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Yes - Symphonic Live (DVD & CD)
Yes - Symphonic Live
Actors: Yes, Jon Anderson
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2003     2hr 37min

Yes never needed a symphony to prove their sonic prowess. Even without keyboardist Rick Wakeman (replaced here by the skillful Tom Brislin), the veteran members (vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan Wh...  more »


Movie Details

Actors: Yes, Jon Anderson
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Yes, DTS
Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Live
DVD Release Date: 11/25/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 37min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Collector's Edition
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Yes _ A New Level In Perfection!
Peter H. Kistemaker | Helmond, Noord Brabant Netherlands | 05/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"On November 21st and 22nd 2001 Yes visited the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam and gave 2 concerts ... the 2nd one ... was filmed and is now available on video and DVD. ... the DVD version [has] a beautiful mix of band and orchestra ... The DTS sound gives it all an extra dimension .The concert starts with an overture by the orchestra, that is not visible at that moment. The background is a Roger Dean-like landscape. After the intro the band starts with the epic Close to the Edge and, immediately, you sense the asset the orchestra is for this song. It brought tears in my eyes from emotion to see young orchestra members with such dedication to music that was written before they were even born. Also on screen there appear icons for animation in the background and there are multiple camera-angles in this song possible.Next is Long Distance Runaround from the Fragile album with a beautiful orchestra opening that is really an asset to the song.From the new album Magnification they played Don't go first. I think it's not their most powerful track of the album and it surprised me the song did it live very well.In the Presence Off, also from their latest album, are, together with Dreamtime, my favourites. In arrangement and length it's a 2001 Yes semi-epic. Then, oh my God, finally, after all these years, Gates of Delirium is been introduced. Together with C.T.T.E this is the mother of all Yes epics. Tom Brislin really showed his craftsmanship in the "war" part of the song. This is a perfect song to play with an orchestra and you can hear that they do a perfect job in the changeover from the "war" part to the "peace" part of the song .Soon oh Soon let's the song end in a sea of tranquillity. Multi-camera angles and animations of war are also visible during this song.After this epic we are attended by maestro Steve Howe and he entertains us with his guitar virtuoso by playing two songs of his solo albums.Another golden oldie is Starship Trooper from the Yesalbum. During this song the orchestra has leave of absence and immediately you get an "unplugged" feeling when they are not there. The harmonies are perfect in this song and the only drawback is the shifting from the 1st layer to the second layer on the DVD and the lack of the Wakeman solo on his moog during the end of the song because Brislin played it a little thin in my opinion.Anderson states that the day before they played the next song for the first time live and he introduces the title track of their last album; Magnification. One of the highlights of their album and played perfectly on stage. It's back to 1972 with And You And I. Played live a zillion times but never lost it's charisma. In the multi-camera angle you can see animation with 2 robots.If you haven't seen this, you ain't seen nothing yet ; Ritual, from the "Tales" album is one of the four tracks of this double album and one of two, for me, accessible tracks. The drum part in the middle with Anderson, Squire, Brislin and White makes it an attraction of the first order. What an energy pours out of that song! From the time of it's first release on the Yesalbum "I,ve Seen All Good People"has always been a great rock song that survived decades of rock history. So get up and boogie: as Anderson says in the intro to the audience. ... with all the cameras rolling, Steve had to make concessions and "Owner" was played before the last song from this evening; Roundabout from the Fragile album. During this song the stage is filled with all the members of the orchestra waving and dancing on the music and expressing their joy of being part of performing in timeless music by a timeless band.Yes, what a wonderful, magical evening it was. Every bit of it captured on a perfect DVD."
At last, Yes on film hits the heights...
