Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vangelis: Chariots of Fire


Here is a clip of Vangelis viewing the opening scene of Chariots of Fire, an award-winning film from 1981, and playing the musical score, which would become internationally well-known. Vangelis would win an Oscar for Best Music, Original Score. Vangelis was born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassio on March 29, 1943, near Volos, Greece. He is considered among the greatest composers of electronic music.

The fim revolves areound the rivalry between two gifted runners, both from Great Britain: a devout Christian (Eric Liddell) and a determined Jew (Harold Abrahams) at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. Both won gold medals: Abrahams in the 100 metres; and Liddell in the 400 metres.

The musical score, heavy with the use of synthesizers, heightens the tension of the international contest. Its use was considered untypical at the time, breaking away from the established tradition of classical musical scores. Even so, it seems to work for this film.