Live at the Acropolis
|Live at the Acropolis|
|Live album and Concert film by Yanni|
|Released||March 1, 1994|
Soft adult contemporary
Live at the Acropolis is the first live album by Yanni. It was recorded live at the Herodes Atticus Theatre, Athens, Greece, on September 25, 1993, and released in 1994 (see 1994 in music and 1994 in film). The album peaked at number 1 on Billboard's "Top New Age Albums" chart and at number 5 on the "Billboard 200" chart in the same year. The film spent 229 weeks on Billboard's "Top Music Video" charts and "Top VHS sales" charts, and received an Emmy nomination in 1994 for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Drama Series, Variety Series, Miniseries or a Special".
In a three-year television deal with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the live television special was one of the top fund-raising subjects for PBS, raising $13 million, with more than 750,000 home videos and more than 7 million albums sold worldwide. It has been seen in 65 countries by half a billion people, and is the second-best-selling music video of all time (behind Michael Jackson's video for Thriller with 9 million units).
The composition "Acroyali/Standing in Motion" from this album was determined to have the "Mozart Effect" by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine because it was similar to Mozart's K 448 in tempo, structure, melodic and harmonic consonance and predictability.
The corresponding concert tour of the year was Yanni Live, The Symphony Concerts 1994.
This was Yanni's first live album and utilizes the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra under the supervision of conductor Shahrdad Rohani, in addition to his core band. Yanni said, "Ever since I left Greece more than two decades ago, it has been my dream to return and perform at the Acropolis. This project took more than a year and a half to plan and accomplish, and I would like to thank my band and crew, and the scores of people involved in helping my dream become a reality".
In a 2004 interview, drummer Charlie Adams was asked to point out which shows stood out in his mind in the last 25+ years of working with Yanni. Adams replied, "Obviously the most exciting one for me was Live at the Acropolis. Playing in front of over 10,000 people every night, right below the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The thing that made it so exciting was it was the first time for Yanni to be playing at home in front of his fellow Greek citizens it made you feel warm in the heart for him. Also, I was playing a drum solo in front of a majority of people who did not speak English yet responded to my drums, I really felt that the drums communicated with them, you know. Like drumming and music is in fact an international language. A great experience that will stay with me the rest of my life." 
Similarly, keyboardist Bradley Joseph recounts, "When I reflect back over the years, one of the high points that stand out include performing at the Acropolis with Yanni. Imagine all these different cultures coming together with the challenges of language, equipment, travel, and weather problems. I still picture the police running their dogs through the dressing rooms to sniff out any bomb possibilities right before the show. People still come up to me and comment how that show has affected their lives."
Reviewing for Allmusic, Jonathan Widran writes, "It's no surprise that Yanni is most identified with this amazingly powerful experience (also presented as one of PBS's most popular concerts ever), because it seems like the musical project he was most destined to make. After making millions stateside, he returns to the historic ancient Acropolis of his Greek homeland to share his sweeping music with his countrymen. One of the most impressive aspects of Yanni in this live setting is the way his beautiful piano passages blend with the occasional boom of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Shardad Rohani)."
"'Santorini' epitomizes the musical balance, opening with several minutes of percussive string fanfare, then allowing Yanni to be simply expressive on the acoustic piano as the orchestra tones down and provides a caress of accompaniment", states Widran
This composition "...begins with atmosphere and chime effects, then evolves into an adventurous orchestral and synth explosion more ambitious than anything Yanni has attempted on his studio recordings". (This composition was also determined to have the "Mozart Effect", by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine because it was similar to Mozart's K 448 in tempo, structure, melodic and harmonic consonance and predictability.)
At the 1993 Acropolis concert, Yanni dedicated "Nostalgia" to the people of his homeland Greece, where he had not lived since 1972.
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Widran goes on to say, "Whereas it's easy to complain that his studio recordings are over-reliant on synthesized strings, here it's the real deal. "Santorini" epitomizes the musical balance, opening with several minutes of percussive string fanfare, then allowing Yanni to be simply expressive on the acoustic piano as the orchestra tones down and provides a caress of accompaniment. "Until the Last Moment" flows along tenderly with the same effect. Even songs like "Keys to Imagination", which are played on synth, are taken to more emotional levels with the dramatic swells of the orchestra. The concert features its share of familiar tunes ("Swept Away", "Reflections of Passion"), but surprises in spots with more drawn out, thoughtful dishes of exotica like "Acroyali/Standing in Motion", which begins with atmosphere and chime effects, then evolves into an adventurous orchestral and synth explosion more ambitious than anything Yanni has attempted on his studio recordings. The sticker on the original disc release also informs listeners that it's recorded in 48-track digital sound. The same sticker calls it the event of a lifetime. It's an amazing concert, but more the core event of Yanni's life and career than anyone listening to this recording."
Conversely, rock critic Robert Christgau gave the soundtrack album a "D+" grade, indicating "an appalling piece of pimpwork or a thoroughly botched token of sincerity," and called the performance "Affluent spirituality cum cornball romanticism from a florid New Age keyboard maestro" with little to say.