Simon Barrow | Exeter, United Kingdom | 06/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This excellent production will rapidly become the Mecca of Yes on film. After nearly 34 years and counting the band had still not released an adequate visual representation of their powerful live concerts. `House Of Yes' (from the House of Blues on `The Ladder' tour) came nearest, but the 1970s attempts (`Yessongs' and `Live In Philadelphia') are sub par, and the 1996 `Keys To Ascension' video was ruined by post-production and appalling graphics. Now, finally, they've pulled it off. Two and a half hours of sublime music, intelligent filming, good direction, sensible production and great sound.The occasion, as most reading this will know, is the 2001 Yes Symphonic Tour - in this case a concert in Amsterdam. The fact that the shoot took place in Europe adds to the enjoyment, as audiences in this part of the hemisphere tend actually to listen to music rather than to yell and scream while it is happening. This removes most irritating aural distractions from the listener's perspective, and avoids elimination problems at the production end.The idea of Yes appearing with an orchestra was greeted with understandable scepticism in some quarters. The possibilities of overkill, mismatch or descent into musak were enough to make anyone who cares about their music nervous. Fortunately, composer Larry Groupe handles arrangements of classic material with taste and restraint, and the young European Festival Orchestra under Wilhelm Kietel was well settled in by the time this was filmed. Indeed they seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. It is good to be able to hear what they add. This was not always possible as a member of the audience.The highlights of the concert are undoubtedly superb versions of three 20-minute Yes epics: `Close To The Edge', `Gates of Delirium' (from `Relayer') and `Ritual' (from `Tales From Topographic Oceans'). The playing and the mix are top notch here. What's more, director Aubrey Powell understands the need to ensure that visual and musical events are in synch. Obvious maybe, but not evident on past Yes video outings. Those who dismiss Yes as sound and fury signifying little might not be entirely assuaged by these performances, but is difficult for some of us not to be moved by the grandeur, ambition and architecture of their sound - even if we may have moved beyond the moment in time that was progressive rock in other ways. `And You And I', `Long Distance Runaround' (with a rather incongruous cinematic orchestral prelude) and `Starship Trooper' also come off well, even if they emphasise the fact that bassist Chris Squire's dress sense is as laughably misguided as ever. Steve Howe provides a good acoustic guitar interlude with the Spanish strains of `Mood For A Day' and his arrangement of the second movement of Vivaldi's Lute Concerto in D major. The latter makes me slightly anxious, as it doesn't really do justice to the original. But it has a few interesting harmonic quirks to enliven interest. The new material (from the `Magnification', album, 2001) is mixed in its live realisation. The longish `In The Presence Of' works well, especially the driving coda. Only the cloying opening theme lets it down. `Don't Go' is a frivolous add-on, frankly. The title track sounds pretty good here, but it lost its accents and embellishments in the actual concerts. The ability to mix the orchestra better on this DVD/video production helps enormously.At the end, Yes throw in a surprise `Owner Of A Lonely Heart' (without orchestra) as well as the ubiquitous `All Good People' and `Roundabout', on which the orchestra re-appear to jive engagingly in the background. Steve Howe is clearly none-too-keen on his role in the Trevor Rabin-era material, and who can blame him? For the most part he strums, allowing keyboards sideman Tom Brislin - who plays wonderfully throughout - to adapt the mid-song solo through some judicious synth pitch bending. Howe returns at the end to add something much more guitaritic, but in his own style.This DVD features the entire concert, Jon Anderson's amusingly off-kilter between-song patter included. There are visual augmentations available, but thankfully you can switch these distractions off, put your feet up and focus on the playing of all concerned. And with a set list like this, who wouldn't want to?One final, pedantic point. Though the word symphonic is used carelessly as a synonym for everything involving a larger-than-chamber orchestra these days, this is in fact `Yes orchestral'. There have been laboured attempts to find sonata form in their longer works. But everyone knows that they were not written with that intent, and the symphonic moniker misses the point. Yes at their best (on the three classic albums from which over an hour of this superb film is taken) are powerful and inventive in their own right. They do not need misplaced attributions from other genres to make the credible. Yes may look aged, but their sound has continuing vitality. Check it out."
