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Review: VANGELIS: US Review
This writing hobby has given me the opportunity to listen to some fantastic new music from independent artists that I might have otherwise missed. It also provides an opportunity to write about some of my favorite artists of all time. Last year it was Peter Gabriel and Greg Lake. This year opens with Vangelis...and his Journey to Ithaka DVD, brought to you by Gonzo Multimedia.
This DVD is the perfect collection of the works of this masterful Greek artist. Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou –Vangelis, is a musical composer and artist whose career spans over 50 years. Vangelis has written and composed over 50 albums. He is regarded as one of the greatest composers of electronic music of all time. This DVD allows you to watch the highlights of that expansive career from the comfort of your easy chair. Vangelis participates throughout the DVD by describing what inspires him to write and compose. He describes his writing and composing techniques personally. He reviews some of his greatest accomplishments as a musician and composer. Vangelis provides a personal description of the love from his family that helped support and nourish his creativity over the years. These moments are deeply personal and shared as a dedication. Vangelis is the complete creative artist, from composing, playing, to actually painting bold and contemplative artwork. One of my new discoveries about this impressive creator. He actually never expected to unveil his private paintings. The story behind this is an important video highlight. The interviews with some of the world's greatest musical, directing and performing talent is worth the price of admission alone. Interviews and discussions from Sean Connery, Oliver Stone, Ridley Scott, Jon Anderson, Hugh Hudson, Gerard Depardieu, and a long list of friends and associates make this journey both personal and prolific in terms of the famous quote from the film, It's a Wonderful Life: "Each man's life touches so many other lives." The record of the story of the life of Vangelis from beginning to today is a wonderful journey that any fan would enjoy. Most people know of Vangelis as the Academy Award winning creator of the score for the film Chariots Of Fire, as well as his composing scores for the filmsAntartic, Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest Of Paradise and Alexander. However, his music was also used in the PBS documentary 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage' by Carl Sagan. This documentary DVD leaves few stones unturned as a complete journey through the life and works of Vangelis.
If you are a fan of Vangelis, then this is a 'must have'. If not, get this DVD and learn what you have missed and be thoroughly entertained. Track Listing:
1. The Language of Music – Alexander – Jesse Norman and Oliver Stone
2. Classical Opinions – Akiko Ebi and Julian Rachlin
3. Mythodea – The music industry and success – Jon Anderson
4. Music for commercials – Hugh Hudson
5. Electronic sounds – The studio – Transcription: Henry Mancini and Irina Valentinova
6. Music for films – 1492 The Conquest of Paradise – Ridley Scott and Gérard Depardieu
7. World games 1997 – Bitter Moon: El Greco – Roman Polanski
8. Painting is personal – Vangelis Pintura – Consuelo Císcar Casaban and Connie Perez Olarte
9. Ithaka – Constantine Cavafi – Sean Connery and Micheline Roquebrune Connery
10. Slava's Snow Show – Slava Polunine
11. Mythodea – Music for the NASA Mission – Peter Gleb; Jessye Norman; Kathleen Battle; and Scott Bolton
12. Blade Runner – Ridley Scott and Michael Deeley
13. Family & childhood – Musical beginnings – Hugh Hudson; Peter Gelb; David Puttnam; and Julian Rachlin
14. The Prayer – Montserrat & Monsita Caballé
15. Parental encouragement – Chariots of Fire – Hugh Hudson and David Puttnam
16. Music is not a joke
17. End credits
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: http://www.gonzomultimedia.com/product_details/155
Review: Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaka: Review
Review: FRENCH VANGELIS REVIEW
Review: GERMAN VANGELIS REVIEW
In recent years, you can hardly hear new music from Vangelis, so I at the documentary DVD "Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaca" pose the question to me whether you should consider this DVD as it were, as a final report at a tremendous creative life.
The two-hour film is divided in very nearly failed DVD menu in 17 chapters, especially statements and interviews of friends with Vangelis (or known) directors (Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, Roman Polanski, Hugh Hudson), actors (Sean Connery, Gerard Depardieu), musician / internal (Montserrat Caballe, Jon Anderson, Julian Rachlin, Jessye Norman, Akiko Ebi, Kathleen Battle), scientists (Scott Bolton) and includes music managers. Also Vangelis himself tells in detail about his childhood, his parents, his views on music, the universe, the painting and the legalities of the music business and of filmmaking.
Vangelis is represented as a versatile in painting, music and the sciences interested genius and largely without ego trips outcoming artist, who began to make music, inexplicably, at the age of about 4 years. The interesting thing is probably the fact that Vangelis probably a really nice person and a kind of genius, even if he had never learned to write music, or read the notes. The work of the music of Vangelis is to write down notes as done by a certain Valenti Irina Nova, which of course also has its say.
