The Fat, the Tall, the Short…and the Bearded?

Lovers of Greek music enjoy a great vocal or instrumental performance as much as anyone else, but they maintain a particular, almost unique respect for composers. Three modern Greek composers have found particularly international success, mainly due to their compositions for film: Manos Hadzidakis, who composed music for the film, “Never on Sunday,” Mikis Theodorakis, who composed music for the film, “Zorba the Greek,” and also for “Serpico,” and Stavros Xarhakos, who composed music for the film, “The Red Lanterns.” The three are commonly known as “the fat” (Hiadjidakis) “the tall” (Theodorakis) and “the short” (Xarhakos).

While he may not be notably fat, tall or short, composer Vangelis Papathanasiou (perhaps, “the bearded one?”), who left Greece for Paris in the late ’60s and formed the group Aphrodite’s Child with another Greek expatriate, Demis Roussos, is more famous abroad than any of the above three. Papathanasiou became so well-known for his theme to the movie “Chariots of Fire” that he is now simply recognized as “Vangelis.” In this video see Aphrodite’s Child perform “I Want to Live.” (Vangelis is the guy banging on the keyboard.)