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 166 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    One Fine Day / Katherine Jenkins [CD & DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 2781057 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini,  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Michael Kamen  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins,  Juan Diego Flórez,  Tim Rhys-Evans
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Serendipity
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  • 52.
    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
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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    Classic Love At The Movies
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001584002 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Horner,  Buffy Sainte-Marie / Jack,  John Barry,  Herman Hupfeld  ... 
    Conductor:  Nick Ingman,  John Williams,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
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  • 56.
    Label: Perseverance   Catalog: 35 Release Date: 07/19/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
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  • 57.
    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:  Jackie Evancho,  David Foster,  Boh Cooper,  Jochem van der Saag  ... 
    Conductor:  Bill Ross
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  • 58.
    Summertime
    Label: Classic Fm   Catalog: 4764462 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stanley Myers,  George Gershwin,  Anonymous,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Craig Ogden
    Conductor:  Sachio Fujioka
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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
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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Chasing Rainbows
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764060 Release Date: 09/21/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sting,  Roger Emerson,  Mark D. Sanders,  Bill Douglas  ... 
    Performer:  Jo To,  Matthew Carey,  Kate Sullivan,  Susie Ng  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Puddy,  Katie Carey,  Kylie Lee-Archer,  Vicki King  ... 
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    Singing For Love
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764018 Release Date: 08/17/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  George Frideric Handel,  Arthur Somervell  ... 
    Performer:  David Hobson,  Yvonne Kenny,  Wilma Smith,  Guy Noble  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Greene,  Marco Guidarini,  Wlodzimierz Kamirski,  Anthony Walker  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantillation
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  • 70.
    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: $13.99
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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: $59.49
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  • 73.
    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,  Dean Parks,  Gayle Levant  ... 
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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