high-definition enthusiasts, the film will also be aired on BBC HD on Saturday 14 July, at 23:30.
Note: This post was edited on July 12, to reflect only on the European Blu-ray release. The North American version was confirmed not to come with this specific feature.
Many of you may have hoped for this, or even expected it based on sketchy product details posted on several online shops, but we wanted to be sure first. Now it's confirmed: The European edition of the HD Blu-ray release of the remastered "Chariots of Fire" movie comes with a feature extremely popular with soundtrack fans: An isolated score track.
This means that in addition to audio channels for various languages, one extra audio channel is available to watch the movie, hearing only the music, the whole music and nothing but the music. Finally a chance to enjoy the unreleased cues undisturbed in high fidelity quality. Including the famous training sequences, the alternative version of Hymne and other music!
Apart from some volume changes that normally accommodate the movie dialog, the sound quality of the music is reported to be very good. The channel is encoded as Dolby Digital 3/2.1 48kHz.
The UK version will be released on July 16, while the German ("Die Stunde des Siegers") and Dutch ("Chariots of Fire") versions arrive as early as this Wednesday. France ("Les chariots de feu") will follow July 17. The US version does not contain the isolated track, but was the first to come out, on July 10.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in on this topic, and to Paul Dietmar for final confirmation! And Mike Williams for final word on the US version.
iTunes users can now also listen to some preview sound samples from the new Vangelis album. These are both longer and in better sound quality than the Amazon samples.
Of the four previously released tracks, at least two of them have been updated: Chariots of Fire has some extra synthesizer effects and some additional harp playing, while Eric's Theme has been completely revamped, with lots of extra layers including some epic boom sounds, bag pipes and additional synthesizer parts.
One of the new tracks, titled "Lord Lindsay" may sound familiar to some: It's a remade version of a track previously heard in the 1988 British Railway commercial, directed by Hugh Hudson, with original music by Vangelis. Watch it here on Youtube:
The British Amazon site is the first to have (low quality) sound samples of each of the tracks on the new "Chariots of Fire - The Play" album. For anyone who cannot hold until the CD arrives:
Thanks to Graeme Stewart for his post on the Vangelis Yahoogroup (Direct list).
The performance of the Chariots of Fire stage play has recently moved to the Gielgud theater, in London's fancy West End district. Yesterday, Vangelis attended the official gala premiere of the Gielgud production and its after party.
Universal's official site in Italy now lists some details on the track list of Vangelis' new "Chariots of Fire - The Play" album, including notes to indicate exactly which tracks were previously unreleased. It confirms what many have speculated, based on the tracklist: 11 tracks on this album where not released before, while the four familiar track titles were indeed taken from the original movie soundtrack album. Incidently, these are the same tracks that appear on the bonus CD that comes with the (UK) Blu-ray release of the (remastered) movie.
The BBC has updated their broadcasting schedules, which reveals that "Rupture" will air from 10PM to 11:10PM, ten minutes longer than we mentioned before. Be sure to set your recorders to catch the full duration. This is good news: It means that the complete version of the movie will be shown.
Thanks to Graeme Stewart and Robert Eichelsheim for their tips.
I sincerely regret to share the news of the passing of Alwyn Clayden, on June 30, 2012.
We all remember Alwyn's work for Green Ink on the sleeve designs for Vangelis' albums during the Polydor period: Short stories, Chariots of Fire, The Friends of Mr Cairo, Antarctica, Soil Festivities, Mask, etc. Alwyn was head of Polydor's art department and would work with Vangelis to design and create the artwork for any of his releases. He was also involved during later years, when Vangelis asked for his collaboration on designing all artwork for Oceanic, and again later on the updated look for the remastered Chariots of Fire CDs, both in 2000 and 2006. He also designed sleeves for countless of other high profile musical acts. His last work in music included designs for Iggy Pop, Ice T and Snoop Dogg.
Alwyn battled a serious decease for 2 years, but hardly stopped working. Only last Christmas he oversaw festive lighting and design for London's West End, including Regent, Oxford and Bond Street, as well as other UK cities, and he was in charge of all branding work for giants like Harrods and Cartier.
I had the pleasure to meet Alwyn in person, back in 2000, at the Albedo fan convention in London, where he was kind enough to show up and share his enthusiasm of having worked on the well known Vangelis artwork. We were in touch by email on occasion, since before that. Alwyn always expressed his admiration of Vangelis and his music and even recently insisted he still closely followed the news on this site. We are immensely proud of that. He will be missed.
Here's the artwork for Vangelis' upcoming album "Chariots of Fire - The Play".
Label and catalogue: Decca 3710285
UK newspaper "The Guardian" interviews Vangelis on its Sunday's edition of "The Observer" magazine. Vangelis explains what inspired him to write the music, and why the messages told in the film's story are as profound and important today as they were 30 years ago.
The BBC has announced its first broadcast of Hugh Hudson's documentary Rupture, now planned for July 12, between 10pm and 11pm on BBC4. It's referred to as "Rupture, living with my broken brain".
It's quite possible this version was slightly cut to fit the one hour time slot, since the movie is listed on IMDB with a duration of 70 minutes.
In a new interview on "the arts desk", Hugh Hudson explains that Vangelis donated the music for this production for free: "... So we decided to pay for it ourselves. Everybody did it for nothing. Vangelis and Mark Knopfler gave their music."
Thanks to Jordi Bloem for the quick heads-up on the airing date.
German rock magazine "Eclipsed" wrote a two page article on Aphrodite's Child and the creation of "666", the now legendary album, which was released 40 years ago.
The July / August issue, nr 142, now in stores. Only in the German language!
Thanks to Bernd Kistenmacher for info and scan.
Every once in a while there's a cover versions release that sticks out from the rest, for being well done and having particularly interesting reimagined versions. Everyone remembers "Orama" by Vassilis Saleas (recorded with some guidance and support from Vangelis himself), and Christophe Lebled's "Tribute to Vangelis" is much loved by many.
Man Parrish, whom you may remember from the 1982 hit "Hip Hop Be Bop", has just released a download album that Vangelis fans should probably check out. "Master Works, Vangelis music 1975 - 2004" has some interesting takes on some of the most well known Vangelis tracks (including some less predictable entries). Parrish reimagined the music emphasizing both its electronic and classical roots, adding his personal touch, with enough respect for the originals.
The album is available as a download only, in stores like iTunes, Amazon mp3, CDbaby, etc. Some promo copies as a manufactured CD-R have been reported in the wild as well.
Record stores are now receiving the first details about the new Chariots of Fire release, with music from the stage play.
None of this is confirmed, and some of it could still be subject to change:
Title: Chariots of Fire (Stage Play)
Record label: Decca (Note: Universal's most important classical label)
Catalog number: 3710285
Projected release date: July 23
1. Chariots of Fire 2. Physical Energy 3. Home in the Glen 4. Eric's Theme 5. Abraham's Theme 6. Harold's Despair 7. Belief 8. Ballard 9. Aspiration 10. Eric's Pleasure 11. Lord Lindsay 12. At The Starting Blocks 13. Epilogue 14. After the Race 15. Jerusalem
Media in the UK are talking about the supposed leaking of a list of music used in the olympic games opening ceremony. The list includes Vangelis' "Chariots Of Fire". Ceremony director Danny Boyle (yes, the director of Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and Millions, which featured Vangelis' La Petitte Fille de la Mer) does not confirm or deny authenticity of the list.
Some time ago, Vangelis participated in the production of a feature length documentary about Vangelis' life and work. The film, called "Vangelis and the Journey To Ithaka" was directed by Tony Palmer.
While the results were held back over a period of time, it now seems that a release is in the pipeline. It's too early to talk about dates or other details, but reliable sources do confirm this will happen: It will be available to the public sooner or later, probably on DVD.
There's a lot of activity in the world of Vangelis music, with multiple releases in the pipeline and other things happening.