- "Santorini" — 6:57
- "Keys to Imagination" — 7:35
- "Until the Last Moment" — 6:37
- "The Rain Must Fall" — 7:24
- "Acroyali/Standing in Motion (Medley)" — 8:51
- "One Man's Dream" — 3:36
- "Within Attraction" — 7:46
- "Nostalgia" — 5:46
- "Swept Away" — 9:22
- "Reflections of Passion" — 5:22
- (G=Gold, P=Platinum, M=Multi-Platinum)
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 05/05/94 PRIVATE MUSIC P ALBUM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 05/05/94 PRIVATE MUSIC G ALBUM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 09/28/94 PRIVATE MUSIC M (2) ALBUM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 03/28/95 PRIVATE MUSIC M (3) ALBUM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 04/23/98 PRIVATE MUSIC M (4) ALBUM SOLO Std
The film version of Live at the Acropolis, released in 1994, was broadcast throughout the U.S. on public television and was one of the top fundraising subjects for PBS. It was seen in 65 countries by half a billion people, and has almost continuously remained on the charts since its release. It is also the second best-selling music video of all time, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide.
The video production received an Emmy nomination in 1994 for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Drama Series, Variety Series, Miniseries or a Special". This accomplishment was credited to Dietrich Juengling, Lee Rose (lighting director/designer), Richard Ocean (lighting director/designer), and David 'Gurn' Kaniski (lighting director/designer).
Katie Tamms of Allmovie writes, "Before a sold-out crowd on September 24, 1993, new age musical artist Yanni, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, performed the first of three historic concerts at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Himself a native of Kalamata, Greece, Yanni had returned to perform in his homeland after more than 20 years in America. This video production, headed by award-winning director George Veras, includes a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the live video, as well as backstage interviews with Yanni and some of his musical entourage." The video was released on DVD in 1999 by Windham Hill Records.
- "Until the Last Moment"
- "Keys to Imagination"
- "The Rain Must Fall"
- "Within Attraction"
- "One Man's Dream"
- "Marching Season"
- "Acroyali/Standing in Motion (Medley)"
- "Reflections of Passion"
- "Swept Away"
- "The End of August"
- (G=Gold, P=Platinum, M=Multi-Platinum)
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 05/05/94 PRIVATE MUSIC P VIDEO LONGFORM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 05/05/94 PRIVATE MUSIC G VIDEO LONGFORM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 08/30/94 PRIVATE MUSIC M (2) VIDEO LONGFORM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 09/13/94 PRIVATE MUSIC M (3) VIDEO LONGFORM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 03/28/95 PRIVATE MUSIC M (5) VIDEO LONGFORM SOLO Std
- YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS 04/22/98 PRIVATE MUSIC M (6) VIDEO LONGFORM SOLO Std
- All music composed and produced by Yanni, except "Aria", which is based on The Flower Duet, from the Léo Delibes opera Lakmé, and popularized by various British Airways TV commercials
- Orchestra: The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra (London, England)
- Conductor: Shardad Rohani
- Yanni — Composer, Engineer, Mixing, Primary Artist (piano/keyboards), Producer
- Charlie Adams — drums
- Karen Briggs — violin
- Michael "Kalani" Bruno — percussion
- Ric Fierabracci — bass guitar
- Julie Homi — keyboards
- Bradley Joseph — keyboards
- Violin duet on "Within Attraction" — Karen Briggs and Shardad Rohani
- Vocalists for "Aria" — Darlene Koldenhoven and Lynn Davis
- Recorded by Andy Rose.
- Engineered and mixed by Yanni at his private studios.
- Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Los Angeles.
- Orchestrations by Shardad Rohani, Jeffrey Silverman and John Rinehimer.
- Transcriptions and arrangement preparation by Richard Boukas and Shahrdad Rohani.
- All music published by 23rd Street Publishing, Inc./YanniWorks, administered worldwide by 23rd Street Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP).
- Art direction and design by Norman Moore.
- Photography by Lynn Goldsmith.
- "Chart history for Live at the Acropolis". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- "Chart history for Live at the Acropolis music video". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- "Imdb Emmy Award listing". imdb.com. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
- "Windham Hill". Windham.com. Archived from the original on 2006-11-09. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
- "Veras Communications". .verastv.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
- "Yanni Career Highlights" (PDF). Yanni.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
- "Official biography". Yanni.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
- Yanni; Rensin, David (2002). Yanni in Words. Miramax Books. p. 67. ISBN 1-4013-5194-8.
- "The Mozart Effect". epilepsy.org. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
- Yanni Live at the Acropolis (CD liner). Yanni. Private Music. 1994.
- "2004 Interview with Charlie Adams". chipritter.com. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
- Bio from: Joseph, Bradley (2000). Solo Journey Intermediate Piano Book. Bradley Joseph Publishing.
- "Karen Briggs bio at NPR". npr.org. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
- Widran, Jonathan. "Review of Live at the Acropolis". Allmusic. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Gold and Platinum searchable database". RIAA.com. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
- "RIAA News Room May 1, 1998 Yanni's "Live At The Acropolis" album hit the four million mark while the video on Private Music was awarded multi-Platinum status at 600,000 units". RIAA.com. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- Tamms, Katie. "Review of Yanni Live at the Acropolis". Allmovie. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
- Yanni Live, The Symphony Concerts 1994 - Official concert program. 1994.
- Official Website
- Yanni Live at the Acropolis at AllMusic
- Yanni Live at the Acropolis at Allmovie
- Yanni Live at the Acropolis at the Internet Movie Database
- Yanni Live at the Acropolis at Discogs
- Yanni Live at the Acropolis at Last.fm