Ennio Morricone (10 November 1928 – 6 July 2020) was an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and trumpet player who wrote music in a wide range of styles. Morricone composed over 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. His filmography includes over 70 award-winning films, all Sergio Leone’s films since A Fistful of Dollars, all Giuseppe Tornatore’s films since Cinema Paradiso, The Battle of Algiers, Dario Argento’s Animal Trilogy, 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, as well as The Thing, Once Upon A Time In America, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley’s Game and The Hateful Eight.
After playing the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s, he became a studio arranger for RCA Victor and in 1955 started ghost writing for film and theatre. Throughout his career, he composed music for artists such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero and Andrea Bocelli. From 1960 to 1975, Morricone gained international fame for composing music for Westerns and—with an estimated 10 million copies sold—Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best-selling scores worldwide. From 1966 to 1980, he was a main member of Il Gruppo, one of the first experimental composers collectives, and in 1969 he co-founded Forum Music Village, a prestigious recording studio.
From the 1970s, Morricone excelled in Hollywood, composing for prolific American directors such as Don Siegel, Mike Nichols, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty, John Carpenter and Quentin Tarantino. In 1977, he composed the official theme for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. He continued to compose music for European productions, such as Marco Polo, La piovra, Nostromo, Fateless, Karol and En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait. Morricone’s music has been reused in television series, including The Simpsons and The Sopranos, and in many films, including Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. He also scored seven Westerns for Sergio Corbucci, Duccio Tessari’s Ringo duology and Sergio Sollima’s The Big Gundown and Face to Face. Morricone worked extensively for other film genres with directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Mauro Bolognini, Giuliano Montaldo, Roland Joffé, Roman Polanski and Henri Verneuil. His acclaimed soundtrack for The Mission (1986) was certified gold in the United States. The album Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone stayed 105 weeks on the Billboard Top Classical Albums.
Morricone’s best-known compositions include “The Ecstasy of Gold”, “Se Telefonando”, “Man with a Harmonica”, “Here’s to You”, the UK No. 2 single “Chi Mai”, “Gabriel’s Oboe” and “E Più Ti Penso”. In 1971, he received a “Targa d’Oro” for worldwide sales of 22 million, and by 2016 Morricone had sold over 70 million records worldwide. In 2007, he received the Academy Honorary Award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.” He was nominated for a further six Oscars. In 2016, Morricone received his first competitive Academy Award for his score to Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight, at the time becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar. His other achievements include three Grammy Awards, three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatello, eleven Nastro d’Argento, two European Film Awards, the Golden Lion Honorary Award and the Polar Music Prize in 2010. Morricone has influenced many artists from film scoring to other styles and genres, including Hans Zimmer, Danger Mouse, Dire Straits, Muse, Metallica, and Radiohead.
Once Upon a Time in the West is a soundtrack composed by Ennio Morricone, from the 1968 western film of the same name directed by Sergio Leone, released in 1972. The film score sold about 10 million copies worldwide.
The soundtrack features leitmotifs that relate to each of the main characters of the movie (each with their own theme music), as well as to the spirit of the American West. The theme music for the Claudia Cardinale character has wordless vocals by Italian singer Edda Dell’Orso.
It was Leone’s desire to have the music available and played during filming. Leone had Morricone composed the score before shooting started and would play the music in the background for the actors on set.
In 2018, for the 50th anniversary of the film, the Italian records company “Beat Records” released a limited 500 copies edition. (wikipedia)
And here´s one of his greatest sountracks:
Arguably a milestone for both director Sergio Leone and his musical cohort Ennio Morricone. After deconstructing the classic American western by way of The Good, the Bad & the Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars, Leone distilled his intentions with 1968’s Once Upon a Time in the West. For his part, Morricone framed Leone’s meditative camerawork and mythic narrative with a mix of hauntingly spacious pieces and reconfigured snatches of old-timey tunes. Just within the stretch of the first four pieces here, Morricone evokes the endless expanse of the West with a Copland-esque aria (the main title theme), weaves some twisted grit into the showdown theme with loads of guitar fuzz (“As a Judgment”), ingeniously combines whistling and a clippity-clop rhythm for a respite piece (“Farewell to Cheyenne”), and conjures the surreal end of the cowboy mythos via a wonderfully disjointed serial-style number (“The Transgression”). And whether sounding upbeat or stark, Morricone informs it all with the dry and windswept vacancy of the West. Beautiful and stunning. (by Stephen Cook)
Oh yes, he was a real master !
Alessandro Alessandroni (whistle on 03.)
Edda (vocals on 01.
Franco de Gemini (harmonica)
The Modern Singers Of Alessandroni (background vocals)
01. Once Upon A Time In The West 3.421
02. The Man 103
03. The Grand Massacre 2.41
04. Arrival At The Station 0.54
05. Bad Orchestra 2.21
06. Jill’s America 2.46
07. Harmonica 2.27
08. The First Tavern 1.41
09. A Bed Too Large 1.31
10. Jill 1.46
11. Frank 1.53
12. Cheyenne 1.16
13. The Second Tavern 1.34
14. The Third Tavern 1.18
15. Epilogue 1.14
16. On The Roof Of The Train 1.20
17. Man With A Harmonica 3.24
18. A Dimly Lit Room 5.09
19. The Transgression 4.40
20. Return To The Train 0.56
21. Morton 1.36
22. As A Judgment 3.08
23. Final Duel 3.33
24. Death Rattle 1.44
25. Birth Of A City 4.24
26. Farewell To Cheyenne 2.39
27. Finale 4.11
Music composed by Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone (10 November 1928 – 6 July 2020)