For one, reliable sources reveal that Vangelis will be traveling to London, somewhere next week. He will fly in on a private plane and expectations are that he will be attending the Chariots of Fire stage play and/or the remastered Chariots of Fire movie, which will be circulating in cinemas all over the UK.
In terms of releases, there will of course be the 2CD compilation album called "The Collection", with the new track "Remembering". Another release that is being prepared is an album based on the music Vangelis composed for the Chariots of Fire stage play, as well as the original Chariots of Fire music. This includes revisions and re-interpretations of the themes we love, and more. No more details are available at this point, except that we might see this release appearing somewhere mid July, approximately.
Many of you wrote to us in the past few months to ask about the status of the Qatar concert, and we do share your concern for this beautiful project to finally reach the audience it deserves. While there is nothing specific to report at this point, our sources do confirm that the project to release this concert is still going ahead, and the results will definitely reach us eventually.
Another project with a Vangelis connection that is moving ahead is the Vangelis scored "Trashed" documentary, which now seems to have been selected for the Toronto International Film festival in September. More details about this later.
The upcoming Olympics have inspired a number of cover versions of Chariots of Fire related music being released in the UK, including an orchestral take on "Race To The End" by tenor Russel Watson. Check out the official music video for this cover version on Youtube: youtube.com/watch?v=bMVKkgh0u3Y. Just to be clear: Vangelis is not connected to these cover versions in any way.
Details are emerging about the new Vangelis compilation album, to be released by Warner in the UK (and probably picked up in other parts of Europe as well). The title is listed on some online CD stores as "Collection" and on others as "The Collection", while the artwork posted confirms the second option.
The 2CD album sells for around 15 UK Pounds or 16 Euros. The release seems still set for July 23.
Label and catalogue: Atlantic 2564658108
Thanks to Graham Carter for his input.
Readers in France may want to check out the current issue of home cinema magazine "Les Annees Laser", as they wrote an article on Vangelis' carreer in movies and TV, to celebrate the Blu-ray release of The Bounty. This Blu-Ray is available in France only, retitled "Le Bounty".
Thanks to Frédéric Lasek for his tip and input.
The Chariots of Fire revival in the UK continues: Vangelis' famous theme will feature at another large event in the UK, this Sunday, June 3. The London Philharmonic orchestra will perform an orchestral adaptation of Titles when a record breaking flotilla of barges and boats passes the British Film institute.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is part of the celebrations of Queen Elizabeth's 60 years as a monarch and will be broadcast live on BBC1.
Thanks to Kevin Polfliet for his tips!
July will bring to the wider public in the UK the chance to see "Rupture - a matter of life or death", the new documentary film by Hugh Hudson and featuring original music by Vangelis. In an interview for the Telegraph Hudson and his wife Maryam d'Abo announced their film is scheduled to broadcast on BBC Four. The exact broadcast dates in July are unknown at this point.
BBC Four is one of the channels operated by the BBC and is available to the UK. The channel however is offered by many cable providers in several parts of the world via a subscription. Once the broadcast dates and times are known we will publish them here in a future update.
Sources close to the production of London's "Chariots of Fire" stage play explain that at this point, Vangelis' new score for the play is not being fully used. Vangelis revisited the music he wrote for the movie in 1981 and now composed and recorded a new and expanded take on the material, especially for this production. However, some of the music has not been included in the production so far. This could still change.
Soon however, there may also be another way to hear this music. Although details are unclear, and probably not yet final, word is that Vangelis intends to officially release the new and revisited music. More on this when it becomes available.
Many of you have asked for something like this almost since the beginning of this site and we do admit it was long overdue. For your convenience, we now announce alert functionality, to be able to find out as soon as we add Vangelis news to this page.
We have created a Twitter account where we'll post a tiny blurb for each new topic, with a link to the actual article. You can follow us on Twitter, or use this as an RSS feed in any RSS reader on your computer, smart phone or browser start page. You can even receive alerts on your mobile phone by SMS text message using Twitter's mobile alerts settings, or receive email updates offered by third party web sites like
Not only does this functionality allow you to follow the news more passively, it can also simplify notifying your friends and contacts about topics that might interest them. Feel encouraged to retweet or forward any of the alerts to friends who would care to learn about a certain post.
Note: Only news updates will be posted, so none of the other updates to the site will appear on Twitter.
Warner Music plans to release a new Vangelis compilation album on July 23. Sources close to Vangelis confirm that this release is being prepared. Even though it's currently being listed with the temporary title "The Very Best of Vangelis", its actual title has yet to be announced.
The album contains two CDs full of Vangelis tracks, spanning much his career. Each of the two disks has a different character, the first more up-tempo, uplifting and bold, the second more reflective, relaxing and romantic.
For this occasion, Vangelis composed a completely new track to end the second disc. It's titled "Remembering", and with a duration of approximately six and a half minutes. Also included is "Line Open", previously only available on the 4-track CD Maxi single of "Conquest of Paradise".
The track list:
1. Conquest of Paradise 2. Titles From Chariots Of Fire 3. Blade Runner End Titles 4. Pulstar 5. Eternal Alexander 6. Anthem: Fifa 2002 7. Line Open 8. To The Unknown Man 9. Hymne 10. Voices 11. Up and Running 12. Blade Runner Main Titles 13. Tears In Rain 14. So Long Ago, So Clear 15. I'll Find My Way Home 16. State Of Independence 17. I Hear You Now
1. Rachel's Song 2. Missing 3. Love Theme From Blade Runner 4. Ask The Mountains 5. Theme From Bitter Moon 6. Dream in an Open Place 7. Twenty Eighth Parallel 8. Memories Of Green 9. Petite Fille de la Mer 10. Song of the Seas 11. Memories of Blue 12. L'Enfant 13. Echoes 14. Remembering
The special screening of the new Vangelis scored documentary feature "Trashed" at this years Cannes Film Festival is scheduled for Tuesday May 22. This sort of screening is not intended for a general audience; only accredited industry professionals are allowed to attend. Sources close to the production tell us that part of the crew behind Trashed will attend, including its primary star, Jeremy Irons.
Here's a couple of pictures and scans of the artwork for the Chariots of Fire stage play, as performed at the Hampstead Theatre in London. Also, be aware that tickets for the same play to be performed at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End district (Official premiere now set for the 3rd of July) are selling out fast.
Tonight the Hampstead Theatre hosted the first public preview performance of the new Chariots Of Fire stage play, using newly created Vangelis music.
Please keep in mind that neither the staging nor the music are completely finished at this time, and the results will still be changing and evolving up till the official Premiere on May 22.
With that in mind, here are the first impressions on tonight's show, just in from London:
The play is performed in two acts, separated by an intermission. The first act last about an hour and 20 minutes, while the second act remains just under an hour.
Both the start and finish of the play use the original Titles recording, while new Vangelis music does appear in a number of scenes. This includes for example some Vangelis composed bag pipe music for the Scotland setting, and some new percussive recordings for a training session. Word is however that much more music is being added and some of it must be ready, but not yet in use, as a Vangelis reworking of the main theme was played over the theater's PA somewhere after the show. However, the last remnants of the audience were not allowed to stay and listen. Work in progress!
Audience reception of the performance seems to have been enthusiastic, and word so far on the entire event is very positive.
You can read more here on this site in the days to come.
As we reported yesterday, Vangelis wrote the original score for the upcoming "Trashed", the new environmental documentary with Jeremy Irons.
It seems that only yesterday a trailer for this movie was uploaded. It does not yet contain any Vangelis music, but it gives an impressive preview of the movie, and it's so good to see those music credits appear...
Watch the trailer following this link to youtube: [Edited: embedded video removed, link still available]
Some exciting news today. Buzz on the internet is starting to appear on a documentary feature called "Trashed", now set to first screen at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, only weeks from now. Jeremy Irons presents and appears in this environmental eye opener on the issue of our ever growing mount of waste.
And here's what you're waiting for: The original score for this movie is by Vangelis!
