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Grazie Ennio Morricone !

March 2, 2013

Ennio Morricone was born on 10th November in 1928 in Rome.  Student of Goffredo Petrassi and certified at the National Academy of Sainte-Cecile in Rome.  He got his diploma of trumpet in 1946. At the academy he met also Bruno Nicolai and Sergio Leone who would  be his closest friends and colleagues all along his career. Then, he obtained his diploma in composition, instrumentation and  in  orchestra conducting in 1954.  He began in the experimental classical music in 1953. The same year, he composed his first professional arrangement for a radio show. He wrote his first master piece in 1957, but the benefits were too weak for him to live off of it. Without leaving classical music he began to write some more modern and popular themes for televisions and songs. After 1960 he began to be famous and some artists called him including some directors of movies. Thus, he started in the area of  film music, officially in 1961 with Il federale by Luciano Salce.

This is above all for that reason that Ennio Morricone is famous nowadays. Author of music for Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini or Marco Bellocchio this is really with Sergio Leone and the sheet music of A Fistful of Dollars that he got an international reputation. Reiterating with success his collaboration with Leone, for classics like The Good, the bad and the ugly , Once Upon a time in the west, Morricone also kept on working in more and more various areas.

 ennio morricone 1

Ennio Morricone with Sergio Leone

During the 1960s, 70s and 80s, his style was full of liveliness and lyricism, but it was also imitated, and it inspired the universe. His master pieces often met with great success, like the Chi Mai in The Professional with Jean-Paul Belmondo. He also composed the original soundtrack of hits such as Once Upon a time in America or Mission, for which he was nominated to the Oscars. Unclassified and untiring musician, he was rewarded several times during his career : BAFTA in 1987, some Nastri D’argento , five nominations at the Oscars, three Golden Globes, one Grammy Award and one Lion d’or at the Venice festival. The Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi  gave him the Medaglia di prima Classe di Benemerito dell’Arte e della Cultura in 2000 and Nicolas Sarkozy our French president made him a Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur in 2009.

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During the 79th ceremony of the Oscars in 2007, he was rewarded by an Oscar of honor for all his career

 He made the music of two splendid movies : the first one ( and the best from my point of view ) is Mission in 1986. Synopsis  from AlloCine :  At the beginning of the 20th century, brother Gabriel (Jesuit) makes a mission on the Indians Guaranis’ territories. At the same time and in the same place cracks down Mendoza,  an explorer mercenary. These two men will meet to fight against the Spanish and Portuguese domination. The final and principal theme is amazing. This is what we remember after seeing the movie;  there is so much emotion and Morricone passes from the slow and soft theme to an energetic one in just 2 seconds, this is fantastic. I don’t think this is possible to disagree with me, everybody loves this theme,  because this is not a specific genre, this is something nobody has done before.


The second one is Cinema Paradiso. Synopsis from AlloCine : Alfredo just died. For Salvatore, a famous movie director, a great part of his life is destroyed. At that time, he was called Toto. He shared his free time between his occupation of altar boy and the parish cinema, particularly the projection booth where Alfredo prevailed.  This is his sadness that is really shown here. But it seems more powerful because it is more instrumental. Unlike the other movie, the same emotion and the same tone prevail throughout the theme, with the growing feelings shared by the two friends.

 cinema paradiso

Thus, I don’t push you to watch the movies but at least, please, go and listen to these beautiful themes ( they should last 2 or 3 minutes). Thanks for reading and enjoy the Music !


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