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 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 11:31 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

I thought I would move this to its own thread because he meant so much to me and despite the fact he had a long productive life and there is much to celebrate, I still miss him deeply. I look forward to THE CANTERVILLE GHOST which I believe he completed before he left us.

My personal tribute to Ennio Morricone

It is hard to describe to anyone, particularly my fellow Americans, all that Ennio Morricone was. He was so intense, cerebral, enigmatic and yet so passionate. Even though his IMDB 520 listings are a bit exaggerated because of inaccuracies on there, if you consider ALL his compositions for concert hall, recordings, radio, etc.it would total WAY over that number. If Ennio had any other passion for anything besides music, like Stanley Kubrick, it was chess. He even considered doing that professionally at one point. And with that mathematical mind, that could have made him a chess master, he brought those infinite possibilities to his music.
He started composing when he was a child. He followed his father’s profession, learning to play trumpet but then entered the conservatory at 12 years old. There, any music not seriously classical was looked down upon, so he kept his gigs (playing and arranging for big bands) a secret. He got through the conservatory in record time, being the genius that he was, and yet always treasured his time there with a number of mentors like Goffredo Petrassi. His arranging, and some composing, for bands led him to recording contracts and arranging for over a hundred Italian Pop Stars including some recognizable here in the USA like Paul Anka, Mario Lanza, Helen Merrill and Chet Baker.
When he finally started composing for film he hooked up with conductor Bruno Nicolai (who was also a composer) and began a number of years of composing 20+ scores a year with Bruno conducting. Morricone, along with Bernard Herrmann, was for a long time militantly extolling the idea you are not a composer if you didn’t do your own orchestrations. This means writing out the parts for every instrument in the orchestra which he did all his life. He also believed writing with an instrument, like a piano or guitar, influences your writing so he did his composing at a table with just paper and pencil.

In my almost 50 years of collecting him, way more than 1000 LPs and CDs, the ONLY criticism I ever heard was about his atonal music (which I could relate to because when I was young whenever I bought a score from him that was atonal I was disappointed). But I soon found out no two atonal scores by him were alike. They all had different colors or even tone and the score may even include a number of melodic pieces. THE THING, ECCE HOMO, RAMPAGE, LAST STOP ON THE NIGHT TRAIN and THE WORKING CLASS GOES TO HEAVEN have little to do with each other but you can hear they are relating different moods despite being atonal in nature. So Ennio kept in mind from the vast array of films he scored there were a limitless number of ways he could approach them and he would cut himself off from none of them.Since Ennio meant so much to me I thought I would move my tribute to my own thread. Just because this has been a heavy time for me and despite the fact he lived a long productive life and there is much to celebrate, I will miss him deeply anyway. Look forward to THE CANTERVILLE GHOST which I believe he finished before leaving us.

You can appreciate Morricone from any musical way imaginable:symphonic, jazz, lyrical, rock, chamber, pop, you name it. He has that wide of range and the depth to make them all meaningful. In fact I am always amazed that those who only like his “melodic” music haven’t a third of that category. That is due to 2 reasons. The first justifiably is finding some scores is cost prohibitive. This goes for over $250 on Ebay:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci4SUY2Ugsw

But the other reason is that they are Italian scores and there is where all should open their ears. Here are a few that could be easily be obtained:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSYPSIcnMyo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1yf6RCi9g8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLqpobnOiKU

As to accolades Morricone’s 5 Oscar nominations and one win is superseded by being one of only 3 composers to get a lifetime achievement Oscar. On top of that an unprecedented 13 minute tribute on the Oscar show itself was historic:
https://vimeo.com/42194439

Add to that 9 golden Globe nominations winning 3 of them, 6 Baftas (British Oscar)winning ALL of them and 15 Donatello nominations (Italian Oscars) with 10 wins. And the only film composer to be invited to play at the United Nations AND the Vatican.