More info will appear on this site, as soon as it becomes available. Until then, find out a bit more about this upcoming movie at the following web sites:
While more and more media write about the upcoming "Chariots of Fire" stage play in London (see below), it's also becoming more clear that Vangelis' musical contribution to the production is a substantial one. Word is that this will be an occasion not to be missed by fans who can make it to one of the performances. Apparently, Vangelis worked hard on the new music, and sources close to the production say his work was well received by the producers and the director. The first preview performances start this Wednesday, less than a week from now.
Check out the following press articles, each delving into the subject of Vangelis' iconic music:
An insider at the upcoming Chariots of Fire stage play opened a twitter account to share updates about the production's progress, see here at twitter.com/#!/ChariotsHT.
Vangelis related tweets so far:
A photo gallery of the preparations can be seen here:
The Sun has updated its exclusive trailer for the Chariots of Fire re-release in UK cinema's, replacing the cover version of Vangelis' theme with the original recording from the movie. Still available here:
Here's another chance to see Hugh Hudson's "Rupture" documentary (score by Vangelis), as it screens in London's Frontline Club (near Hyde Park) on May 4, starting at 7 PM. More information about the event:
Tickets can be booked for 10 GBP at www.frontlineclub.com/crm/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=714
The producers of the new stage version of "Chariots of Fire" announced today that the play will move to London's West End almost immediately after its initial run at Hampstead Theatre comes to a close.
The new performances will be staged at the Gielgud Theatre, starting on June 22 and continuing during the London 2012 Olympic Games, all the way up to November 10.
Booking for the new performances at the Gielgud Theatre is available as of today. For tickets and information see:
Note that the official opening at the Hampstead Theatre is on May 22. Dates before that are preview performances.
As mentioned in earlier updates, Hugh Hudson's "Chariots of Fire"" will see a theatrical re-release in the UK on July 13, two weeks prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in London.
The digitally remastered film will be shown across a hundred screens throughout the country, with the support of the British Film Institute. Earlier today daily newspaper The Sun published an exclusive trailer for the film's re-release. Reliable sources confirm that the music in the trailer is not by Vangelis. It's a rearranged cover version of Vangelis' Main Titles. [Note added on April 24: The Sun has now replaced the trailer with the cover version of Chariots replaced by excerpts from Vangelis' original score. Only the final few notes of the cover version remain.
Watch the trailer here:
[Removed, see link]
Or find it in the article at The Sun's website:
The production people behind the DVD release of Rossif's "Georges Mathieu ou la Fureur d'Etre" in 2006 are now looking at possibly releasing La Fete Sauvage on DVD and/or on high definition Blu-Ray. The Vangelis scored wild-life film from 1975 might get a similar treatment as the Mathieu documentary did, which could result in a restored, cleaned up and properly mastered version of a movie that was never before available in the digital format.
The vangeliscollector.com site organizes a survey for interest in this movie, so please, if you would pay for this movie on DVD or Blu-Ray, consider supporting the cause by following the instructions on the Collector site.
A second update today, as this one came as a surprise. But it's well worth it:
Just this afternoon, Konstantinos Paliatsaras, the tenor we all know from El Greco and the score for Alexander has released a previously unreleased Vangelis track on Youtube. Paliatsaras recorded "Tempest Aria" with Vangelis for the late György Schwajda's staging of A Vihar (Shakespeare's The Tempest) at the National Theater in Budapest. Parts of the track appeared in the play, as was reviewed here on Elsewhere in 2002.
The Youtube movie, posted by Paliatsaras on his own fan page on Facebook comes with a depiction of Paliatsaras, painted by Vangelis. See and hear the movie on Youtube's own pages: [Edited: embedded video removed, link still available]
June will finally bring another chance to see "Rupture", the new documentary directed by Hugh Hudson, with original music by Vangelis. The documentary will screen at the annual Hay Festival in Wales, near the border with England, not far from Hereford in the UK.
The Hay Festival "brings together writers from around the world to debate and share stories in the staggering beauty of the Welsh Borders."
First, on June 4 at 4pm, an audience will be able to attend Paul Broks speaking with both Hugh Hudson and his wife, bondgirl Maryam d'Abo, around whose recovery from a subarachnoid haemorrhage in the brain the film was centered.
Reviews or impressions of both the film and music will be very welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Anyone planning to attend, be aware that this this is pretty much an outdoors festival, based in Brecon Beacons National Park. The interview will take place in a tent, while the film will screen in the Bookshop Cinema, a former cinema that was transformed into a large second hand book store! Also, overnight accommodation may be sparse around the festival, so plan accordingly.
Something needs to be clarified about the Chariots of Fire stage play, which is about to be performed in London from May 9 to June 16 at the Hampstead Theatre.
Sources close to the production explain that Vangelis is actively involved, being responsible for the entire underscore of the play. Jason Carr who is credited for additional music will be responsible for period music and source music heard in the play, similar to how Parry's Jerusalem was used in the movie.
The early press releases crediting Vangelis for original music and Jason Carr for arrangements was misinterpreted by many to mean Carr would be adapting Vangelis' original movie score for use in the play, but instead the Vangelis credit refers to original music created (and adapted) for the play.
No doubt this will convince more of us to go and attend one of the stage performances. Tickets are available at:
With this summer's London Olympic Games approaching, Brittain is celebrating their history with the Olympics. This including rereleasing "Chariots of Fire" in local cinemas and selling it for the first time on the high definition Blu-Ray format.
Vangelis fans may be pleased to find that the Blu-ray comes with a bonus audio CD of four tracks from the soundtrack album: "Titles", "Eric's Theme", "Abraham's Theme", and the non-Vangelis track "Jerusalem", which inspired the film's title.
Release is scheduled for June 18. Links:
While we're waiting for more news on the upcoming releases, here are two fun links, related to the recent Vangelis concert in Qatar:
A sad topic today: Legendary light artist and pyrotechnics designer Gert Hof passed away. Gert Hof was creative director of lighting at Vangelis' recent concert in Qatar, which was to be his last project.
He was well known for projects like the Mike Oldfield concert in Berlin during New Year's Eve of 2000, lighting up the Red Square in Moscow in 2003 and closing the Love Parade with the Colloseum of Lights in 2008. He also consistently worked with German rock band Rammstein on the lights and fireworks for their shows.
Gert Hof was 60 years old, when he passed on January 24, after a short illness.
While the UK prepares for the Olympic games, hosted this year in London, a theater version of the story is about to be brought to the stage, including Vangelis' original music for the film. [Note in hindsight: This should be Vangelis' original music for the play, which will probably use music from the film as well]
In addition to the well known Vangelis originals there will be [editted] additional music and arrangements by composer Jason Carr.
The production will take place in the Hampstead Theater in London and will be directed by Edward Hall who is also in charge of the theater. Apparently, the idea to transcribe the movie for the theater in the wake of the Olympic games came from the movie's original director Hugh Hudson himself. Vangelis was consulted for the music.
Performances will run from May 9 to June 16.
Some articles in the British media:
After this morning's first broadcast of the "Talk to Aljazeera" interview with Vangelis, the entire program has now been made available on its web page:
The interview comes with some 90 seconds of compiled footage from the concert, including audio from Chariots of Fire (as it was performed) and a small excerpt from "Hope".
[Updated: 22 January 2012, 15:08 CET] It is now also available on YouTube on this NEW URL address:
[Edited: embedded video removed, link still available]
This morning, Al Jazeera posted a short preview on their "Talk To Aljazeera" page, confusing their viewers by referring to Alexander's "Titans" as new Vangelis music:
Much more interesting is the trailer they just released on Youtube, including some short footage of the Qatar concert, and some brief interview quotes:
[Edited: embedded video removed, link still available]
Aljazeera has created a page for the Vangelis episode of "Talk To Aljazeera":
The episode is called "A Message of Hope". The article also mentions that Vangelis wrote a piece of original music for Aljazeera to accompany some of the most memorable images of the past year. Note: The image is not from the interview, it's a photograph from the press conference for Mythodea in 2001.
See yesterday's update for more information.
