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Composer Essentials: Ennio Morricone

 
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:44 pm   Post subject: Composer Essentials: Ennio Morricone Reply with quote


I was inspired by a thread here. Someone asked what Eliot Goldenthal scores people would recommend. For the people who care about things like composers (as opposed to people who care more about movies), it might be interesting to see if we can come up with top 3 lists for various established composers.

In the thread linked above, those who responded tended to come up with batches of 3. Three is a magic number, so why not. Certainly we aren't limited to three. But the question is, what scores best represent the artist's work?

I'm starting with Morricone because it's an easy one. (Or is it? At least everyone's heard of him.) I encourage threads about other composers, unless of course this just turns into what the fan club threads have already hashed out. In that case, never mind.

I know nothing about Morricone. if I wanted to add him to my library, what would you recommend?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:02 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I think this is a good idea, LadyInque. I'm afraid I can't give you three Morricone scores because I only know one. The fact of the matter is that The Untouchables is a fantastic score and one that I would highly recommend.

Last edited by mellowman on Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:22 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


LadyInque wrote:

I'm starting with Morricone because it's an easy one. (Or is it? At least everyone's heard of him.) I know nothing about Morricone. if I wanted to add him to my library, what would you recommend?


Definitely not easy, and far from everyone (outside the SST world) has heard of him. Laughing IMO Morricone is exceptionally good at making diverse music, which is a good thing in the movie scoring context. Remember, he's hired to make music fitting for a movie or TV series, not for someone listening to a random CD in the car or whatever. The result of this is that some of his works (at least 1-2 tracks on most releases) are at times unbearable to listen to - even for me. I mean, who puts coyote howling in the main titles (Good, Bad, Ugly)? Who uses farting and burping sounds (March Of The Beggars, Fistful of Dynamite)? How about that crazy harmonica sound from Once Upon A Time In The West? Well, Morricone does, and it works really well with what you see on the screen when watching one of the movies. Luckily I also enjoy many of the movies he's scored for. This kind of music gives a whole new meaning to me after watching some of these movies for the first (or 40th) time. I'm sure many of you feel the same way about other composers and movies too, though (from a somewhat subjective point of view) I'd say Morricone is one of the more extreme cases. Now, I'm not saying Morricone hasn't made music that's just plain simply beautiful, there's lots of that too of course. I just feel I had to explain this, and to underline I'll make two lists:

The list of brilliant Morricone scores if you are into the movies rated on the Sensei scale:
1. The Good The Bad And The Ugly (Yea, that came as a bomb)
2. Once Upon A Time In America
3. Cinema Paradiso
(This list has about 592 additional entries that I'd like to include Rolling Eyes Laughing)

The list of listener-friendly music that's highly regarded:
1. The Mission
2. Once Upon A Time In America
3. Cinema Paradiso

The lists are quite similar but if there were a few more entries on both you'd start to see a difference.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:48 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I guess there's the 3 scores I would recommend to others and lots of personal favorites.

Highly Recommended:

1) The Mission
2) The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
3) Once Upon a Time in America

Other CDs I enjoy:

Once Upon a Time in the West
Mission to Mars
Cinema Paradiso
Nostromo
Metti Una Sera a Cena
Malena
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:31 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Sensei wrote:
far from everyone (outside the SST world) has heard of him. Laughing IMO Morricone is exceptionally good at making diverse music, which is a good thing in the movie scoring context.

What an outstanding write-up, Sensei. Thank you. So many excellent points about Morricone and film music in general.

zirael wrote:

Once Upon a Time in the West
Mission to Mars
Cinema Paradiso
Nostromo
Metti Una Sera a Cena
Malena


Mmm hm - I agree.

So hard to narrow it down to just three - but if that's all I could have on a desert island, I would choose:

Once Upon A Time In America
Malena
Legend of 1900 (and please watch this movie if you haven't already)
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:14 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Wow! Only three scores to choose!
It's already hard for me to choose the 10 best Wink

So, I would say:
1) My name is nobody (My first soundtrack)
2) The mission
3) The untouchables
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:08 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


LadyInque, I bet you've heard some of the Morricone compilations - the first 3 are on SST. These might be good intros if you don't want to buy individual albums.

Ennio Morricone Film Music Vol. 1
Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone
Focus (this is an album of vocal tracks sung by Dulce Pontes)
Arena Concerto
50 Movie Theme Hits
Itinerary of a Genius
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:02 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Some excellent suggestions in this thread! If you're looking for the individual albums then my picks are-

1) The Mission
2) Once Upon A Time In The West
3) Malena / Cinema Paradiso

These are very accessible both in terms of availability and also easily likable.

However since Morricone is represented prolifically on compilations (every month there's a new Morricone release) it might be better to go with the following and then exploring more by getting the individual scores of the ones you like.

The most incredible deals are for-
Film Music Vol 1
Film Music Vol 2
The Legendary Italian Western Vol 2

The first two (zir already mentioned it) are on SST. The 3rd one is a cool Morricone western compilation (excluding Good, Bad & Ugly)

In recent times another compilation has become more ideal-
Morricone: Gold Edition (Vol 1) [this is also titled as 50 Movie Theme Hits] (3 cd set)
Morricone: Gold Edition (Vol 2) (3 cd set)

These last two are also combined into 1 album called Morricone: Super Gold Edition (6 cd set)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:42 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Looks like I'm joining this thread quite late (thanks to Masked_Platypus for pointing it out to me).

Sensei did a marvelous job of explaining the difficulty of narrowing down Morricone's music. It certainly is easier to do this by separating them into various genres, as Sensei and TwoPop have done. Seriously, you could divide his music into Romantic, Thriller, Action, Westerns, Drama, Religiously-themed, tonal, atonal, classically-based, historical films, giallo, etc... I guess this is the result when you've written close to 500 or more scores.

I like Two's idea of choosing which scores you'd want on a deserted island, which would be for me:
1) The Mission
2) Sorstalanság
3) Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone (sublime!)

But while, I was there on that deserted island, in addition to worrying about how much longer my i-Pod battery is going to last and how about how to get off the island, I would be wishing I had more Morricone scores to listen to, and those would be:

1) Good, Bad, Ugly
2) Malena
3) Cinema Paradiso
4) Padre Pio
5) Once Upon A Time in the West
6) Legend of 1900
7) Secret of the Sahara
Cool Nostromo
9) Mission to Mars
10) Ninfa Plebea

And on and on...

And by making this list, I've just left off 10 more of my favorite Morricone scores, that I could easily have chosen on a different day, depending on my mood. He simply is the greatest film composer ever.
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