Morricone taught me more about all types of music than any other composer. My love and dedication to getting Morricone heard extends to 3 concerts I’ve put together which consisted of 20-30 pieces, most from obscure films. Performers have included cellist Circe Diaz Gamero (who played for Morricone) and flautist Sara Andon and producer Bruce Kimmel (who did Ennio Morricone CDs of their own).

I often relate that great composers don’t just have careers, they make their lives into musical journeys. For Ennio Morricone he made his into an odyssey.



Also I want to include this tribute video from Rob Word from "A Word On Westerns" where he captured a chunk of my very first intimate Morricone concert in 2015 in my backyard.

https://youtu.be/VD--M0Ix4nA

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 12:51 PM   
 By:   Roy Donga   (Member)

That was brilliant - Thank you!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I often relate that great composers don’t just have careers, they make their lives into musical journeys.

Thanks for a wonderful write up. Also, it looks like he also took you on a magnificent musical journey.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 2:25 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Great tribute Henry. Loved the Rob Word upload to YouTube too, from right there in your backyard (mostly). Surprised to hear Quentin Tarantino pronounce "Ennio" as I've never heard it pronounced before.

I have no words to add to what you have said in your post, and what others have expressed elsewhere. Beautiful.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 2:28 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I read your post over in the R.I.P. thread too, but forgot to give you my compliments there. Very well put, Henry!

And that picture of yours will always be an incredible source of envy for me.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 2:47 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Excellent words and a fabulous video. Nice one, Henry.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

mmmmm always love pictures like that, intimate setting and all

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 6:07 PM   
 By:   Laurent78   (Member)

"You can appreciate Morricone from any musical way imaginable:symphonic, jazz, lyrical, rock, chamber, pop, you name it. He has that wide of range and the depth to make them all meaningful...
Morricone taught me more about all types of music than any other composer."

Henry, I feel exactly the same as expressed in your pertinent sentences above. Especially when it comes to contemporary music, he opened my ears to this universe and made me much more curious than I was when I started to listen to his music. Therefore, after so many years of passion for his production, I hold his most difficult scores as well as his concert music as an integral part of his musical palette. I could summarize it that way: I was initially listening to compilation albums of his gathering only superb melodies and went on appreciating more abstract scores like RAMPAGE, STATE OF GRACE, etc.

 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2020 - 8:27 PM   
 By:   CK   (Member)

Morricone for President. Ennio or Henry, doesn't matter. Ta mucho for this lovely tribute! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 8:43 AM   
 By:   Milan NS   (Member)

Double post.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 8:43 AM   
 By:   Milan NS   (Member)

Ennio & Henry.

 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 8:59 AM   
 By:   edwzoomom   (Member)



Beautiful, heartfelt and very personal tribute. You shared that musical odyssey with him. Thank you for this.

 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   orbital   (Member)

Thanks, Henry. A fine tribute. Which reminds me of the great series you did years ago that serves as a fantastic entry point for anyone who likes to discover the Italian Maestro.

I'm not sure how many there were in the end but here are the links to #1 and one of the later ones, #61, where you also have compiled the complete list up to that point:

#1: INDAGINE SU UN CITTADINO AL DI SOPRA DI OGNI SOSPETTO (1969)
https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74811&forumID=1&archive=0

#61: O.K. CONNERY aka OPERATION KID BROTHER (1967)
https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=114202&forumID=1&archive=0

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   SilverSoundz   (Member)

Thank you Henry for your wonderful tribute. Also, would like to take this opportunity to thank you for doing so much to promote the music of the Maestro here on the discussion board. Your amazing knowledge of EM's output, together with your ability to convey your love of the great man's music, is well documented here on the board(Thanks Orbital for the link) , in your wonderful series of Morricone posts. I personally learned so much from this, as I am sure many others did too, and for this, I would truly like to thank you!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 9:44 AM   
 By:   Leo Nicols   (Member)

Henry, a very fitting tribute to quite possibly the Greatest film composer of them all !

Thank you for that.

