Ennio Morricone

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Born: October 11, 1928; Rome, Italy  
A European who came to dominate the scoring of westerns, Ennio Morricone is a unique figure in the history of film music.

Morricone was born in Rome, the son of a jazz trumpet player, in 1928. He was a precocious musician, starting to compose at the age of six, and studied harmony and composition at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory. Post-war Italy didn't offer many opportunities for a serious composer, and Morricone worked in various jazz
Read more bands, as well as serving as a staff composer, arranger, and conductor on Italian radio and television. During the late 1950's, he landed a job as orchestrator and assistant to Nascio Nascimbene, then the leading composer in the Italian movie industry. Morricone began writing film scores in the early 1960's, but he first distinguished himself in the western field.

When U.S. studios' production of westerns slowed in the early 1960s, Italian (and Spanish) filmmakers stepped in to fill the gap, for the genre had lost none of its luster internationally. Morricone proved adept at writing memorable melodies with his first western, the Spanish-made Gringo, in 1963. His heavy style at that point emphasized the lower registers of the orchestra--cellos, basses, and brass--and often featured an orchestral "growl," a low dissonance that had been a favorite device of Dimitri Tiomkin. The song "A Gringo Like Me" closely followed the dramatic-pop western themes ("Gunfight At the O.K. Corral," "Rawhide") that Tiomkin had been writing for years with Frankie Laine in mind, with an added veneer of pseudo-operatic passion. InMorricone's second western score, Guns Don't Argue, he first hit on a distinctive style: the music emphasized melody more than beat, and had moments of flowing lyricism; it also introduced whistling and featured fairly prominent use of a guitar. That same year, Morricone was commissioned to write the music for A Fistful of Dollars, an Italian-made western by director Sergio Leone, based on Akira Kurosawa's samurai movie Yojimbo and starring Clint Eastwood.

This film, with its emphasis on violence, revenge, and duplicity and its minimal reliance on dialogue, was a new kind of western; it was hugely popular in both Europe and the U.S. Morricone's score featured whistling, flutes, electric guitars, jew's harp, and wordless choruses (and occasional choral grunts), along with the usual complement of strings, brass, and percussion, all hooked around haunting melodies. Two sequels followed, For A Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966), each directed by Leone, starring Eastwood, and featuring Morricone's music. The latter was particularly bold, featuring choirs in sweeping, wordless flourishes, closer to Wagner than Delius but with Puccini-like lyricism, depicting the action and emotional content of the script.

