Is Ennio Morricone a brilliant composer

More than westerns - a portrait of Ennio Morricone

Anyone can whistle this tune. One of the most famous pieces in music history, which is considered a prime example of the skill of its creator, begins with one of the simplest motifs that have ever been composed: a major third followed by a minor, which are then repeatedly varied rhythmically and melodically, very closely musical space masterfully condensed and extremely effectively instrumented. The composer of this masterpiece may not have composed many, but all the more well-known melodies and created a lot of chamber music in addition to orchestral works. His music is burned into the collective memory. Ennio Morricone is just as groundbreaking for his musical genre as Beethoven is for the transition from the classical to the romantic epoch. Its music too Once Upon a Time in the West (Original title: Once upon a time in the West) and the eerily beautiful harmonica motif of the duel scene between Frank and the nameless are emblematic of Morricone's championship.

Ennio Morricone, who celebrated his 86th birthday a few days ago, was born on November 10, 1928 in Trastevere in Rome. His origins say a lot about him, as the district on the other side of the Tiber ("trans tiberim") was the traditional working-class district of the Eternal City. “They offered me a villa in Hollywood so that I could come to America and compose for them. But I didn't dream of settling there. I'm a Roman through and through and I love my city, "he said recently in an interview on the occasion of his 85th birthday. Morricone was a hardworking music worker all his life and composed the score for over 500 films. His music is mostly with associated with the genre of the spaghetti westerns or spaghetti westerns, although he only composed music for 30 such films.

Morricone studied trumpet and choral music at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia and graduated as a trumpeter in 1946. He also studied composition with Geoffredo Petrassi and graduated with a diploma in 1954. In 1956 he married Maria Travia, who gave him four children: Marco in 1957, Alexandra in 1961, Andrea in 1964 and Giovanni in 1966. In the mid-1950s he became part of the musical avant-garde in Italy with chamber music and orchestral works, although the international breakthrough was still a long time coming . Morricone composed his first film music for Luciano Salces in 1961 Il Federale. However, he only became world famous thanks to his collaboration with Sergio Leone in the mid-1960s.

If you pay tribute to Ennio Morricone, the wonderful theme tune comes out first Once Upon a Time in the West into mind, which combines the characteristic harmonica motif with great drama. The melancholy beauty of this music, which seems to unite all the sadness of the world, paired with the impressive images of Sergio Leone and the unreal beauty of Jill, embodied by Claudia Cardinale, represent a perfect total work of art and the pinnacle of its genre. The symbiosis of Elements that make this film so great can confidently be compared to Richard Wagner's operatic art. Wagner, too, knew how to put the music not only in the service of the scenic action, but also to create images in the minds of his audience through his orchestral score alone, which also function without a stage and actors. The ride of the Valkyries with the coyote howls transposed into instrumental sounds Two glorious scoundrels (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) to mention in the same breath is certainly far-fetched and will bring me the odd stern look of die-hard Wagnerians.

Nevertheless: Morricone's musical imagination and innovative strength is without a doubt unique. His film music is very different from symphonic Hollywood soundtracks and he repeatedly uses unusual sound elements such as jew's harps, whistles, howling of coyotes, owl calls, bells, music boxes, whip bangs, strikes on an anvil and the like. In this respect, Morricone also shaped generations of pop musicians. The heavy metal band Metallica, for example, has been adoring the Italian composer with Morricone's “Ecstasy Of Gold” for over 30 years, and the Pet Shop Boys worked on the track “It Couldn't Happen Here” on their album Actually even directly with Morricone. But other filmmakers like director Quentin Tarantino were also inspired by Morricone's music. So Tarantino put Morricone's pieces effectively in films such as Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Inglorious Basterds andDjango Unchained a.

Since the mid-1990s, Morricone has composed the music for 15 films each year. He also worked from 1964 to the 1970s in the improvisation ensemble Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza founded by Franco Evangelisti. Together with other composers, Morricone founded the I.R.TE.M, a research institute for musical theater, in Rome in 1984. When the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, took office on February 2, 2007, he gave an honorary concert with the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra, in which he conducted not only film melodies but also his cantata “Voci dal silenzio”. His mystical cantata, written for the millennium, shows that this excursion into terrain outside of the film music is not an isolated case Vuoto d'anima Piena.

In the same year he received the music for Giuseppe Tornatores film Cinema Paradiso the Oscar for his life's work. “Film music needs space in order to be able to unfold. The film has to give the music time to develop. ”May this unique musician and wonderful person still have a lot of time on our earth and stay with us for a long time.