The legacy of Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone

On Monday, the world said farewell to a great icon of musical composition, Ennio Morricone, who passed away aged 91. Born in Rome in1928, Morricone had one of the longest and most distinguished careers of all film music composers through the second half of the Twentieth Century, and was still working, composing and performing, until very recently.

He was a phenomenally versatile musician – active as a trumpet player, a free improvisor with the innovative collective Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza,and conductor, as well as being a prolific and flexible composer and orchestrator across a whole host of genres.

He wrote over 100 works for solo instruments, chamber forces, electronics, vocalists and orchestras, as well as arrangements for many artists in the popular and light music field: from Paul Anka and Zucchero, to Demis Roussos and Andrea Bocelli. He worked extensively with Joan Baez.

The film scores, which number over 400, will be his greatest legacy, of course. He worked with a host of Hollywood directors - Warren Beatty, Oliver Stone and John Carpenter to name a few. And he’ll be remembered for films such as ‘The Mission’, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ and ‘The Untouchables’. But it will be the collaborations with Sergio Leone that heralded his most iconic work – ‘A Fistful of Dollars’, ‘For a Few Dollars More’, ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’, ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ and ‘A Fistful of Dynamite’.

Some feature melodies that are perhaps even more iconic than the films themselves – his innovative studio orchestrations seamlessly fuse orchestras and choirs with mariachi trumpets, gunshots, harmonicas, and reverb-soaked ocarinas to create a unique sonic signature. Morricone is, and will remain forever, the sound of the Spaghetti Western.

Morricone essentials:

  •        The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
  •        The Ecstasy of Gold
  •        Gabriel’s Oboe
  •        Chi Mai
  •        The Sicilian Clan

Spotify Playlist

Easy Listening

Spotify Playlist


Spotify Playlist

For the more adventurous

Spotify Playlist

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