Vangelis was interviewed by Aljazeera anchor Tony Harris, best known as a former CNN anchor on "CNN Newsroom".
Aljazeera English is a news channel available on TV in most of the world. Additionally, their broadcasts are streamed live on their web site:
The episode will air according to the following schedule, presented in Central European times (France, Germany, The Netherlands, etc):
[Broadcast times corrected on January 19]
Saturday January 21, (5:30 - 6:00)
Sunday January 22, (9:30 - 10:00)
Sunday January 22, (20:30 - 21:00)
Monday January 23, (15:30 - 16:00 )
Soon after the broadcast(s), the interview will also be available for online viewing here:
A few more links with background information and photographs:
With the year of the British Olympics having arrived, the Chariots Of Fire music is becoming a hot issue.
At London's official new year's eve celebrations the Brits started 2012 with an excerpt from Chariots, while fireworks shot from the Big Ben and the London Eye. See and hear the spectacle here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1yLRK2M8YQ
UK newspaper "The Sun" launched a high profile advertisement, complimenting Britain with a Chariots of Fire inspired scene, Vangelis' original music playing in the foreground (youtube.com/watch?v=uEpm0b_rGzE). So does this egg sales company in its very own style:
And a few more pictures to enjoy, while we wait for further news on the upcoming CD and DVD releases of Vangelis' recent concert in Qatar.
[Edited on December 28, 2011] Note: We're very sorry, but all booklets have been given out. Should more copies somehow become available, we'll post another note here. The article below remains for archival purposes.
Since so few of Vangelis' fans were able to attend the concert in Qatar, some of the lucky few who did felt we needed to do what we could for our fellow collectors. After the concert was over, it turned out that a small part of the audience had left their concert program booklets behind, so we set out to rescue as many of them as possible.
There's only so much one can carry, so unfortunately supply is limited, but for roughly the first 75 Vangelis collectors who apply, we will be sending a booklet, for only the cost of the shipment.
For the record: Vangelis collectors should make sure not to overlook Don's recent discovery of a source for the illustrious Tegos surgery VHS tapes. Scored by Vangelis, literally over 10 hours of unheard Vangelis music is now finally in the hands of Vangelis collectors. He posted a review and details on his source on www.vangeliscollector.com/news.htm.
Over the past two weeks, a few personal stories revolving around the concert in Qatar have appeared on a variety of blogs:
Expect more photographs from the event on elsew.com in another update, tomorrow.
It has now been one full week since the State of Qatar presented the Vangelis concert at the opening of the Katara Amphitheater in Doha. Time for a full report on this unique event.
Qatar seems to be aiming for the sky, with development in their capital city delivering one sky scraper after another in the town's posh West Bay area, while the more subtle developing of cultural breeding ground at the Katara Cultural Village has far from been neglected. Indeed, the area is thriving with countless tourists and residents visiting every day. The new Amphitheater however, the center focus of Katara's building plan, had been waiting to open in style, at just the right moment in time. That moment came around eight in the evening on December 11.
The spirit in which this amazing concert was organized might best be summarized in a motto, quoting from H.H. Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, wife of the Emir, who stated "The Qatar way is to find the best the world has to offer and to bring it to our region, while finding the best our region has to offer and taking it to the world."
While world leaders, as well as civil society activists, youth groups, faith communities, research centers, foundations and many other parties met at the Unaoc forum, their members were invited to attend the Grand Opening of the theater. The show they were served was filled with messages of hope and unity. As addressed by master of ceremonies, Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons, who explained in the concert's introduction: "Here beneath the stars and the full moon, you have gathered, an audience from all around the world, reflecting the multi cultural welcome, that is omnipresent here, in Qatar. As seen tonight is that through music and the arts, we may recognize that we are one global community. And the hope that we will learn to live together, respecting our differences but recognizing our common humanity."
Of course, with names like Ban Ki-Moon and H.H. Sheikha Moza among the audience, as well as many of the visiting ministers, ambassadors and other dignitaries who attended the concert, security was very strict. Vangelis has personally expressed his regrets that due to the nature of the event, attending in the audience was limited to invited guests only and that because of this, his fans had to miss out on this occasion. He is currently trying hard to organize something that could make it up to them in the short future.
It took a while for the audience, all dressed in formal evening wear, to find their seats.
Film director Hugh Hudson, reteaming with Vangelis for this project, such a long time after their legendary collaboration on "Chariots of Fire", had all his camera's rolling. The fantastic Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra was seated behind their instruments, Yvan Cassar prepared to conduct. Gert Hof's lighting team must have been preparing, while Vangelis' engineers were in control of the stage sound and ready to record all sound sources...
Just before he welcomed Vangelis to the stage, Jeremy Irons added: "You have called, we have gathered, let us now deliver our message of hope." And thus started the concert.
The first act opened with sounds of the wind, while one by one, the various multi-cultural instruments introduced the audience to the various corners of the world, bridged by some enchanting Vangelis music performed with the orchestra. At some point, each of the instruments was given a bit of time to perform solo, until the orchestra passed the role onto the next instrument. The piece was followed by a more up tempo, rhythm driven track, with the orchestra performing Arabic riffs while the ethnic instruments intertwined their melodies. Not only was the symbolism clear and focussed, it also made for some very entertaining music and show.
Large animated projections of sand dunes in the desert, Arabic motifs and other visual treats graced the screen as they would continue to do throughout the entire show, while the stage (and audience) lighting was brightly colored and pulled the audience into the spectacle.
Soprano Angela Gheorghiu was introduced by Jeremy Irons for the performance of Vangelis' new choral symphony, entitled "Hope". It Consists of five movements: "The Stars", "The Seasons", "Nature", "Night" and "Justice". Irons explained how Vangelis drew his inspiration for this music from Orpheus, the poet and artist known from Greek mythology. "The words she will sing speak of universal understanding and the justice that is necessary if we are to live together in peace and harmony. A message from 5000 years ago that still has such resonance today."
"Hope" was performed for about 50 minutes, including the audience's applause, with Angela's magnificent voice singing her classical tones on most of the movements. The Yurlov Russian State Academic choir was fantastic, both in the background during the quiet passages, as well as when taking the lead in the majestic staccato singing we've come to expect from large Vangelis works, as in Mythodea, Hispaniola, etc.
Perhaps more classically European in sound than Mythodea, "Hope" was equally engaging, bold and delicate, sometimes all at the same time. There can be little doubt that when the concert is eventually released on CD and DVD, the fans who are open to Vangelis' more classical endeavors will see their hearts genuinely touched. And hopefully, a new audience, perhaps with a more classically oriented background will join them.
Piano and strings, performed in a lighter mode introduced the third act, opening with an instrumental version of Vangelis' new "Child of Hope" composition, slowly building to its orchestral climax. The kind of tune you can't escape from humming in the days to follow, whether you like it or not. It was well appreciated by the audience, who didn't yet realize they were to hear it again later in the concert, then with both choirs joining in.
Finally, Roberto Alagna was introduced, and the two classical music world stars started their "Piccola Bohème" song, for which Alagna himself provided the lyrics, written in Italian. Let's hope these will be supplied in writing when the CD is released. This performance was certainly another high point in the concert, with their voices blending in a beautiful duet, simple but so elegant...
It's an interesting phenomenon that no matter how much you're enjoying the new music being heard for the first time, the appearance of some familiar notes promising the performance of a well known favorite will always sent some extra shivers down your spine. This night, it was the throbbing baseline of Chariots of Fire that made the hearts of the audience pumping a little extra. Even if not performed to absolute perfection, the power of the song and the passion of the performance took everyone's breath away.
That effect was only enhanced by Gert Hof's light show shifting into its highest gears, transforming the sky around the theater in an arena of dancing colors.
Chariots was followed by an equally moving Conquest of Paradise, welcomed just as warmly by the audience and accompanied by the same level of visual spectacle. Goosebumbs all around.
