1 – Heaven and Hell part 1 [17:00]
Including: So long ago, so clear [4:58]
2 – Heaven and Hell part 2 [21:16]
With ‘Heaven and Hell’, the first album to be produced at the Nemo studio in London, Vangelis really explodes onto the music scene, establishing his unique style. Being a very protean album, it contains just about everything: chorales, songs, instrumental passages, experiments and more.
If the title of the album is anything to go by, it starts off in hell with a primitive siren-like piece featuring hard-edged choral work and lasting about four minutes. After this a new theme gets introduced which goes through a dazzling set of variations, mainly on the piano, accompanied by either an all-male choir or heavenly female voices (premonitions of ‘Mask’ here) and constantly changing in tempo, lasting about nine minutes. The piano then introduces the famous Cosmos theme which slowly builds to massive proportions before achieving its maximum effect by changing in key. Surely we’re in heaven now where Jon Anderson awaits us for the first of many collaborations with Vangelis, the angelic ‘So Long Ago, So Clear’ which ends the first part.
The second part, although very different, does sort of follow the same route. At first an uneasy, almost sinister atmosphere is established after which some order is seemingly introduced through a fast-paced second piece. A choir of monks and angels then appears to take over with a beautiful melody but they are quickly brushed aside by a collection of highly irritating hellish voices. Fortunately the monks and angels return along with Vana Veroutis singing a stunning wordless melody. The sirens which started off the first part briefly return in different form before it all ends in complete tranquillity.
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