Rest in Peace, Legendary and Prolific Italian Composer Ennio Morricone: 1928-2020


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The music of Ennio Morricone is undeniably iconic, his musical scores accompanying the various Spaghetti western films of Sergio Leone among many others.

Late Sunday evening, word broke that the Italian composer/conductor/orchestrator has passed away at the age of 91. The New York Times confirmed Morricone’s passing via a statement from his lawyer, noting that he suffered a fall and broke his femur last week.

In all, Ennio Morricone scored more than 500 motion pictures, establishing himself as one of the foremost composers working in the cinematic world. A few of his compositions transcended film itself — just think about how many times you’ve heard the theme to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, one of Leone’s most famous films:

Or “The Ecstasy of Gold,” from the same film score:

“The Ecstasy of Gold” has been the music Metallica has used as an introduction to its live shows since the early 1980s — it’s as much a part of a Metallica show as the thrash/metal band‘s own catalog, and Morricone’s passing earned condolences from the group:

Metallica has performed the song in concert throughout the years, as well.

Here’s a detailed look back at Morricone’s career, via the Guardian:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59QPhYKjO7w

And some more about Morricone, via the Hollywood Reporter:

Known as “The Maestro,” he also received an honorary Oscar in 2007 (presented by Clint Eastwood) for his “magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music,” and he collected 11 David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s highest film honors.

Morricone’s ripe, pulsating sounds enriched Leone’s low-budget shoot-’em-ups A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) — those three starred Eastwood — Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Duck, You Sucker (1971).

“The music is indispensable, because my films could practically be silent movies, the dialogue counts for relatively little, and so the music underlines actions and feelings more than the dialogue,” Leone, who died in 1989, once said. “I’ve had him write the music before shooting, really as a part of the screenplay itself.”

The death of Ennio Morricone prompted messages of condolences from throughout the entertainment world, as he was a true icon:

 

 


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