Yanni

Live: The Concert Event

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Recorded and filmed for DVD live at the Mandalay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas during Yanni's 2005 world tour, this 65-minute set delivers what you'd expect from a live Yanni album: an eclectic, cinematic fusion of world, new age, and mainstream contemporary pop styles. The 13 songs are, with one exception, drawn from releases dating back to the 1980s ("Keys to the Imagination" having been the title track of his 1986 album) all the way up to the most recent studio effort predating this recording, 2003's Ethnicity (from which three songs are presented). Indeed, a few of these same songs have shown up on previous Yanni concert albums. (The one piece that hadn't shown up on prior Yanni releases, "The Storm," is actually based Antonio Vivaldi's 18th century violin concerto "Summer.") It's well recorded -- on "125 channels of digital audio," according to the back cover -- with a two-dozen-strong cast of supporting musicians in the band and orchestra, plus a couple of vocalists adding the occasional atmospheric singing. The slick drama of both the material and the execution, in fact -- perhaps because of many listeners' associations of Yanni music with the Olympics -- makes you feel as though many of the pieces are introductory fanfares to some spectacular event. For Yanni fans, however, this sort of concert is the spectacular event.

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