In addition, we learn that Vangelis is also active as a painter and that he considered his works to be very personal and they therefore not sold. Long time he had to be persuaded to leave his paintings exhibit worldwide. Of these, tell two ladies who deal with organizational painting exhibitions.
The common thread of the documentation are the stories about the origin of the music for the films "1492-Conquest of Paradise," "Chariots of Fire", "Alexander", "El Greco" and "Blade Runner".Other albums are mentioned only in passing, or not at all up to "Mythodea". We see the fragments of other with Vangelis music refined projects, such as "Slava's Snow Show" (with the Russian clown Slava Polunine), concerts with Monsita and Montserrat Caballe, World Games 1997 in Athens and some commercials, for example, in France very successfully were . And finally, some moving pictures are shown that demonstrate the musician when answering some of awards, such as the academic titles of honor.
For me, the most interesting passages that show Vangelis play the keyboard were, where he conjures up the whole, very colorful orchestra arranged with help from his keyboard. His friends and acquaintances repeatedly report how he always plays to them seemingly ready orchestral compositions. Then it turns out often that a mature acting composition is created during the performance.
Who wants to be the musical phenomenon Vangelis Papathanassiou approach, should get this DVD ... and then watch. Unfortunately, the documentation is somewhat one-sided focus on the successful film music of the Greeks.
Review: Vangelis review
Journey To Ithaka
(DVD 2013, 120 min, Gonzo Multimedia HST166DVD)
Website Gonzo Multimedia
A lot has already been said about the music of the Greek musician, composer and producer Vangelis in our review of the five newly remastered reissues of Esoteric Recordings (see review). While reviewing Heaven And Hell (1975),Albedo 0.39 (1976), Spiral (1977), Beaubourg (1978) and Direct (1988) a lot had been said about his musical career. However, very little is known about his personal life, therefore I was very delighted to receive his DVD Journey To Ithaka for a review, because this release might give me and his fans world-wide an inside view into his personal life next to his musical career.
Well I was certainly right about the fact that on this release, besides the spotlight on his musical career, his personal life was talked about as well. During this two-hour documentary a camera team was allowed to film in his recording studio in Greece. For me it was rather impressive to see him play his keyboards. His studio looked more like a cockpit of an airplane or spacecraft than the usual recording studio. It's just great to watch how he improvises to the images of a movie up close. He composed so many movie scores in exactly this manner and some of those sountracks are mentioned as well. You get an inside look at how he wrote the music for films such as Antartica,Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest Of Paradise, Alexander and the Academy-Award-winning (Best Original Music Score) film Chariots Of Fire. Film directors such as Oliver Stone, Hugh Hudson and Ridley Scott speak very frankly about this musical genius and about how friendly he is towards them. Also, actors such as Sean Connery and Gérard Depardieu speak about this former Aphrodite's Child keyboard player and composer. Furthermore, you can watch short interviews with musicians that have worked with him in the past. One of them is former Yes vocalist and songwriter Jon Anderson. He talks about the music they recorded as Jon & Vangelis. The duo recorded a series of successful and critically acclaimed albums in the eighties.
The music Vangelis wrote for Mythodea - Music for the NASA Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey - is mentioned in this documentary as well. You can see interviews with the stars of this choral symphony, namely the sopranos Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle. Footage of the DVD which of these shows events was released and what a spectacular show this must have been when it was performed. The music, which was used for commercials, is another item that's highlighted and shows elements I wasn't aware of.
In May 2000, Vangelis composed the music as well as designed and directed the artistic Olympic flag-relay part of the closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. While no official recording of Vangelis' composition for the 2000 Sydney Games was released, the music can be heard accompanying the presentation of the emblem of the 2004 Athens Games. Fragments of all those events are included in the DVD, next to rare historical footage of his childhood days. A different part of Vangelis' personal life is his love for painting. All of his works are displayed in his house and recording studio in Greece. He sees them as his own children and doesn't want to sell any of them, but people who have seen his work were always passionate about his talents as a painter and have asked him several times to lend them to a gallery to display his work for a larger audience to enjoy. In the end he agreed and saw the works travel to, for instance, South America.
At the start of this documentary Vangelis talks about the language of music. At the end he closes with the words that music is not a joke. Well, I can only agree with him on that, because hardly anything can give people more joy and satisfaction than the sound of great music! It doesn't matter in which country you live or what language you speak. Everybody understands what they hear coming out of their speakers! Even if it isn't the wonderful music of Vangelis!
Vangelis' Journey To Ithaka is an excellent documentary about the career of this fantastic musician, composer and producer. A must-have for all of his fans who'll have a chance to take a closer look at their musical hero!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Esther Ladiges)
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