"Child of Hope", now announced as "Children of Hope", formed the concert's finale. Now with the children's choir and the Russian choir singing lyrics by Tim Rice, the song was taken to another level. If it didn't get to you the first time, there was no way around it now. Backed by a subtle form of red rain from the pyrotechnics, and more lights from Gert Hof, its conclusion made the audience burst into an ovation that lasted for many minutes. Sure, it's true what some papers wrote: Not all of the audience managed to stay until the end (the chilly night? Busy conferencing schedules? Hip-hop fans?), but there wasn't a soul in the theater who stayed calm at the end. There can be no question: the audience did appreciate what they were a part of, that evening.
There is much to be said, still. More details to add, like the moment where the middle screen dropped slowly, unveiling an arch in the backdrop, finally allowing a view over the ocean, where colored lights highlighted the traditional Qatari dhow boats, assembled there to be a small part of the spectacle, much to the audience's delight. Or the risks of an open-air concert illustrated by the moment where the wind got a hold of conductor Yvan Cassar's partitions, dropping them the floor. Thankfully only when the music had stopped for a moment!
There will of course be more details to unveil about the upcoming releases, which you will find here, when the time comes... Except that by now it's clear that the DVD will be including a documentary on the making of the event. There is much to look forward to.
It's about time we give credit to everyone who submitted links, information, tips, etc, during the ongoing coverage of this event. Thank you:
Matthias Eisloffel, Milan Fari, Kevin Polfliet, Luis Castro, Marcos Ferasso, Perry Yung, Henri Aal, Didier Le Luel, Umberto Calonaci, Pierre Kandel, Fernando Hoya, Pascal Maille, Paul Zarzycki, Robert Eichelsheim and Yvonne.
Extra special thanks to a number of anonymous people who helped us in many ways ranging from small to absolutely huge favors. You know who you are. Thank you so much!!!
... as soon as news comes in.
A few more links to check out:
World star soprano Angela Gheorghiu has shared a lovely collection of photos on Facebook from the dress rehearsal and the concert in Doha.
Dress rehearsal from December 10
Day of the concert December 11
Finally this lovely photo of Angela Gheorghiu with Vangelis
Perry Yung who played the shakuhachi Japanese flute on Vangelis' concert writes a short text on his blog on the Doha event.
Someone shares a wonderful photograph on flickr, roughly showing Vangelis' view, overlooking the audience and showing his impressive setup of synthesizers, footpedals, mixing desk and countless custom made control modules.
The Romanian magazine National publishes on its website some photos from the concert and the artists backstage:
The English language Qatari news paper Gulf Times published a wonderful review of the concert, which can also be read on their web site:
The concert's program booklet contains the following text, written by Vangelis personally:
In a little while I will be on stage in front of you to perform music that is inspired by something that I consider today, in the times in which we are living, very important - Hope.
Hope gets us through the worst of times and it is especially important now as we continue living in an increasingly troubled world. Apart from ongoing wars and modern financial disasters, humankind has been suffering from something far worse - stress and depression - which could lead to psychological devastation and serious loss of identity.
Adults are overtaken by existential issues, while children are in danger of losing their identity, due to fast growing technological advancement and lack of proper education.
Thus, I believe it is important for every country to preserve its roots and, through these roots, to cooperate with other cultures.
I therefore composed a hymn for this event called Child of Hope, which I dedicate to every one and especially to the children of the world.
I wish that this effort for peace, and others like it, do not become an utopian dream.
I would like to thank the State of Qatar and the Katara Cultural Foundation for giving me this opportunity to express in my own way this wish. I also thank my friends and my collaborators who helped me accomplish this endeavor.
A review of the concert in Arabic here:
The article is actually condensed from their version in the printed newspaper, which includes two photographs of the show.
More from German music critics Becker and Heller:
Also check out this beautiful photograph on the orchestra's Facebook page:
More updates coming up in the next few days, and elsew.com's more complete concert review will be here somewhere in the weekend.
The Arabic TV news channel Aljazeera covers the news of Vangelis' concert and the opening of the new amphitheater at Katara.
Please be mindful that the images you see of the concert in this news report were not from the actual concert,
but from the rehearsals and therefore do not reflect the intended presentation of Vangelis' concert.
A blog about the lovely Angela Gheorghiu shares some photographs of the event and rehearsals:
Some really great official photographs of the event can be found here:
A full review will appear here later, but I do wish to share a few impressions and memories of the concert.
Spotted among the vips were at least the wife of the Emir of Qatar, H.H. Sheikha Moza (see this photograph from a Qatari newspaper) and Secretary-General of the United Nations, mr. Ban Ki-Moon.
Every guest found on his seat a concert program and a Katara information booklet. Regular guests also found a blanket in a carrying bag, while vips found a box containing the blanket as well as an umbrella. Luckily, the weather did not disappoint, and the clear conditions with a slight breeze were perfect for attending the concert.
The opening act of the concert involved musicians playing instruments from all over the world, including sitar, shakuhashi, didgeridoo, etc. An Arabian chant was pitched against a native American's chant, making a very concise statement, introducing the rest of the music, which was partly backed by Vangelis on his synthesizers and the orchestra marking the change over to the next instrument. All these performances involved improvisations. Also impressive was the performance of Arabic styled music with people on the stage in traditional outfits and instruments.
One of the highlights of the evening was the duet by Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, called "Piccola Bohème" (referred to as "Small Bohème" in the concert's program booklet). Algana himself wrote the Italian lyrics, for this song. The result was truly well appreciated by the audience.
Another highlight was the "Child of Hope" song, performed twice, where, for the finale, it was performed with the multi ethnic children's choir joining in. In the program, Vangelis writes that he dedicates this hymn to everyone, and especially to the children of the world.
The choral fantasy was a very classical piece, with the choir and the orchestra (conducted by Yvan Cassar) clearly in the lead, except in the pieces where Gheorghiu's magnificent voice took over. Powerful music, very impressive, and indeed quite recognizably in the style we know from Mythodea.
On-stage lighting was impressive, as were the huge moving projections on the screen, which graced all of the concert, but the focus remained for a large part on the (new) music. The effects were dialed up a few notches however, when Chariots of Fire began, and the incredible light show took off, combining moving lights around the stadium with more moving lights placed on a ship far behind the stage, in the waters of the Persian Gulf. In a way thereby incorporating the Gulf into the show, with a traditional Qatari sail passing by (intentionally) at just the right moment. These lights in the background were visible to the audience, by means of opening a part of the screen, creating an arc of sorts with a view on the Gulf.
A Mexican news paper wrote a review of the event, at:
The Becker and Heller music critic video bloggers from Germany have a nice item about the concert here:
And a newspaper in Arabic:
Special thanks to everyone who is sending in feedback and additional information or links. All is much appreciated! Please accept our apologies for not yet listing all names for credit at this point, but we'll assemble the list later, for multiple updates at once. Thanks again.
Tonight, not long after 8 o' clock in the evening, local time, Vangelis and the assembled musicians performed the concert at the Katara Amphitheater in Doha, Qatar.
The performance of the choral symphony called "Hope" (in 5 movements) along with other new compositions written for the occasion, and the performance of Chariots of Fire and Conquest of Paradise proved an impressive spectacle. Classical music, sometimes pleasantly restrained, sometimes big and powerful. On occasion, it brought back memories of Mythodea. Good memories, that is. Passionate performances, captivating music.
We'll have to get back to you with more details here on elsew.com tomorrow.
For a quick first glimpse, the Katara Foundation has put a few snapshots of the concert on-line. See here at yfrog.com/z/klljicrj.
The press, especially in Qatar, is beginning to report more details about the event.
The concert's light show is conceived by famous German light artist Gert Hof. Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons is presenting.
The newspapers describe the concert as consisting of three parts: The first part is a performance by (with?) the orchestra, which is said to mix European classical music styles with improvisation. The second part reportedly features Angela Gheorghiu, the orchestra and the Russian choir. The third act brings Gheorghiu together with tenor Roberto Alagna for a duet, concluding with performances of some of Vangelis' famous hits.
