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 26-50 of 139 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Cinema Verismo / Mak Grgic
    Label: Marquis   Catalog: 81447 Release Date: 03/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Pietro Mascagni,  Ennio Morricone,  Vangelis  ... 
    Performer:  Mak Grgic
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  • 27.
    Aria: Music for Saxophone & Organ
    Label: Lawo Classics   Catalog: 1046 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Geirr Tveitt,  Ennio Morricone,  Oskar Lindberg,  David Bratlie  ... 
    Performer:  Anders Eidsten Dahl,  Vegard Landaas
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  • 28.
    Bassoon Works / Paolo Carlini
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 920001 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giorgio Gaslini,  Enrico Pieranunzi,  Luis de Pablo,  Marco Betta  ... 
    Performer:  Paolo Carlini,  Matteo Fossi,  Enrico Pieranunzi
    Conductor:  Francesco Lanzillotta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toscana Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001992402 Release Date: 01/07/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gerardo Matos Rodríguez,  Carlos Gardel  ... 
    Performer:  Martynas
    Conductor:  Péter Pejtsik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian Studio Orchestra
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  • 30.
    One Chance [original Soundtrack]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301047 Release Date: 01/07/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ennio Morricone,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Neal Cooper,  Paul Potts,  Jan Bengtson,  Per Magnusson  ... 
    Conductor:  David Snell,  Gavin Greenaway,  Henrik Janson,  Ulf Janson  ... 
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  • 31.
    The Golden Age Of Hollywood
    Label: Royal Philharmonic   Catalog: 24 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Maurice Jarre,  Elmer Bernstein,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Howard McGill,  Mike Allen,  Kyle Horch
    Conductor:  David Firman
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  • 32.
    Love In Portofino
    Label: Verve   Catalog: 001926500 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ferdinando "Fred" Buscagl,  Ennio Morricone,  Carson C. Parks,  Salvatore d' Esposito  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Ramón Stagnaro,  Ludovico Vagnone,  Carlos Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Giacomo Loprieno,  William Ross
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  • 33.
    Amore / Joseph Calleja
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001921802 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Consuelo Velazquez,  Francesco Sartori,  Lucio Dalla  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Calleja,  Ksenija Sidorova,  Nicola Benedetti,  Charles Mutter
    Conductor:  Steven Mercurio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 34.
    The Grandmaster [scores]
    Label: Lakeshore   Catalog: 343392 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Shigeru Umebayashi,  Traditional,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Bruno Martinez,  Nathaniel Méchaly
    Conductor:  Olivier Holtz
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 35.
    Aria Cantilena / Harjanne, Finnish Radio String Quintett
    Label: Pilfink Records   Catalog: 107 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Jouko Harjanne
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio String Quintett
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  • 36.
    God Makes A Path / The First Baptist Church In America
    Label: Fbcia   Catalog: 375 Release Date: 06/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  None,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Randall Thompson,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Martorella,  Pastor Dan Ivins,  Arturo Delmoni,  Stephen Unruh  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Martorella
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choir of The First Baptist Church of America
    CD: $14.99
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  • 37.
    Morricone: Lemma / Parisi, Noferini, Rota, Quartetto Noferini
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33876 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Andrea Morricone
    Performer:  Gabriele Rota,  Rocco Parisi,  Andrea Noferini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Noferini String Quartet
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  • 38.
    Ingolf Wunder 300
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001793002 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Raoul Koczalski  ... 
    Performer:  Ingolf Wunder
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  • 39.
    Music From The Movies / Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001790802 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Silvestri,  Bryan Adams,  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins
    CD: $12.99
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  • 40.
    A Time For Us / Dubeau, La Pieta
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28736 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nino Rota,  John T. Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  John Barry  ... 
    Performer:  Angčle Dubeau
    Conductor:  Angčle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
    CD: $18.49
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  • 41.
    Movie Magic: Epics & Westerns / Carl Davis, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1934 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Francis Lai,  Maurice Jarre,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 42.
    Cellocinema / Cello Project
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 12220 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nino Rota,  Tom Waits,  Bernard Herrmann,  Carlos Gardel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cello Project
    CD: $18.99
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  • 43.
    The 12 Cellists Of The Berlin Philharmonic - 40th Anniversary Concert
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059318 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Julius Klengel,  Jean Françaix,  Astor Piazzolla,  Henry Bourtayre  ... 
    Performer:  Annette Dasch,  Till Bronner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 44.
    The 12 Cellists Of The Berlin Philharmonic - 40th Anniversary Concert [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059314 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Julius Klengel,  Jean Françaix,  Astor Piazzolla,  Henry Bourtayre  ... 
    Performer:  Annette Dasch,  Till Bronner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 45.
    Concerto: One Night In Central Park / Andrea Bocelli [DVD]
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 001610309 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Franz Schubert,  Umberto Giordano,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Ana Maria Martinez,  Bryn Terfel,  Pretty Yende  ... 
    Conductor:  Alan Gilbert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 46.
    The Essential Collection
    Label: Warner Music   Catalog: 65864 Release Date: 05/15/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ben Moody,  Traditional,  Eric Levisalles,  Nino Rota  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins,  Andrea Bocelli,  Chris Botti
    CD: $19.99
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  • 47.
    Both Sides, Now / Hakan Hardenberger, Kenneth Sillito, Academy Of St Martin In The Fields
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1814 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Joni Mitchell,  Richard Rodgers,  Saint-Preux  ... 
    Performer:  Hĺkan Hardenberger,  Roland Pöntinen
    Conductor:  Kenneth Sillito
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    SuperAudio CD: $21.49
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  • 48.
    Angels & Demons / Buzbee, Debow
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1328 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Reed,  Barbara York,  John Stevens,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Buzbee,  Faith Debow
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 49.
    Glory! Music Of Rejoicing / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Mormon Tabernacle   Catalog: 5063064 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mack Wilberg,  Traditional,  John Rutter,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Stanford Olsen
    Conductor:  Mack Wilberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Orchestra at Temple Square
    CD: $17.99
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  • 50.
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 381205 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Danny Elfman,  Paul Lavender,  Carlos Gardel,  Hans Zimmer  ... 
    Performer:  Sergej Synelnikov,  Juliane Sigler
    Conductor:  Stefan Fraas
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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