Last month I spent a few weeks out with my sister, who is attending college, to get some much needed recharge time. In the afternoons after classes, she would work on her homework, and I would work on my current writing project. Though I have been listening to his music for years—I grew up listening to Yo-Yo Ma playing an arrangement of his music from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and I loved his Gabriel’s Oboe and On Earth As It Is In Heaven—I feel like those hours were when I truly discovered Ennio Morricone.
About the artist: Though less popular than composers like John Williams and Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone has had a career spanning over seventy years, writing some of the most covered and parodied melodies of the twentieth century. He was born in Italy to a musician father who taught him and encouraged his musical pursuits (Ennio composed his first piece at six). He enrolled in conservatory at age 12, and promptly completed a four year program in six months. He continued to do very well in music school, excelling in trumpet, conducting, and composing. Even before he finished school he was taking composing jobs, and following the popularity of his music for radio programs, he was asked to do film. He was soon well-loved by audiences and filmmakers alike, and he has had long-time collaborations with a lengthy list of directors. Though his film scores have won countless awards, he has never been drawn to Hollywood, preferring to live in his native Italy with his family.
Why I recommend him: Ennio Morricone is a diverse composer, writing everything from serious classical to jazz to sweeping epic scores. His themes are heartfelt and easy to discern, yet written intelligently so that you do not tire of them on repeated listenings.
What I use his music for:
-Listening through entire album
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone
Once Upon A Time In the West
On Earth As It Is In Heaven (The Mission)
Gabriel’s Oboe (The Mission)
Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)
Once Upon A Time In the West (Once Upon A Time In the West)
Moses and Marco Polo Suite: 21″ (Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone)
Ecstasy of Gold (The Essential Yo-Yo Ma)
And some other too good not to mention:
The Mission (The Mission)
Ava Maria Guarani (The Mission)
River (The Mission)
Cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso)
Moses and Marco Polo Suite: Theme (Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone)
Moses and Marco Polo Suite: Journey (Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone)
Giuseppe Tornatore Suite: Looking For You (Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone)
Have you heard any of Ennio Morricone’s scores? If so, which are your favorites?
P.S. A good friend of mine just announced some very exciting book news on her blog. I highly recommend you take a look.