Well worth the money
Richard A. Siler | Chamblee, GA United States | 01/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yeah, its kind of late to be entering a new review, especially since I bought this DVD the day it was released. But hey, I got inspired. This DVD isn't perfect, for all the reasons that others have noted (Steve's lack of stage presence, his weak electric guitar tone, less-than-perfect sound mix), but as a visual and aural record of an amazing tour, and as a statement of what Yes has accomplished during its career, this is absolutely perfect.And that's what one wants out of truly artistic music, right? When the sum somehow magically transcends the individual parts? Yes has managed to make a career out of true transcendance. Or, "Ascension" rather.Other reviewers have mentioned other highlights ("Starship Trooper", "Gates of Delirium", "Close to the Edge", etc.), but I wanted to point out two others. The first is "In the Presence Of." When I saw the band on this tour in Atlanta, I didn't particularly care for this song at all, except for the fourth section (the "sacred ground" part). When the album came out, I liked this song even less. But for some reason I kept listening to it. Eventually, I got used to it and started liking it quite a bit. But when I first heard (and saw) the version on this DVD, I was blown away. This song truly does transcend. There are parts where the orchestra and Steve's guitar reach this peak where you feel like you're soaring. This song now never fails to sweep me up when I hear it, whether it be the version here or on the album (MAGNIFICATION). My other highlight is "Ritual". This of course originally came from TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS, and is sort of the culmination of that album. It's an astounding piece of music, compositionally speaking. Originally 21 minutes, their live arrangement has always been closer to 30. The most inspired and exciting moment of any Yes concert is when the band breaks out into the percussion feature, and the orchestra comes in with that chord that just keeps building and building as the band is wailing away on various drums...and then it all comes to this great crashing climax where everything stops while Steve comes in on guitar with this single note...that constrast between the thunderous excitement and then that almost bittersweet loneliness of Steve's guitar is a crushing moment, and literally brought tears to my eyes on the "Masterworks" tour. And that's another thing that one wants from truly artistic music: something that has the power to move the listener emotionally, make one's spirit leave the physical world for a little while and soar to another plane...*That's* that reason to buy this DVD.Alan"
All I Can Say Is WOW !
Richard A. Siler | 08/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Okay, I'm not going to go over all of the excellent points made in all the previous reviews I've read of this absolutely INCREDIBLE piece of art. But I will note a few minor differences of opinion, and give my overall impression.First the latter ... when I first saw that YES was touring with an orchestra, I immeadiately dis-missed it. I had bought "Symphonic Music of Yes" a few months back & while it was nice, I wasn't terribly impressed. So I took a pass when a friend asked me to see the show, which caused him to not go as well. Flash ahead a few months & the DVD's release. I picked it up, hoping for an improvement over the "House Of Yes" which I also own. And from the first strains of "Close To The Edge" it is clear I was getting all that and more. It is, without a doubt, the best Concert DVD I have yet seen - both visually & musically. The picture s so clear, you'll swear you're there on stage. And the sound is so much an improvement over their previous DVD releases, it's like comparing a CD to a gramaphone. It is THAT startling. Add to that, the incredible set list, and the orchestra, and this is THE DVD to see for YES fans, both casual & hardcore.Now then, where I tend to disagree with the other reviwewers here. First - Tom Brislin. I'll be the first to admit that I am a HUGE Wakeman fan, and I might be overly rough on other keyoard players because of that, but he HACKED the solos on "Close to the Edge." And seeing as that was the FIRST SONG of the show, I was soured on him from that point on. Luckily, the orchestra filled in enough throughout that it was mostly a non-issue. And I'll admit, he did a better job than Igor did on "House of Yes,"
but that's it. Second - I LIKED the new material, especially "Don't Go." Is it as good as their early stuff ? No. But that doesn't make it BAD.One final note, and a somewhat politically in-correct one. I have never before seen an Orchestra with THAT MANY attractive women ! I certainly don't remember ANY of the girls in my High Scool Symphony looking like that."