The Greek musician and composer Vangelis, creator of the soundtrack of several classics of the world cinemadied last Tuesday in Paris at the age of 79, although the event was only reported this Thursday in a statement from his lawyers’ office.
Although the text does not specify the reasons for death, reports such as the published by the Spanish newspaper The world indicate that the author of the soundtrack of the famous film chariots of firewhich earned him the Oscar award in 1981, died of complications from COVID-19.
LAST MINUTE: Vangelis, composer of such unforgettable soundtracks as that of ‘Chariots of Fire’, for which he won an Oscar in 1981, dies at the age of 79; ‘Blade Runner’; or ‘1492: The conquest of Paradise’. D.E.P pic.twitter.com/uOzkTJvk39
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Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou – his real name – had moved to Paris at the age of 25, as part of an exodus of young artists who left Greece after the 1967 coup. Before that, he had developed an early interest in music, absorbing the influence of Greek folk songs and Orthodox Christian choral music, but never had any formal musical training.
Remember the Spanish newspaper The country that at the end of the 60s he formed the progressive rock band Aphrodite’s Child, in which he was in charge of the keyboards, while Demis Roussos –who would later become world famous– played the bass and sang, and Lucas Sideras was in charge of the battery.
According to specialized critics, the group’s third and last album, 666, from 1972, is one of the most influential works of progressive and psychedelic rock. It is a concept album based on the book of Bible revelationswhose vinyl of the original version is also one of the most sought after in the collectors’ market, reports the medium.
In the early 1970s, and already focused on electronic music, Vangelis retired to a recording studio he created for himself in London, and wrote the theme of Cfire rice, the story of the triumph of a group of British runners in the 1924 Olympics. He would later confess that the score to the work that topped the charts for weeks was in part a tribute to his father, who had been an enthusiastic amateur runner.
The award-winning composer wrote the music for major motion pictures, including missingdirected by his compatriot Costa-Gavras, as well as the futuristic thriller by bladerunner –considered a cult science fiction film–, and 1492, the conquest of Paradise, both by the American Ridley Scott, and ice moonby Roman Polanski.
Beyond his iconic themes, Vangelis was a prolific composer, with an acclaimed career spanning more than five decades sustained with works ranging from advertising music to elaborate symphonic-style compositions.