For the finale the multi-ethnic Qatar Philharmonic Children's Choir will join for a performance of Vangelis' new composition "Child of Hope", with lyrics by the great Tim Rice.
Perhaps even more interesting is a press release in Germany which states the screen is the largest in the world, with a size of 150 by 50 meters. There should be over 350 lights, some with a range of 70 kilometers, to light up the skies. Also mentioned are a fireworks display, and an involvement by historic ships in the Persian gulf, just behind the theater.
Special thanks to Matthias Eisloffel, Milan Fari, Kevin Polfliet and Luis Castro for their links and input.
It's December 10, the night the public was allowed into the concert venue. Some 500 people showed up and were allowed to take place in various locations in the amphitheater.
For organizational reasons, the public event tonight was scaled down to an extensive soundcheck, with the orchestra and choirs performing new Vangelis compositions, as well as a delightful rendition of Conquest of Paradise. Vangelis however was not a part of this, nor where the other contributing artists. The orchestra however proved powerful and impressive, and gave a glimpse into what the concert tomorrow might be like. After about 6 tracks, the soundchecks ended, and the audience was asked to leave the premises, while other tests continued.
Later in the evening, rehearsals continued without an audience, with the orchestra performing, and later also a soprano singing, with Vangelis coordinating on location. These rehearsals are most likely still taking place at this moment.
We will keep you posted on anything happening. Of course, also expect a report on the concert in due time.
The Katara Foundation's Twitter channel (https://twitter.com/#!/kataraqatar) has more info (in Arabic and English) on the possibilities to attend tonight's dress rehearsal for the Vangelis concert, including an email address to pre-register your attendance.
The Katara Foundation has used its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/KataraQatar) to announce (in Arabic) an unexpected turn of events. Apparently, the first 1000 people who show up at the Amphitheater will be allowed to attend the dress rehearsals. In other words, they will see the Vangelis concert live, even before its official performance on December 11.
If you are within reach of Doha, be sure to report at the theater by 4:30PM, local time.
Thanks to Marcos Ferasso for his post on the Yahoo (Direct) discussion group.
Counting down with only two days to go, Katara's Amphitheater is full of activity. Lights and effects are being tested, projections calibrated to fit the giant screens, which are still being fine tuned by workers in cranes. On occasion, the orchestra or other musicians are performing soundchecks or rehearsing parts.
Judging from the outside, even with only the occasional technical tests going on, it's slowly becoming clear that this will be one amazing spectacle.
Indeed, Elsew.com will now be reporting from location, and if all goes well, we should have the lucky honor to be able to report on the actual concert, this Sunday.
Here are a few more photographs taken around the location.
The Qatar News Agency put a newswire today announcing there will be a Vangelis music concert on Sunday evening at Katara, on the occasion of the inauguration of Katara's new amphitheater.
The news wire also reported prior to the concert on Sunday there will be a press conference and it will be chaired by Katara's president Mr Abdulrahman Alkhulaifi.
Meanwhile, sitar performer Jasdeep Singh Degun has shared another photo taken a day later showing more progress of the screens being built at the stage, which he describes as a 40 meter high screen. See his tweet at: pic.twitter.com/Nl8dT5NS
Counting down to Sunday's Vangelis concert in Qatar... Sitar performer Jasdeep Singh Degun has shared a newly taken photograph of the Katara Amphitheater on Twitter. It seems that giant screens are currently being erected. Jasdeep classifies the venue as epic.
See his tweet at: pic.twitter.com/g19xFTkn
With exactly one week to go before Vangelis performs his live concert in Doha, Qatar, reliable sources were able to share some more details about the upcoming event.
The concert is going to be filmed and recorded for worldwide broadcasts, theatrical performances, and production of a DVD and CD. The registration will be directed by Hugh Hudson, acclaimed British director of Chariots of Fire and other award winning films. There is also in fact a chance that Live performances of the same event may follow!
The concert will be performed in Doha on the invitation by the State of Qatar and the Katara Foundation. Vangelis accepted this offer to conceive, design, direct and compose the music for the event.
It takes place on the occasion of the United Nations' Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Forum's yearly summit, under the auspices of H.H. the Emir and his wife H.H. Sheikha Moza.
No less than 132 countries and organizations are members of the Alliance of Civilizations Forum and in light of this, the concert will be attended by heads of state and other dignitaries from all over the world, including H.H. the Emir of Qatar and the Royal Family of Qatar.
Aim of the event is to send out a message to the world, a call for peace and hope, in name of the State of Qatar and the United Nations' Alliance of Civilization Forum.
The performance will include new music, composed for the occasion. Vangelis, of course, will be personally performing, live at the event. He will be supported by the famous Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu and as a guest star the world renowned Italian / French tenor Roberto Alagna, Qatar's Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra's children choir, and a number of traditional musicians.
As mentioned in earlier updates, the concert will also mark the inauguration of the Ampitheatron at the Katara Cultural village (www.katara.net). The theater was built in the shape of an ancient Greek theater, including all Greek rhythms (Doric, Ionian and Corinthian), with a lot of modern Arabic architectural elements incorporated.
The concert takes place during the fourth annual Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Doha. The Alliance of Civilizations (Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_of_Civilizations) is a United Nations initiative, launched in 2005, with the aim to "bridge divides and overcome prejudice, misconceptions, misperceptions, and polarization which potentially threaten world peace. The initiative seeks to galvanize international action against extremism through the forging of international, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and cooperation. The Alliance places a particular emphasis on defusing tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds."
Their forum's summit in Doha is a sort of conference where, according to the UNAOC's web site, "over 2,000 participants, including political and corporate leaders, civil society activists, youth groups, faith communities, research centers, foundations and journalists, will come together to agree on joint actions to improve relations across cultures, combat prejudice and build lasting peace."
The Official web site for the UNAOC happening is www.qatar4unaoc.org.
More information on the Qatar event is still pending, but given how pressing the issue of entering the concert is for fans who dream of traveling to Doha, a quick intermediate update with some unfortunate news.
Because of the nature of the event, with a large number of dignitaries attending from all over the world, the organization is unable to sell tickets to a general audience. Due to unavoidable security issues, access to the event will be based on invitations only.
This does not mean that we won't at some point be able to enjoy the concert in other ways, but more on that later.
While we wait for more news on the upcoming Vangelis concert in Qatar, let's rewind for a bit to the recent classical performance of Vangelis' new composition "Elegy". The good news is that a streaming video has now been made available, showing the entire opening concert of the recent Vivacello festival, including the performance of "Elegy".
www.paraclassics.com is a Russian internet tv channel, which exclusively broadcasts streams of classical performances recorded in a selection of the best Russian concert halls. This wonderful initiative is in experimental stages and for the time being can be freely watched by simply registering and browsing their site.
Elegy is the first track, playing from 00:02:41 to 00:12:51.
The video will only be available for only an unspecified period of time. If you enjoy ParaClassics' service, consider the option of a small donation. There's a "Support" button on the bottom of their main page, which takes you to PayPal.
A small number of international gossip and entertainment media today mentioned the notion of Vangelis preparing a live performance in Qatar. Reliable sources confirm to elsew.com that a major event of this nature is indeed being prepared.
The concert will form the inauguration of the amphitheater in the Katara Cultural village. See below for more information. Vangelis will be supported by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, a large Russian choir, an additional children choir and other musicians. According to our sources, there will be contributions by a number of famous artists.
The event is scheduled for December 11, 2011. A problem for Vangelis' international fans however is that at this point in time, no information about possible ticket sales is available. As soon as any information is available, we'll publish it here on this site, but at this moment, it's not really so certain if the event can easily be attended.
The concert will take place at the recently constructed amphitheater of the Katara Cultural Village in Doha, Qatar's capital city. The cultural village, or "Valley of Cultures" is a project by the Katara Foundation, which "aims to contribute to raise the cultural movement in Qatar and to promote and highlight the creative energies through the management of its different buildings and facilities." The premises houses several theaters, conference halls, exhibition halls, a number of institutes (for film, music, photography, engineering, etc.), restaurants, cafes and a beach. The amphitheater forms the center of the Cultural Village and was build close to the sea. The design of the building is a combination of Roman / Greek and modern Arabic architecture. It fits an audience of 5000 spectators and is considered the largest in the Arabic world.
