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Mask

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 17, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

Mask by Vangelis

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
10:25
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2
30
3:26
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3
30
6:45
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4
30
8:47
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5
30
10:05
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6
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4:24
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 17, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Motown Records Group
  • Run Time: 43 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001FDP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,835 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. L. MILLER on October 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
...is in for a wakeup call here. Literally. This work runs the gamut between the crashing, thunderous grandeur of a Tchaikovsky or a Beethoven and the subtle magnetism of what industry pundits pretentiously call "world music". Movement 1 has the scurrying arpeggiation reminsicent of "Blade Runner". Movement 3 has an emphatic alternation of choral chords and tympani thunder ("awww"...CRASH!..."awww"...CRASH!...) in the main body of the passage (knowing Vangelis, the choir and tympani are real). Movement 4 has a vocal solo chant over some melodic percussion that sounds to me like a cross between marimbas and Carribean steel drums (so who says Bartok had a monopoly on folk roots, and who says you can only draw on Old World sources?). This is where Vangelis' strength lies--being able to draw on sounds usually found in various eras of what is now called "techno" and fusing them with Classical influences. And unlike most "synth players", Vangelis uses traditional instruments when they'll either enrich the tonal color or electronics just won't provide the timbres he needs (as far as I know. you still can't do tympani on a sampler). Don't forget what the main instrument was in the main theme to "Chariots Of Fire"--the grand piano. Anybody looking for the soporific sound of New Age (which is valid enough in its own context) will find this one-man Philharmonic either a rude awakening or a breath of fresh air. Consider what you're looking for before you buy. For my own part, his name is enough to make me add it to my Shopping Cart. I can't say that about all that many artists.
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Format: Audio CD
This, along with Soil Festivities, is a distinct break from his earlier works. This one opens with a gong, agitated rhythm, punctuated theme followed by a thunderous intense (synthetic?) wordless latin-like syllabalic chorus-like voices on top. I don't see any vocal attributions to a single person let alone a whole collection of voices, so I assume it is some pretty sophisticated synthesizer stuff. Nevertheless, it could be real humans not listed in the credits. In other movements, in addition to the chorus voices, there are lyrical passages in the alto/tenor range with similar wordless syllabalic nature that I also assume are synthesized.
Throughout the movements (6 of them) Vangelis explores themes and motifs ranging through lyrical, light, majestic, dark, brooding, abrupt, agitated and thunderous. The material is interesting, complex and rich. If you're looking for elevator/supermarket/reception/on-hold fluff, then this is not the place to find it.
Its tensions never get strident or dissonant. If you are familiar with orchestral works, then, by comparison, the intensities and tensions don't reach the levels found in Ralph Vaughan Williams' 4th or 6th symphonies, Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique or Gustav Holst's Planets. You won't need therapy and it won't wear you out.
If you listen to all the movements in one sitting, the last movement will give you some well placed light etherial majestic relief and closure to the set of movements.
I listened to this CD along with Soil Festivities while driving a motorhome up Red Mountain Pass in Western Colorado in 1985. On board were my family, mother-in-law and a guest British/Welsh family.
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By A Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album is so strange and can't be classified, really. It's too exotic to be classical music, much more elaborate to be simply stuffed under 'new age', it's a class of its own - haunting vocals, strange sound effects adding to Vangelis' superb use of synthethisers to create an orchestral sound... again, a unique listening experience. Together with 'Soil Festivities' as its purely instrumental counterpart, it's a must-have for every fan of good, multilayered atmospheric music.
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By A Customer on December 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album when I was 15, being a Vangelis fan as a teenager. This is an improvement over his album "Heaven and Hell" (1975), which has, I think, more a mixture of good & bad work on it. I personally think this album is even better than Mythodea. Unfortunately, it seems that Soil Festivities & mask are highly underrated.
Mask (1985) on the other hand, shows Vangelis at his peak. Only Soil Festivities (1984) beats this album. Like SF, Mask is divided up into six movements (the disc for SF says 5 movements - but the original LP I had listed 6, the disc combines 5 & 6 into one final movement - must've been a typo). Like Heaven & Hell and Mythodea, this disc has Vangelis performing with a chorus, singing this sort of Esperanto-syllabic "lyrics." Vangelis supplies his own electronic "orchestra."
Needless to say, Yanni it ain't! Six movements ranging from a terrifying hurricane to simple stately hymns, very "pagan" in nature. The music is very dramatic, and suggestive to me of maybe The Iliad or maybe Sophocles' tragedies.
If you want some great classic Vangelis, pick this one up - it is a real treat!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this at the first listen and know it will get better with each play. Bit disappointed as amazon has it listed as a 2012 release in their item description when its an old recording. Sound is still excellent but did think it was a new Vangelis album. My fault I guess for not reading the fine print. Lovely album none the less.
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