Leo.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Lovely. Very sweet, and fitting.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2020 - 9:12 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Thanks, Henry. A fine tribute. Which reminds me of the great series you did years ago that serves as a fantastic entry point for anyone who likes to discover the Italian Maestro.

I'm not sure how many there were in the end but here are the links to #1 and one of the later ones, #61, where you also have compiled the complete list up to that point:

#1: INDAGINE SU UN CITTADINO AL DI SOPRA DI OGNI SOSPETTO (1969)
https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74811&forumID=1&archive=0

#61: O.K. CONNERY aka OPERATION KID BROTHER (1967)
https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=114202&forumID=1&archive=0


Thanks for reminding me, that series began when I did the first of three Morricone concerts in my back yard. Had a ton of enthusiasm then and you can see excerpts from that first backyard one in Rob Word's video above at the bottom of my tribute. Lots of work on that that is now dwarfed by the spectacular Goldsmith Odyssey on Jerry. Possibly I should pick mine up to be competitive.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2020 - 7:37 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Henry, I think I'm another convert. I've been listening to my EM western soundtracks since the 70s, and have rarely ventured any further. As you suggest one reason is the sheer volume of material. And there are more than enough westerns to keep many an enthusiast going.

I have come across your posts before and enjoyed them, though perhaps sometimes passed on them if they weren't westerns. Now I can see plenty of reading material ahead of me as I journey through your excellent essays. And I'll learn of many more Morricone wonders in the process. So thanks.

My feelings about his music that I do know very well so far, and that includes The Mercenary with my experience mirroring your own when I first heard it (which in the film was when I was still at secondary school and I couldn't stop whistling the theme all the next day), is that no matter how violent the scenes could be, there was so much humanity in the music. This is the reason the gunfights get to me so much. While the onscreen stuff is full of 'machismo' coolness, the music seems to reflect on what's really happening. The best of the characters might be best described as anti-heroes, but the music carries so much more emotion than most US westerns before the 'Italian invasion' than any amount of dialogue spoken by square jawed heroes.

And humanity is there in spades in those strings, the woodwinds and of course Edda Dell'Orso's incredible wordless vocals.

But I have to say that 'wild woman' Christy is also pretty cool... once you get used her! Fortunately I've been used to her for at least forty years now.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 11, 2020 - 9:46 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Henry, I think I'm another convert. I've been listening to my EM western soundtracks since the 70s, and have rarely ventured any further. As you suggest one reason is the sheer volume of material. And there are more than enough westerns to keep many an enthusiast going.

I have come across your posts before and enjoyed them, though perhaps sometimes passed on them if they weren't westerns. Now I can see plenty of reading material ahead of me as I journey through your excellent essays. And I'll learn of many more Morricone wonders in the process. So thanks.

My feelings about his music that I do know very well so far, and that includes The Mercenary with my experience mirroring your own when I first heard it (which in the film was when I was still at secondary school and I couldn't stop whistling the theme all the next day), is that no matter how violent the scenes could be, there was so much humanity in the music. This is the reason the gunfights get to me so much. While the onscreen stuff is full of 'machismo' coolness, the music seems to reflect on what's really happening. The best of the characters might be best described as anti-heroes, but the music carries so much more emotion than most US westerns before the 'Italian invasion' than any amount of dialogue spoken by square jawed heroes.

And humanity is there in spades in those strings, the woodwinds and of course Edda Dell'Orso's incredible wordless vocals.

But I have to say that 'wild woman' Christy is also pretty cool... once you get used her! Fortunately I've been used to her for at least forty years now.




That is great to hear. I actually did THE BIG GUNDOWN song in my concert which really challenged my songstress to the limit but she managed to pull it off. If you enjoy your Morricone journey half as much as I did you will have endless years of astonishment and wonder.

 
 Posted:   Jul 11, 2020 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Henry can your two concert threads with the performance clips on be bumped? They were excellent and would be quite apt at this time.

 
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