Qatar is an Arabic state, located on a peninsula in the Persian Gulf (sometimes referred to as the Arabian Gulf). The emirate is one of the more progressive states in the middle east, with free education and health care for everyone, while its income per person is among the highest in the world. Tourism has increased drastically in the last few decennia and is still a growing business.
Please check back here soon, for more info. We'll add new updates to elsew.com as soon as anything comes available.
While we're waiting for more news on the upcoming "event", some news on two of the Henry Chapier movies scored by Vangelis. After having been released as downloads on the ina.fr video archive (see the January 23 update, also for more details about these films), "Salut Jerusalem" and "Amore" are now being released on DVD, sold together on one disk.
The DVD is called "Henry Chapier cinéaste". Both "Amore" and "Salut Jerusalem" are French language films and sadly there is currently no reason to believe they will have foreign sub titles.
In addition to the two movies, it contains a bonus feature about Chapier, called "Le Divan d'Henry Chapier par Henry Chapier".
The DVD will be sold in France for about €20, starting January 18, 2012.
Two major new topics today! Be sure to read both of the following stories:
British film director Hugh Hudson, well known from Chariots of Fire, has directed a new documentary feature, called "Rupture: A Matter of Life OR Death". The score for this production was composed by Vangelis.
Rupture was inspired by Hudson's wife, former Bond girl Maryam d'Abo, who suffered and recovered from a dangerous and painful subarachnoid hemorrhage in 2007. The film is said to be a celebration of man's life force and leads the viewer on a personal journey of recovery. It deals with the fragility of the extraordinary brain of which we know surprisingly little.
The film's production has been completed and has entered the festival circuit, having been screened some days ago already at the "Dinard Festival of British Cinema" on October 7.
Rupture's duration is 70 minutes. The film reportedly contains a lot of new music by Vangelis, as well as one or two new versions of well known Vangelis compositions, but that has yet to be confirmed. In addition to the Vangelis music, music by Bach and Mark Knopfler are featured.
Hugh Hudson is currently in Mumbai (India) for the Mumbai Film Festival. He explains a few things about "Rupture" in this interview: www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2011/10/13/8014/
No information about further screenings is as yet available. More info in later news updates.
Details are sketchy at the moment, but it seems that Vangelis has been receiving a lot of international offers lately. Now, after the recent classical premiere in Moscow, one of those opportunities seems to have led to plans for a major event that is currently being prepared. The mysterious happening of international proportions is expected to take place at an exotic location, most likely in the last month of this year.
According to reports, Vangelis is currently completely engulfed in designing and composing for this occasion.
That's all we know for the moment, but be prepared that things are about to happen. More news here on elsew.com, as soon as details are announced...
Some of the Russian media coverage of the Viva Cello festival is available online.
The following TV news reports (in Russian) refer to Vangelis' contribution. A few sparse notes from Vangelis' "Elegy" can be heard in the first link, from 0:52 to 1:16, approximately.
The following news articles refer to Vangelis' contribution to the festival:
The articles provide some more insight in the nature of this event. For one, cellist and festival director Boris Adrianov explains that Vangelis wrote the Elegy composition specifically for this festival. The composition was finished only two weeks ahead of its performance. Adrianov speaks highly of the composition and calls it unpretentious and beautiful. Vangelis was apparently closely involved, in what is a new genre for him, and would watch a live webcast of the performance. A private one, we can assume, as there were no public broadcasts of this festival.
The music that Vangelis composed (by performing it) was transcribed by Irina Valentinova-Karpukhina and Alexey Kurbatov helped with the orchestrations.
Adrianov also recounts that the sad cancellation of the closing concert happened because of financial and organizational issues, and that no doubt the "Dialogue for cello and violin" composition will still be performed at another occasion.
In media interviews around the Viva Cello festival, festival director Boris Adrianov spoke about Vangelis writing a violin concerto for Julian Rachlin. Sources close to Vangelis confirm that this is something Vangelis has worked on. A final part however has yet to be composed.
Apparently, Vangelis has also written compositions for piano and violin, one of which was reportedly already performed in public, by Julian Rachlin and a pianist at an concert in Athens, earlier this year.
Reports from Moscow confirm that Vangelis' new composition was performed as planned on the opening concert of the Viva Cello festival.
Audience members describe "Elegy" as an elegant, slow, classical composition, quite traditional in style. The performance lasted just over 10 minutes. Use of the orchestra was quite restrained, with some passages played solo on the cello, while in other parts there was harmonic backing from strings and some occasional brasses.
The performance was very warmly received by the audience.
Sadly, due to organizational reasons, the entire closing concert of the Moscow Viva Cello festival is canceled. The October 3 event was to include the performance of Vangelis' new composition "Dialogue", by Boris Andrianov on cello and Julian Rachlin on violin. That will not take place.
It is expected that another occasion will be found, some time somewhere in the future, to still present "Dialogue" to the public. More information here on elsew.com when such intentions materialize.
Tomorrow's performance (September 27) of the other new Vangelis composition called "Elegy" will proceed as planned.
Some great news here today. Reliable sources confirm that two brand-new Vangelis compositions are soon to see their world premiere performances at Moscow's prestigious Vivacello festival.
The festival's opening concert will start with a piece called "Elegy", written by Vangelis for cello and orchestra. It will be performed on September 27 by Boris Andrianov on cello. The Concert is performed in memory of legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
The festival's closing concert will open with a piece called "Dialogue", written by Vangelis for cello, violin and orchestra. The name seems to refer to the conversation between the two lead instruments. It will be performed on October 3 by Boris Andrianov on cello and Julian Rachlin on violin, accompanied by an orchestra.
To avoid any confusion: Vangelis will not be performing himself; these are classical artists interpreting his compositions.
UK psychedelic label "Finders Keepers Records" is releasing a new compilation CD, called "Make Do And Mend - Volume Two", which includes the unfinished and unofficial Vangelis track "The Dragon". This 15 minute track is known from the album "The Dragon", an LP release consisting of unfinished jam sessions with Vangelis. It was released in his name but without his permission in the early '80s and was banned by court injunction. None of these tracks have been legally released since.
The same label has released this and other tracks on several releases in the past few years. There was a CD called "THE BYG DEAL", which contained "Stuffed Tomato", which is another track from "The Dragon" as well as Alpha Beta's "Astral Abuse". They also released a 12" vinyl single (and internet download) called "WHO KILLED THE DRAGON?", which contained both these "The Dragon" tracks and both sides of the Alpha Beta single from the '70s.
Patience will be needed. While the internet buzzes with news of a new "Cosmos" series being produced with some of the original series' producers and writers attached and, perhaps even more breathtakingly, Ridley Scott having signed to direct a second "Blade Runner" movie, the obvious questions ("Will Vangelis be involved for the music?", just for the record...) cannot be answered at this point. Time will have to tell.
Patience is also needed for the Esoteric CD issues of the remastered "L'Apocalypse des Animaux" and "Opera Sauvage" albums. The release of these CDs has been pushed back continuously.
In the mean time however, we can at least confirm this: Esoteric will be releasing a remastered edition of the Socrates album "Phos". The Greek progressive rock band recorded this album in 1975, under Vangelis' guidance in his pre-Nemo London based "Orange Studios". Vangelis performed keyboards, produced the album and even co-composed one of the songs.
The good news is, the remastering process for this CD was supervised by Vangelis personally. The UK CD release is scheduled for August 29.
No Vangelis news today, but a few words to explain what you may have already noticed: As of today, parts of this site have been redesigned. More pages will follow in the coming weeks, until the entire site has been transformed into its modernised shape.
Content is also being updated, although this will be a longer process. Continued updates of course will follow, also after the initial revision has been completed.
