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A Mediterranean Odyssey Box set

4.6 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, October 20, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 two CD release. Disc One, The Olive & The Cedar, is a Mediterranean-inspired collection of 11 studio recordings personally selected by Loreena from her back catalog. Disc Two, From Istanbul To Athens, contains 56 minutes of concert highlights from the 2009 Mediterranean Tour including five songs not featured in previous Loreena McKennitt live releases. Includes a 24 page, lavishly illustrated booklet featuring on-location photographs captured during the tour.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Quinlan Road
  • ASIN: B002MTTZ6M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,244 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For those who could not see Loreena in Budapest, this is the next best thing. I nearly gave this four stars - but decided that five stars were merited for both Loreena's talent and for the incredible musicians. What almost lost her a star was that there IS NO NEW MATERIAL on this CD set. All of the songs are available on her other sets.

One CD is just a sampling of her music, sort of a "greatest hits" collection without actually putting that on the CD cover - maybe Loreena thought that was too passe', too ABBAish, if I can turn that group into an adjective....(And Yes, ABBA was a fun band)

The other CD has an assortment of her music recorded at the various locations on her latest tour and it would have been fantastic to see her perform these in Budapest and Istanbul. She has changed some of the songs slightly, and her voice has a warmth and depth that it does not have on the Alhambra DVD. The other change is a greater emphasis of the bass guitar, which can seem out of place with the Celtic/Byzantine direction she had been going, and makes it sound a little more jazzy. The violin is not as pronounced as it was on Alhambra, which is a capital shame since Hugh is so singularly talented, and Nigl has been entirely replaced on the hurdy gurdy, AND YOU CAN TELL. What happened to Nigl?

I enjoyed this for the warm tone of Loreena's voice, and it is replete with beauty and talent - just wish it had some new material. If I had to pick one CD to take with me, it would still be the Alhambra.
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Format: Audio CD
I have loved Lorreena since Mask and Mirror so I was excited to get this collection. Overall it is nice to hear and the packaging is beautiful. My major dissapointment with this collection is that some of the songs on the studio compilation are edited, like "Dark Night of the Soul". Even though I have the original album that the song was released on, I would have liked to have the original to enjoy while listening to this collection. I don't mind compilation that really have nothing new on them, especially when there is a theme, but don't edit the songs to get you to buy the original albums. Also warn the consumer that songs are edited so they can make an informed choice on whether to buy the cd before they leave the store and are unable to return the item because it has been opened.
Comment 43 of 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Loreena Mckennitt can do no wrong with me. Her beautiful voice gives me so much joy whenever I listen to her sing. She is one of the few artists whose music I will always buy, new music or not. That is the case with her latest release A Mediterranean Odyssey, a two CD box set based on Loreena's tour in countries set along the Mediterranean sea like Greece. The first CD is The Olive and the Cedar, a collection of Loreena's music. It is kind of like an unofficial greatest hits/best of quality. The album features songs dating back to The Visit. The second disc is From Istanbul to Athens, a live disc. While there is no new material on the whole box set, I never get tired of listening to songs like "Santiago" or "Full Circle". As much as I enjoyed this collection, I find myself enjoying Loreena's previous release Nights from the Alhambra. Nevertheless A Mediterranean Odyssey is a nice hold me over until Loreena puts out an album of new material. I think A Mediterranean Odyssey is a good introduction for new fans looking to check out Loreena's music, this is a good way to hear her music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Loreena McKennit is without a doubt one of my favorite VOCALISTS. She has an amazing voice and her talent is just beyond! She needs no special gimmicks or antics to draw people towards her. She can do that with her raw and magical talent.

The ONLY reason I am NOT giving this 5 stars is because I find that having several songs (even though they are amazing songs) on both of the CDs is a bit of a turn off for me. While I love her music I wish that a couple of new songs would have been nice but that was not my reason for a star less. It was having the songs such as:

Tango To Evora

The Gates of Istanbul

Penelope's Song

Marco Polo

Santiago

Caravanserai

The Dark Night of the Soul

Sacred Shabbat

REPEATED on both of the CDs. Actually the more I think about it the more I feel a bit ripped off. I wish I had paid more attention to reading what songs were on both CDs. They should have just stuck with one CD or picked EIGHT other songs from her previous albums instead of putting the SAME songs on both of the CDs. I think I am dropping this another star. I am really disappointed in how this album was done.

You get NO new songs (which I am okay with) AND you get EIGHT songs that are repeated on BOTH of the CDs.

The album may be a good buy for a newcomer but even they would wonder why 8 of the songs are on both of the CDs.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like the first reviewer, I vacillated between awarding A Mediterranean Odyssey four or five stars, but unlike that reviewer I decided on four because there is absolutely nothing new here. Yes, there is the virtuoso instrumentation, the enchanting vocals, and the expert manner is which Loreena McKennitt is always able to set the scene for the listener. But as a long-time fan, I just feel a sense of having been here before every time I listen. However, if you just need a go-to album for a road trip or just want to introduce someone to McKennitt's music, this box set is a perfect choice.
Disc one, the Olive and the Cedar, is a compilation of songs from other albums that relate to the Mediterranean theme of the album. The entire side is good, but my favorites are: The Mystic's Dream, with it's quasi-religious vibe; the hypnotic Tango to Evora; the percussive Caravanserai; and the beautiful instrumental Sacred Shabbat.
Disc two, From Istanbul to Athens, is comprised of recordings made from various concerts on her 2009 tour of the Eastern Mediterranean. My favorites are the evocative The Gates of Istanbul; Marco Polo; the percussive Caravanserai once again; the soaring Santiago; the enchanting Beneath A Phrygian Sky, and another superb rendition of Tango to Evora.
A Mediterranean Odyssey is a great value as well, available at this time from an amazon partner for under ten dollars. The accompanying attractive booklet containing album information and lots of pictures from the tour only adds to the value. If you already have everything McKennitt issued previous to this you may consider passing this by but I think the addition of the live CD makes this an album worth owning.
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Topic From this Discussion
The Olive and the Ceder--edited recordings?
If one is familiar with Loreena McKennitt's work, one will notice extensive editing and or remixing presented on 'The Olive and the Cedar' disc, which is part of this box set. I say extensive only for the McKennitt fan who has followed her stratospheric eminence as a recording artist from her... Read More
Nov 8, 2009 by Clark |  See all 2 posts
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