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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 51-75 of 136 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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
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  • 52.
    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
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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    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
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  • 55.
    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
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  • 56.
    Concerto: One Night In Central Park / Andrea Bocelli
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 001597702 Release Date: 11/15/2011   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
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  • 57.
    Concerto: One Night In Central Park / Andrea Bocelli [CD & DVD]
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 001610000 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    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
    CD: $34.99
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  • 58.
    Morricone: Paradiso / Hayley Westenra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001599802 Release Date: 10/04/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Hayley Westenra
    Conductor:  Ennio Morricone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonietta Di Roma
    CD: $14.99
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  • 59.
    The Art Of Pan: Concert For Pan Flute & Organ
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 88 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Sir John Barbirolli,  César Franck,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Ulrich Herkenhoff,  Matthias Keller
    CD: $18.99
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  • 60.
    Dream With Me In Concert
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 796107 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leigh Harline,  Ennio Morricone,  Giacomo Puccini,  Matthew Evancho  ... 
    Performer:  Jackie Evancho,  Conrad Tao,  Barbra Streisand
    Conductor:  Chris W. Big Band
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  • 61.
    Dream With Me / Jackie Evancho
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 787061 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leigh Harline,  Ennio Morricone,  David Foster,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  David Foster,  Jackie Evancho,  Boh Cooper,  Jochem van der Saag  ... 
    Conductor:  Bill Ross
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  • 62.
    John Williams - The Guitarist
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88082 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Isaac Albeniz,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Silvius Leopold Weiss  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream
    Conductor:  William Goodchild,  János Rolla,  Richard Tognetti,  Louis Frémaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra,  Australian Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Il Volo
    Label: Geffen Records   Catalog: 001551702 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jimmy Fonatana,  Ennio Morricone,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Guido Maria Ferilli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Volo
    CD: $13.99
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  • 64.
    Cinema Concertante / Herkenhoff, Zacher, Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 785 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elmer Bernstein,  Gabriel Yared,  Ennio Morricone,  Yann Tiersen  ... 
    Performer:  Ulrich Herkenhoff
    Conductor:  Frank Zacher
    CD: $17.99
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  • 65.
    Laureate Series, Guitar - Adriano Del Sal
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572657 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francisco Tarrega,  Fernando Sor,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  Adriano Del Sal
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  • 66.
    Cello Duello / Jens Peter Maintz, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 146 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johan Halvorsen,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Jan Muller-Wieland,  Jean Barričre  ... 
    Performer:  Jens-Peter Maintz,  Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
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  • 67.
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1301 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Astor Piazzolla,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Trio Artemis
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 68.
    Essential Relaxing Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27930 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean,  Cécile Ousset  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alberto Lysy,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 69.
    Ultimate Collection - Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001332502 Release Date: 08/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Sartori,  Leonard Cohen,  Traditional,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins,  John Parricelli,  Adrian Bradbury,  Emily Pailthorpe  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Dodd,  Anthony Inglis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcadian Ensemble
    CD: $14.99
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  • 70.
    Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone (Remastered)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 756280 Release Date: 07/20/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma
    CD: $14.99
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  • 71.
    Label: Silva Screen   Catalog: 1309 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Pete Moore,  Bernard Herrmann,  David Raksin,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Performer:  Gareth Williams,  Mark Ayres
    Conductor:  Evan Jolly,  Paul Bateman,  Nic Raine,  Bill Ashton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Ensemble
    CD: $63.99
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  • 72.
    Label: Reprise   Catalog: 522190 Release Date: 06/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meredith Willson,  Sarah McLachlan,  Eric Levi,  Richard Marx  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins,  David Foster,  Gayle Levant,  Dean Parks  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 73.
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6118 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Niccolň Paganini,  Frédéric Chopin,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Johnson,  John Lenehan,  Rolf Wilson
    Conductor:  Julian Reynolds
    CD: $18.99
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  • 74.
    Deep In My Soul / Lisa Friend
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 199 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Robert Schumann,  Edward German,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Lisa Friend,  Mark Kinkaid,  Martin Radford,  Rodney Friend
    CD: $17.99
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  • 75.
    Cinema Italiano - Music Of Ennio Morricone & Nino Rota / Mancini
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 607062 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nino Rota,  Ennio Morricone
    Conductor:  Henry Mancini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Mancini Pops Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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