Finally, I now share editorial control (and workload) on this site with Sufian, who's already been an enourmess help to this site since almost forever. Welcome, Sufian, and thanks for all your efforts.
The release of the remastered "Fete Sauvage" CD on the Esoteric label has been put back indefinitely. The release of the remastered versions of "l'Apocalypse des Animaux" and "Opera Sauvage" will proceed, but with release dates now projected for the middle of May.
Cherry Red Records' label Esoteric is planning to re-release three classic Vangelis albums on CD, remastered under Vangelis' personal supervision. The following albums have been announced:
These albums are part of the series of Vangelis remasters that fans have been anticipating for a number years, of which so far only "Chariots of Fire", "Odes" and "Rapsodies" were released.
The Esoteric CDs have a tentative release date set for April 25. Downloads will be available on Universal's on-line music store Lost Tunes, when Universal revives it.
Reliable sources in the industry report that all other Vangelis remasters from the Universal catalog are expected to be released in several batches on later dates, but neither details nor confirmation are available at this point.
Two French movie productions from the '70s, scored by Vangelis, but never seen or heard since their obscure releases, have now finally become available. The French INA video archive has updated their online collection, which now includes the legendary "Amore" (1973) and "Salut Jerusalem" (1972) movies. The existence of both Henry Chapier ("Sex Power") directed movies where known to fans because of the existence of posters, press info and other media coverage from the past, but there was never a way to actually see the movies or hear those unreleased original scores. With their release in the ina.fr archive, they've become instantly available worldwide to anyone with a computer and a credit card.
Salut Jerusalem: www.ina.fr/video/VDD10010341/salut-jerusalem.fr.html
A ten minute preview (including some Vangelis music) for each of the movies can be watched for free at the ina.fr web site. The full productions can be downloaded in the popular avi format, encoded as Divx with mp3 audio, without any DRM protection that sometimes prevents use of such files. With the right software, these can be burned to DVD to watch on any DVD player, or they can be viewed on a computer. Alternatively, it's possible to order them on DVD from the ina.fr website, so that they burn them on a recordable DVD themselves. Considering the age and experimental type of these productions, the image quality is quite good. The sound is noisy and clicky with some slight distortion, as is to be expected because of the archival nature of the material. These are no doubt transfers from some long stored film cans.
"Amore" has a duration of a hour and 34 minutes. It can be downloaded for Euro 3.99. Much of the movie is accompanied by Vangelis playing his dreamy early synthesizer, electric piano and processed organ sounds we know so well from albums like Earth, Fais Que Ton Reve (...) or Ignacio and the Frederic Rossif productions that were also recorded in those early years of Vangelis' solo career.
"Salut Jerusalem" has a duration of 1 hour 12 minutes, and can be downloaded for Euro 2.99. Many scenes have Vangelis music, but most of these involve the same recording of a recurring theme performed on guitar, synthesizers and percussion with some interesting electronic sound effects. A few other (unheard) Vangelis recordings were used in the film, including some using more guitar parts and different synthesizer sounds, but all in all there isn't as much Vangelis material to be found as there is in "Amore".
While waiting for news on official Vangelis releases, there have been a few cover versions released in the past few months that have stood out from the bulk of cover releases for various reasons.
Film composer Dominik Hauser sat down and rerecorded a number of tracks heard in "The Bounty". Vangelis never released his score for this Roger Donaldson movie, but the music can be heard watching the movie, and even more music could be heard in poor audio quality on the illegal bootleg CDs that surfaced in the early nineties. BSX records seems to want to cash in on the lack of an official release with this "The Bounty" cover album, re-recording the music note for note on synths. Predictably, the result is rather bland, missing the finesses and warm audio quality of Vangelis' original recordings or even getting the music wrong. The release of this CD, with Vangelis' name (as composer) displayed larger than the recording artist who replaces him as performer here, has managed to confuse some fans who've been hoping for an official release for so many years. This CD however, is not going to please any Vangelis enthusiast's appetite for this particular music. It's important to be aware that this just doesn't have the vibes and qualities we love it for.
More interestingly, Greek folk violin virtuoso Lefteris Zervas covered four Vangelis tracks on his new album "Back To The Roots". The Greek flavours and general approach will remind many of the famous Vassilis Saleas album "Orama", which is quite universally loved for its Vangelis sanctioned reinterpretations of well known Vangelis compositions.
Zelvas adds similar Greek touches to similar soft electronic re-interpretations of Vangelis tracks. There's four on this album: Conquest Of Paradise, Prelude, 28th Parallel and Song of the Seas. Quite an interesting concept to pass time with, while waiting for a truly new Vangelis release in the future.
As reported earlier, Esoteric Records is re-releasing their two remastered Aphrodite's Child albums, this time with Vangelis' official involvement in the remastering process.
Although unconfirmed at this time, the new disks should already be in stores in the UK and appear in other European countries just about now. (In-store reports are welcome at email@example.com, thanks!)
The Vangelis versions replace the earlier releases, shipping of which was halted and now resumed with the new disks having the same catalog numbers.
The big question on everyone's mind is: Are these new prints actually better than the previous ones? A quick informal survey revealed that almost all fans were already very impressed by the clear and lively sound that Esoteric's engineers managed to pull from the album's master tapes.
The good news is, all those improvements are still there. It seems the same analog to digital transfer was used, perhaps even some of the processing was kept in tact. It's hard to hear any difference at all between these two disks. There are however some differences to note and to purists these will be important, no matter how little the audible difference is. The issue is that the previous versions had their sound cranked up by quite a bit, which required additional processing that would reduce the dynamic range of the music. This has become very common over the years. A result from what is generally called "the loudness war", where record labels try to make their CDs sound louder than those of the competition. Playing back a CD with a louder volume will generally be perceived as "the sound being better", even when this does in fact impact the signal and actual audio quality. Vangelis' version fixes this problem. The signal is cranked up a little less, which leaves more of the original dynamics in tact. Again, it will be hard to actually hear this (in a double-blind test situation), but the recording is technically closer to the original master recording. The verdict: These new editions have the same improvements over the old CDs/records, but are technically an improvement on the previous editions. This revised remastered release is a welcome improvement and was worth the wait.
Some may wonder how to distinguish the old (and now rare) editions from the new (and better) prints. Since distribution was halted awaiting the new versions, any product ordered now or later should basically result in the Vangelis version being delivered. However, with catalog numbers being identical, we need other ways to verify which print we're looking at.
When still in shrink wrap, conclusions are easily drawn: The new prints have custom stickers with the album name and include the sentence "Official expanded edition remastered under the supervision of Vangelis.", instead of the generic gray Esoteric remaster stickers found on the previous versions.
Without the sticker, the prints can still be told apart by looking at the front of the CD, checking the transparent space just to the left of the main booklet. As you can see comparing the new photographs against the old ones from two updates ago, the new versions have "Remastered Aphrodite's Child edition" printed in the back, while the previous versions left the space blank.
The booklets have undergone minor changes. Liner notes have a few slight revisions. A few lines or credit were added, as well as links to the Lost Tunes download store. The CDs look exactly the same; it's the audio that has been updated.
In the mean time, the press has received these releases with positive reviews. Mojo magazine wrote a 4 star review, while magazines like Record Collector, Shindig and The Wire all wrote nice words about the album and its remastering treatment. There also seems to have been some air play in countries like Italy, as well as the UK. It's nice to see these classic recordings receive exposure again!
Esoteric Recordings is going to re-release their recent remasters of the Aprhodite's Child albums "End of the World" and "It's Five O'Clock". Unlike the versions released in June, these new editions contain sound recordings recently remastered under Vangelis' personal supervision. The artwork has also been slightly revised, while Mark Powell's extensive liner notes are now updated.
The new edition of these albums will be available on CD in the UK as of August 23. A release of the CD in other European territories will follow shortly. Downloadable versions of the albums will be available worldwide on Universal's Lost Tunes download store.
Check back here for more info as well as updated reviews for these revisions, when they are released.