The special "Anniversary Edition" box set of the El Greco score (and movie), originally released in Greece in November 2014 to celebrate 400 years passing since the old master's death, will now be re-released throughout Europe, popping up for pre-order in Germany, France, the UK, etc. The local release date seems set for July 29.
The box contains the Vangelis score on CD, the Vangelis score on vinyl (slightly different artwork compared to the separate vinyl release, also from 2014), the movie on DVD (a reissue compared to the 2008 Greek DVD, this one includes English subtitles, according to the packaging), and a Taschen art book on El Greco's paintings. All stunningly packed in deluxe and sturdy designer box set packaging. This is a beautiful release, now finally easily available outside of Greece.
Note that most of these stores incorrectly associate the release with Vangelis' 1998 album. Be sure that this is Vangelis' unrelated 2007 original score for the Greek / Spanish movie.
Other collectors news: Cobalt in Greece has re-released both Odes and Rapsodies by Vangelis and Irene Papas on CD, this time in special packaging sized like a 7" single. Also Universal in the UK is releasing remastered vinyl editions of both Earth and l'Apocalypse des Animaux in August or September. Earth could be the same Vangelis supervised remaster as its digital release (which had added reverb), but for l'Apocalypse no remaster has yet been available.
Some of the on-line shops reveal the track list for Vangelis' upcoming new studio album.
1. Origins (Arrival) 4:23 2. Star Stuff 5:14 3. Infinitude 4:30 4. Exo Genesis 3:33 5. Celestial Whispers 2:31 6. Albedo 0.06 4:45 7. Sunlight 4:22 8. Rosetta 5:02 9. Philae's Descent 3:05 10. Mission accomplie (Rosetta's Waltz) 2:13 11. Perihelion 6:35 12. Elegy 3:07 13. Return To The Void 4:20
The vinyl record contains the first 7 tracks on disc 1 and the last 6 on disc 2.
Decca's official album announcement is still pending.
Special thanks to Fernando Hoya for sharing his findings! Also thanks to Kristian Janssens for the additional source.
While NASA's Juno mission has entered into an orbit around Jupiter, NASA has released a time-lapse video of Jupiter and its moons during Juno's approach. The video is set to Vangelis' "Titans" from the Alexander score (2004). No new music in this occasion, but the significance is huge and the video is bound to go viral.
As we eagerly await an official announcement on Vangelis' new music release "Rosetta", Amazon UK has now listings of the album on double-disc vinyl and CD. Both editions are available now for pre-order.
Please note this release is published by the UK record label "Decca Records", the same record company that published Vangelis' previous album "Chariots of Fire - The Play" in 2012.
We wish to stress again information may be subject to change until an official announcement comes through.
We were waiting for an official announcement on Vangelis' new project, but it seems that a number of record shops in Germany have been issued with an early listing, unveiling a brand new new Vangelis album named "Rosetta".
Keep in mind that all information may be subject to change, but the date currently listed for release is September 23.
Check back here for more information and details on what seems to be in the pipeline!
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.
Read earlier news updates in the archive pages (see below and on top of this page).