Mythodea - Music for the NASA Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
Although Vangelis may always be linked to his catchy soundtrack for Chariots of Fire, he's made a stab at orchestral immortality with Mythodea, a multi-movement instrumental and vocal extravaganza that commemorates NASA's Mars Odyssey Mission. A toy-size remote robot stumbling silently over red pebbles is hardly musical fodder, so Vangelis reaches to mythological depths for inspiration here. Soprano superstars Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle are gorgeous goddesses atop a Mt. Olympus-size orchestra with imposing thunderclouds of 20 percussionists, and Vangelis mans the keyboard consoles himself, adding sonic space and mechanical effects. The composer didn't title his ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
Although Vangelis may always be linked to his catchy soundtrack for Chariots of Fire, he's made a stab at orchestral immortality with Mythodea, a multi-movement instrumental and vocal extravaganza that commemorates NASA's Mars Odyssey Mission. A toy-size remote robot stumbling silently over red pebbles is hardly musical fodder, so Vangelis reaches to mythological depths for inspiration here. Soprano superstars Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle are gorgeous goddesses atop a Mt. Olympus-size orchestra with imposing thunderclouds of 20 percussionists, and Vangelis mans the keyboard consoles himself, adding sonic space and mechanical effects. The composer didn't title his movements, nor did he give meaning to the choral vocalise, but the music fills the imagination with rattling swords, full-blast rocket engines, space winds, unknown horizons, and in the lengthy "Movement IV" all-directional chaos. Norman's honey-coated voice blends nicely with the crystalline tones of Battle's, and their redemptive duet in "Movement IX" reminds one of Delibes's Lakmé duet, or an intertwining flight of birds. "Movement I" is a deliberate restatement of Holsts's "Mars," and the astute listener can pick up colors from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, as well as passages from Debussy, Ravel, and Mahler. The somber "Movement III" features another duet by Norman and Battle, layered with tragic choral tones, Vangelis's hammered dulcimer, and teardrops from the harp. Prepare yourself for a big listening experience: Turn up the volume, crank up the bass, hang on to your armchair, and ride Rocket Vangelis through Mars's sonic vistas.
All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
Mythodea is subtitled "Music for the NASA Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey," and it's certainly an epic work. If its aspirations were any higher, it wouldn't even need NASA to break earth's gravity. In essence, it's the focus of Vangelis' symphonic ambitions, utilizing not only an orchestra, but two sopranos and a full choir to go alongside his banks of keyboards. With an everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink attitude, "Movement 1" shows its Mars intentions by borrowing the 5/4 rhythm from Holst's "Mars" and overlaying it with symphonic stabs of melody and voices galore. Synth space noises, pomp, and afew circumstances.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/23/2001
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998919129
  • Catalog Number: 89191
  • Sales rank: 44,777

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Introduction - The National Opera of Greece Choir (2:45)
  2. 2 Movement 1 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (5:40)
  3. 3 Movement 2 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (5:39)
  4. 4 Movement 3 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (5:50)
  5. 5 Movement 4 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (13:42)
  6. 6 Movement 5 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (6:35)
  7. 7 Movement 6 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (6:27)
  8. 8 Movement 7 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (4:56)
  9. 9 Movement 8 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (3:06)
  10. 10 Movement 9 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (5:02)
  11. 11 Movement 10 - The National Opera of Greece Choir (3:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Vangelis Primary Artist, Keyboards
Jessye Norman Soprano
Kathleen Battle Soprano
Blake Neely Conductor
The National Opera of Greece Choir Track Performer
Technical Credits
Vangelis Arranger, Producer
Philippe Colonna Engineer
Fredrick Rousseau Engineer
Giulio Turturro Art Direction, Cover Art
Nikos Espialidis Engineer
Andreas Mandopoulos Engineer
Blake Neely Orchestra Transcription
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just to clear up something...

    Odyssey is an orbital space craft, not a lander robot, and is the first of three space probes NASA has sent to Mars that has succeeded, beating the odds considering the world's current record for Mars probes. And speaking of records, I'd say Vangelis has outdone himself, putting as much of his heart and soul into this masterpiece as everyone at NASA did in this spectacular voyage. Thank you, Vangelis.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Mission to Nowhere

    Vangelis' career spans almost four decades. I have been a fan of his for at least three of those decades. When you have been playing music for that long you are bound to have hits (Blade Runner) and misses (The City). ''Mythodea'', unfortunately, goes in the misses catagory. Luckily there are not alot of his other albums in there. Vangelis has always had choral and operatic pieces on many of his albums dating back to ''Heaven and Hell''. But it was always in small dosages, usually one or two tracks. Vangelis has been upping the choral tracks steadily over the past several years. On ''Mythodea'' it is all choral/operatic except for the first track. I found each movement becoming more and more tedious as the music progressed and started getting bored with the whole thing half way through. The music does not keep your interest. To me it is mostly droning. Jesse and Kathleen's singing gets tiresome. Vangelis' music is way in the background and not impressive. This CD is not melodic so there is no memorable tune you will be humming in your head or to yourself after you have been listening to this CD which is the first bad sign. Another bad sign is you are going to catch yourself wanting to ''fast forward'' each track. Granted, ''1492'' has a fair amount of chorale music. But the music Vangelis composed for this soundtrack is so much bolder plus Vangelis is showing some of his best synthesizer playing which is not emphasiszed in the least on ''Mythodea''. This is his first CD with the Sony label. So far they are batting zero. The only positive to this CD is that at least he is still making music and for that I give it two stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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