Ennio Morricone

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Biography

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.
    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
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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 Barrière  ... 
    Performer:  Jens-Peter Maintz,  Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
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  • 54.
    Simetra
    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
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  • 55.
    Label: Medusa   Catalog: 1322 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Renato Guttuso,  Serafino La Camera,  Vincenzo Castellana,  Antonio Gargano  ... 
    Conductor:  Ennio Morricone
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  • 56.
    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,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Cécile Ousset,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alberto Lysy,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Simon Rattle  ... 
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  • 57.
    Live From The Heart Of Europe / Guido's Orchestra
    Label: eOne   Catalog: 4799 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Guido Dieteren,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Unspecified,  Billy May  ... 
    Performer:  Guido Dieteren,  Wendy Kokkelkoren,  Tommy Fleming
    Conductor:  Guido Dieteren
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guido's Orchestra
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  • 58.
    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
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  • 59.
    Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 756280 Release Date: 07/20/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma
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  • 60.
    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
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  • 61.
    Believe
    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  ... 
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  • 62.
    Voyage
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6118 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Niccolò Paganini,  Frédéric Chopin,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Johnson,  John Lenehan,  Rolf Wilson
    Conductor:  Julian Reynolds
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  • 63.
    Deep In My Soul / Lisa Friend
    Label: Signum U.k.   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
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  • 64.
    Cinema Italiano - Music Of Ennio Morricone & Nino Rota / Mancini
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 607062 Release Date: 02/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nino Rota,  Ennio Morricone
    Conductor:  Henry Mancini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Mancini Pops Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Ennio Morricone: Quentin Tarantino Movies
    Label: Kind Of Blue   Catalog: 10036 Release Date: 01/19/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
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  • 66.
    Music Mosaic, Vol. 1
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637584812 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Jorge Aguirre,  Allyson Pérez,  Alfredo Luzón,  Aaron Whitehurst  ... 
    Conductor:  Jorge Aguirre
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  • 67.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John T. Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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  • 68.
    The Canadian Tenors
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001350902 Release Date: 10/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Foster,  Rita MacNeil,  Ennio Morricone,  David Foster
    Performer:  Victor Micallef,  Fraser L. Walters,  Remigio Pereira,  Jamie McKnight
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Tenors
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  • 69.
    At Home With Friends / Joshua Bell
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752716 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers,  Ravi Shankar,  Diane Warren,  Antonio Carlos Jobim  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Marvin Hamlisch,  Anoushka Shankar,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tiempo Libre
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  • 70.
    Cinema / Laurent Korcia
    Label: Apm {all Parts Move}   Catalog: 65642 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Churchill,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franco Mannino,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Camille,  Laurent Korcia,  Baptiste Vay,  Florian Frere  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthieu Gonet,  Michael Wendeberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 71.
    Emilia / Graham Dalby, Esterhazy Orchestra
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 141 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Nicholas Brodszky,  César Franck,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Emilia Dalby
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Esterházy Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Summertime - Beautiful Arias & Classical Songs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001297102 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Paraire Tomoana,  Salvatore Cardillo  ... 
    Performer:  Huguette Tourangeau,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Renée Fleming,  François Rive  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Jeffrey Tate,  Ian Dean,  Edoardo Müller  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Pro Arte Chorus,  Suisse Romande Chorus,  Suisse Romande Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 73.
    A Company Of Voices - Conspirare In Concert / Johnson, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907534 Release Date: 05/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Larry Norman,  Sydney Carter,  Tarik O'Regan,  Annie Lennox  ... 
    Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Conspirare
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  • 74.
    Allegro Danzante - One Century Of Italian Music
    Label: Concerto   Catalog: 2005 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nino Rota,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Rocco Parisi,  Gabriele Rota
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  • 75.
    The Tribute To Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001261609 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Cesare Andrea Bixio,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Cynthia Lawrence,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Andrea Bocelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia
    DVD: $19.99
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