Iconic composer Ennio Morricone has passed away at the age of 91 in Rome. The Oscar winning composer is widely known for his work in the spaghetti westerners of 60s which brought actors like Clint Eastwood to fame. Here’s why he is considered to be a modern master and has had a palpable impact on the entertainment industry. Interestingly, when he was young, he started as footballer in the legendary AC Roma team in the Italian Serie A, but then left early on to pursue music.
- The iconic Italian composer has composed scores for more than 500 films and TV shows over more than 50 years. Morricone was nominated for the Oscars a total of 6 times, most recently for Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”.
- Interestingly, for the movie, Morricone contributed to the original score after being unhappy with the way Tarantino had used his music in movies like the “Inglorious Bastards” and “Kill Bill”. Morricone didn’t score specific scenes for the movie, but instead worked from Tarantino’s screenplay.
- He is particularly known for his work in movies like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Once Upon a Time in the West” and “the Mission”. For his work on “the Mission” Morricone won both the BAFTA and Golden Globe, but surprisingly didn’t win the Oscar.
- His track “ The Ecstasy of Gold” from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” became world famous because of Grammy award winning metal band Metallica. Metallica used this track as their walk-in music for their live performances. There is also an incredible live orchestral version of the performance from Metallica’s S&M live performance.
- Morricone wrote his first compositions when he was six years old and was encouraged to develop his natural talents. In 1946, he composed “Il Mattino” (“The Morning”) for voice and piano on a text by Fukuko, first in a group of seven “youth” Lieder.
- His film career began in 1961, when he was 33, with a collaboration with director Luciano Salce in “Mission Ultra-secrete” before going on to gain fame with the score for “A Fistful of Dollars” starring Clint Eastwood in 1964.
- Morricone received his first Academy Award nomination in 1979 for the score to Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978).
- 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, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley’s Game and The Hateful Eight.
- Throughout his career, Morricone also composed songs for several national and international jazz and pop artists. In 1962 He worked with American jazz singer Helen Merrill as an arranger on an EP “Helen Merrill sings Italian Songs” on the RCA Italiana label. Gianni Morandi, Alberto Lionello, Edoardo Vianello, Faccio finta di dormire, Nora Orlandi, Jimmy Fontana and many more
- Morricone and Alex North are the only composers to receive the Academy Honorary Award since the award’s introduction in 1928. Ennio Morricone received the Academy Honorary Award on 25 February 2007, presented by Clint Eastwood, “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.” With the statuette came a standing ovation.
Top ten 10 tracks by Morricone
The Good the Bad and the Ugly – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1PfrmCGFnk
Ecstacy of Gold – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYI09PMNazw
Gabriel’s Oboe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WJhax7Jmxs
The Mission – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oag1Dfa1e_E
For a Few Dollars more – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLXQltR7vUQ
Man with the harmonica – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWtqkz6SH1Y
Once upon a time in the west – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Q8h-fDfEI
Cinema Paradiso – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VclRS7x0e38
The Harvest – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFyeLJ0AXmk
The Grand Duel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMORBYFpy_M