Westerns comprised only a tiny part of Morricone's output, but they created a lasting demand for his work. He scored as many as eight or nine movies in a year, from offbeat westerns such as Two Mules For Sister Sara to modern crime dramas like Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, from controversial experiments like Pasolini's Salo to mainstream efforts like Brian DePalma's The Untouchables. Since the mid-1960's, Morricone's work has appeared in as many as 250 movies. He's received Academy Award nominations for his music in Terence Mallick's Days of Heaven (1978) and Roland Joffe's The Mission (1986). In the 1980's, his music received long-delayed recognition from outside the film music community when New York-based avant-garde saxophonist John Zorn used it as the basis for performances and recordings by jazz chamber ensemble, doing for Morricone what Miles Davis had previously done for Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter, and Victor Young, among others. Read less
Browse 101-125 of 137 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Symphony for Richard III / Ennio Morricone, Nello Salza
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60086 Release Date: 03/06/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Nello Salza
    Conductor:  Ennio Morricone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Musical Academy Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Taking Flight - Morricone, Alfvén, Et Al / Frey, Et Al
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1248 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Hugo Alfvén,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Adam Frey
    Conductor:  Bruce Hangen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 103.
    Nouvelles Vagues De Godard A Audiard / Traffic Quintet
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5093 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexandre Desplat,  Georges Delerue,  Gato Barbieri,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Raphaël Perraud,  Anne Villette,  Philippe Noharet,  Estelle Villotte  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexandre Desplat
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Traffic String Quintet
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  • 104.
    The Voice [the Ultimate Collection]
    Label: Umvd   Catalog: 000784902 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Lucio Dalla,  Domenico Modugno,  Zimmer / Greenaway / Pesc  ... 
    Performer:  Russell Watson,  Faye Tozer,  Shaun Ryder,  Lulu
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  • 105.
    Serenade / Timothy Seelig, Turtle Creek Chorale
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 110 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eric Helmuth,  Karl Jenkins,  Stephen Paulus,  Morten Lauridsen  ... 
    Conductor:  Timothy Seelig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turtle Creek Chorale
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  • 106.
    Favorite Italian Movie Music
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3337 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Roberto Molinelli,  Nino Rota
    Performer:  Basinia Schulman,  Federico Mondelci,  Dmitry Ilugdin
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
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  • 107.
    Appassionato / Yo-yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 702668 Release Date: 01/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  César Franck,  George Gershwin,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Kathryn Stott,  Jeffrey Kahane  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  Eugene Ormandy,  Ennio Morricone,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra  ... 
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  • 108.
    Violins Of The World / Dubeau, La Pietŕ
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28721 Release Date: 11/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Fritz Kreisler,  Dag Wirén,  David Popper  ... 
    Performer:  Angčle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
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  • 109.
    La Voce Contemporanea In Italia Vol 2 / Duo Alterno
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33743 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Luciano Berio,  Bruno Maderna,  Ada Gentile  ... 
    Performer:  Riccardo Piacentini,  Tiziana Scandaletti,  Madeleine Shapiro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alterno Duo
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  • 110.
    Music Camera Action!
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29825 Release Date: 10/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Elton John,  Paul McCartney,  Benoît Charest  ... 
    Conductor:  Gilbert Patenaude
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
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  • 111.
    Paris Mechanique / Riessler, Charial, Sabine Meyer Trio
    Label: Marsyas   Catalog: 1801 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Francis Poulenc,  Scott Joplin,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Charial,  Michael Riessler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sabine Meyer Clarinet Trio
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  • 112.
    Yo-yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 676225 Release Date: 01/03/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Gilda Butta
    Conductor:  Ennio Morricone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Good Movie Music - Walton, Morricone, Et Al / Kapp, Et Al
    Label: Ess.a.y Recordings   Catalog: 1089 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elmer Bernstein,  Virgil Thomson,  Bernard Herrmann,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi
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  • 114.
    Breathe - The Relaxing Piano
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80652 Release Date: 08/23/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Ennio Morricone,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Chertock,  André Arpino,  Vincent Charbonnier,  Jacques Loussier  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  David Zinman,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jacques Loussier Trio,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 115.
    The Essential Yo-Yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 93927 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Joseph Brackett  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Kathryn Stott,  Nilson Matta,  Rosa Passos  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Ennio Morricone,  Chen Xieyang,  Tan Dun  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra,  Claude Bolling Ensemble  ... 
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  • 116.
    Il Divo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 93963 Release Date: 04/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Diane Warren,  Andreas Romdhane,  Ennio Morricone,  Marco Falagiani  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Divo
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  • 117.
    La Diva / Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000439102 Release Date: 04/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lucio Quarantotto,  Lucio Dalla,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins,  James Banbury,  John Pancelli,  John Paricelli
    Conductor:  James Banbury,  William Hayward
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Film Orchestra,  Metro Voices,  National Youth Choir of Wales
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  • 118.
    The Ultimate Guitar Collection / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 93959 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Enoch Sontonga,  John Williams,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Richard Harvey,  Chris Laurence,  János Rolla  ... 
    Conductor:  William Goodchild,  János Rolla,  Christopher Gunning,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  African Children's Choir,  Orchestra,  Franz Liszt Orchestra  ... 
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  • 119.
    Peace - Pure Classical Calm
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76773 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Tavener,  Karl Jenkins,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Alexeev,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Edward Saklatvala,  Arleen Augér  ... 
    Conductor:  David Hill,  Karl Jenkins,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Libor Pesek  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winchester Cathedral Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 120.
    André Rieu - Tuscany
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17432 Release Date: 09/21/2004  
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz von Suppé,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Carmen Monarcha
    Conductor:  André Rieu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra Netherlands
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  • 121.
    As Time Goes By / 12 Cellists Of The Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57789 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  John Williams,  Bernard Herrmann,  Elvis Presley  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Pierre Langlamet,  Janne Saksala,  Esko Laine,  Max Raabe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
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  • 122.
    Verdi, Puccini, Tarrega, Et Al / Gomalan Brass Quintet
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 386 Release Date: 06/08/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Domenico Modugno,  John Williams,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gomalan Brass Quintet
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  • 123.
    Infernal Violins / Angčle Dubeau, La Pietŕ
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28723 Release Date: 02/17/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Keith Richards,  Luigi Boccherini,  Karol Szymanowski,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Angčle Dubeau
    Conductor:  Angčle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
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  • 124.
    Plaintive Melody / Thomas Stacy, Kenneth Hamrick
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3318 Release Date: 08/05/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alexander Borodin,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Hamrick,  Thomas Stacy
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  • 125.
    Bond & Beyond / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80251 Release Date: 10/22/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Hayes,  Marvin Hamlisch,  Danny Elfman,  Eric Clapton  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $9.99
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