The composer and conductor Ennio Morricone was born on 10 November 1928 in Travestere, Rome and died there on 6 July 2020. He also worked under the pseudonyms Dan Savio and Leo Nichols and composed the film music for over 500 films. His name is mainly associated with the genre Italowestern. He composed the film music for 30 western films. Of course he also composed for other genres. He gained special fame through the film music for the Italowestern classic "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", for the Western epic "Once Upon a Time in the West (Once Upon a Time in the West)" for "Mission" and for "Cinema Paradiso". Morricone is a double Oscar winner. He received the first one in 2007 for his life's work and the second one in 2016 for The Hateful Eight by Quentin Tarantino.
The life of Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone studied trumpet and choral music at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory. In 1946 he received his concert diploma as a trumpeter. His first engagement as a theater composer followed. In 1953 he arranged the evening program for an Italian radio station. In 1954 he finished his education at the conservatory as a composer with a diploma. In 1956 he married Maria Travia. In the mid 1950s Morricone established himself in the musical avant-garde of his country with chamber music and orchestral works. In 1958 he attended the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt. In the same year Ennio Morricone signed an employment contract as music assistant at the radio station Radiotelevisione Italiana. There he worked as an arranger.
Composition of the first film music
Morricone composed his first film music for Luciano Salce's Il Federale in 1961, but international success was still a long way off. In 1964 he began his collaboration with the director Sergio Leone and Bernado Bertolucci. For Leone he wrote the music for "A fistful of Dollars", "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "Once Upon a Time in the West". Morricne's compositions are very different from the symphonic Western soundtracks from Hollywood. The film soundtracks were influenced by unusual sound elements such as jew's harps, whistles, cries, coyote howls, owl calls and others, which set the tone and were innovative. He could even celebrate hit parade successes with some compositions.
From 1964 to the 1970s he played in the improvisational ensemble Gruppo di improvisazioni Nuova Consonanza, initiated by Frabco Evangelisti. In 1984 Morricone founded the I.R.TE.M together with other composers. The I.R.TE.M is a research institute for musical theatre. From the mid-1990s Ennio Morricone composed for about 15 films per year.
Working as a conductor
Besides composing Film music, Ennio Morricone conducted a large number of orchestras. He works with the Roma Sonfonietta Orchetra for several concerts and film music recordings. With this orchestra Morricone also gave an honorary concert in February 2007 on the occasion of the inauguration of the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.
He also wrote chamber music for soloists and various formations, as well as cantatas and masses.
Ennio Morricone - his work
With his music Ennio Morricone contributed to the worldwide success of the Leone-Western, like Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod. Sergio Leone once confessed that Morricone was more of a screenwriter than a composer. The following quotation from Morricone is handed down:
"Film music needs space to unfold. Film must give music time to develop."
The works (filmography) of Ennio Morricone include:
1964: A fistful of Dollars (Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch and others)
1965: For a few Dollars more (Clint Eastwood, Lee van Cleef, Klaus Kinski, etc.)
1966: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Clint Eastwood, Lee van Cleef, etc.)
1968: The great silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant, Klaus Kinski, etc.)
1968: Once Upon a Time in the West (Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, etc.)
1970: A food for the vultures (Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, etc.)
1971: A fistful of Dynamite (James Coburn, Rod Steiger, etc.)
1973: Night flight from Moscow (Yul Brynner, Henry Fonda, etc.)
1975: A genius, two Partners and a Dupe (Terence Hill, Patrick McGoohan, Raimund Harmstorf, etc.)
1977: Orca, the killer whale (Richard harris, Charlotte Rampling, Bo Derek, etc.)
1978: La cage aux folles (Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Serrault, etc.)
1981: Buddy goes west (Bud Spencer, Joe Bugner, etc.)
1982: The Thing (Kurt Russel, Keith David, etc.)
1984: Once upon a time in America (Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, James Woods, etc.)
1985: Red Sonja (Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a.o.)
1987: The Untouchables (Kevin Coster, Robert DeNiro, Andy Garcia, etc.)
1988: Frantic (Harrison Ford, David Huddleston, etc.)
1991: Bugsy (Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, etc.)
1994: Disclosure (Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, etc.)
1997: Lolita (Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffith, Frank Langella, etc.)
2002: Ripley's Game (John Malkovich, Dougray Scott, Ray Winstone, etc.)
2012: Django Unchained (Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, etc.)
2015: The Hateful Eight (Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russel, Tim Roch, Michael Madsen and others)
And many more.