Click the link to read the obituary from The New York Times website (Richard Sandomir):
Vangelis, the Greek film composer and synthesizer virtuoso whose soaring music for “Chariots of Fire,” the 1981 movie about two British runners in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, won the Academy Award for best original score, died on Tuesday in Paris. He was 79…
A self-taught musician, Vangelis (pronounced vang-GHELL-iss), who was born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, recorded solo albums and wrote music for television and for films including “Blade Runner” (1982), “Missing” (1982) and “1492: Conquest of Paradise” (1992). But he remains best known for scoring “Chariots of Fire.”
The most familiar part of that score — modern electronic music composed for a period film — was heard during the opening credits: a blend of acoustic piano and synthesizer that provided lush, pulsating accompaniment to the sight of about two dozen young men running in slow motion on a nearly empty beach, mud splattering their white shirts and shorts, pain and exhilaration creasing their faces.
Vangelis’s music became as popular as the film itself, directed by Hugh Hudson, which won four Oscars, including best picture. The opening song, also called “Chariots of Fire,” was released as a single and spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including a week at No. 1. The soundtrack album remained on the Billboard 200 chart for 30 weeks and spent four weeks in the top spot. Vangelis said the score immediately came to him as he watched the film in partly edited form…
He was working at the time in his London studio with a Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer.
“It’s the most important synthesizer in my career and the best analog synthesizer design there has ever been,” he told Prog, an alternative music website, in 2016, adding, “It’s the only synthesizer I could describe as being a real instrument.”