RIP Ennio Morricone

Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by TTH, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Ennio Morricone is dead. Those of you who watch Clint Eastwood movies doubtless know him as the composer of the music to the early "Spaghetti Westerns" Clint played in under the direction of Sergio Leone. Morricone was a friend of Leone's, and Leone gave him his big chance in the movies and in music. Yet as Leone grew as a director, so Morricone grew as a composer and as a conductor. Morricone's early pieces, like the theme for 'The Good the Bad and the Ugly,' are vivid, exciting, and memorable. Yet there was always an element of romantic melancholy in Morricone's music, as there was in Leone's movies, and this grew from one film and one score to the next. It was very apparent in the theme to 'Once Upon a Time in the West,' where Morricone's music underscored the passing of a free, open West to a more modern and civilized West which had less room for the truly free people--good and bad--who had broken the trail for the railroads and the settlers who came after them.

    Morricone's music and Leone's interpretation of American history reached a climax in 'Once Upon a Time in America.' In form this was a gangster film, but it exemplified the classic American story of hope disappointed and yet never entirely lost. Morricone's score for this film was his greatest. 'Deborah's Theme' touched depths of nostalgia and loss which have scarcely ever been matched in musical form. I have studied American history and American gangsters all my life and when I listen to that piece I think of Allie Tannenbaum and Seymour Magoon and maybe even Frank Costello and Longy Zwillman in their more human moments. I picture these guys saying, "Yeah, I had it all. The money, the broads, the power. But was that what I really wanted? If it was, then why do I feel that something's still missing, that I never found what I was looking for?" It's the lament of every American who's ever reached the heights and felt empty, the lament of Tony Soprano and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's also the lament of every man who's every screwed up, who's ever lost a dream, who's ever lost a woman he cared about more than he cared about life itself. It makes me think of the first girl I ever loved, of how I could never fully express my love to her or be what she wanted me to be. It's the lament of every man like me--and, perhaps, like you, too.

    America is a hard country to understand and not many foreigners have ever succeeded in doing so. Yet Sergio Leone was one of the few who did, and so was his friend and collaborator Ennio Morricone. They saw the weaknesses and failures of America, and yet they loved America and saw the greatness in it too.

    Here, then, are three of Morricone's greatest pieces. 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' and 'Once Upon a Time in the West' are performed by the Danish National Symphony, with the brilliant soprano Tuva Semmingsen. 'Once Upon a Time in America' is directed by the maestro, Ennio himself.

    Requiescat in pace, Ennio.
    von Poop, Chris C, 4jonboy and 4 others like this.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    He was mentioned on the news alot over here yesterday.

    I don't know if this made it to the other side of the pond.
    This was his biggest chart hit , it got to Number 2 in 1981.

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  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I always liked the music from the film The Mission:

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  4. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    The Ecstasy of Gold. Went to see him in concert in Rotterdam a couple of years ago and they played this twice. I still need to visit Sad Hill Cemetery in Spain where the famous 3-way gunfight took place. There are two kinds of people in this world my friend - those who think Morricone was a genius and the rest whose opinions are irrelevant.

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    The soundtrack to The Mission was gorgeous and haunting. I think it was my first introduction to his music. I also very much enjoyed the soundtrack he did to The Untouchables. (And yes I love his spaghetti western work)

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  6. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Always suspect that that inspired this:

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  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    No compilation tape was complete without a bit of Morricone.

    Him & Sergio Leone at school, c.1937:
  8. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Sergio was the fat kid even then.
  9. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    For all good people from across the Atlantic that take the time and trouble to post on WW2 talk (you folks know who you are).

    From a good few years back now, filmed not long before I retired. My three younger oppos had all started to leave me in their wake by then in nigh on everything we did, but they did look out for the old fella (he had the keys).

    It was a cold day travelling back through France, and our route gave us a chance to pay our respects here, and was not to be missed.

    Apologies in advance for the film quality, as like me it has not improved with the passage of time. But there were at least two iconic pieces of music (and for me the only two pieces of music) that were right to accompany it during my post retirement flirtation with the tube thing.

    Always remember, never forget,


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