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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 76-100 of 135 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    The Tribute To Pavarotti [Blu-ray]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001261559 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Cesare Andrea Bixio,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Andrea Bocelli,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Kohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia
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  • 77.
    Katherine Jenkins - Serenade
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 001258402 Release Date: 02/17/2009  
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  Curly Putman,  Bryan Adams,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins
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  • 78.
    Living A Dream / Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001252002 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfredo Catalani,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins
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  • 79.
    Cello Diverse / Susanne Beer, Gareth Hancock
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25068 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Claude Debussy,  Johannes Brahms,  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Gareth Hancock,  Susanne Beer
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  • 80.
    Fairy Tale / Dubeau, Baril, La Pieta
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28726 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  François Dompierre,  George David Weiss,  Joe Hisaishi,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Angèle Dubeau,  Louise-Andrée Baril
    Conductor:  Angèle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
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  • 81.
    Relax - The World's Most Beautiful Music - Music For The Soul - 36 Tracks
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17279 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Karl Jenkins,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Sabine Meyer,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Paul Beniston,  Hugh Bean  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Vonk,  Alberto Lysy,  Karl Jenkins,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Weimar,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Camerata Lysy  ... 
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  • 82.
    Silver Screen Serenade - John Williams, Etc / Oaks Baker, Bestor, Et Al
    Label: Shadow Mountain   Catalog: 5008336 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  George Gershwin,  Traditional,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    Performer:  Jenny Oaks Baker
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Peace Notes - Live In Venice / Ennio Morricone
    Label: Industrial Ent (Dvd)   Catalog: 400136 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Conductor:  Ennio Morricone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Fateless - Original Soundtrack
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 60331 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Lisa Gerrard
    Conductor:  Ennio Morricone
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  • 85.
    Duel
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473999 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sidney Bechet,  Gustav Holst,  Alexander Borodin,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duel
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  • 86.
    Regency's Nights / Rassinfosse, Collard-Neven
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 1402394 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Chico Buarque,  Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven,  Egberto Gismonti,  Jean-Louis Rassinfosse  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven,  Jean-Louis Rassinfosse
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  • 87.
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637219889 Release Date: 05/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Foster,  Joseph M. Dague / Nova Ji,  Ennio Morricone,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 88.
    Adagio E Cantabile - Italian Adagios / Troilo, Giuliani, Frei, Esposti, Macinanti
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 670001 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luca Salvadori,  Ennio Morricone,  Goffredo Giarda,  Nino Rota  ... 
    Performer:  Constance Frei,  Giuliano Giuliani,  Andrea Macinanti,  Emanuela Degli Esposti  ... 
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  • 89.
    Symphony for Richard III / Ennio Morricone, Nello Salza
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60086 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Nello Salza
    Conductor:  Ennio Morricone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Musical Academy Orchestra
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  • 90.
    100 Best Relaxing Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15606 Release Date: 01/15/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Europa Galante,  Fabio Biondi  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alberto Lysy,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Erno Olah  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seminario Musicale,  Quartet of London,  Scottish Ensemble  ... 
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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 95.
    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:  Federico Mondelci,  Basinia Schulman,  Dmitry Ilugdin
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    CD: $17.99
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  • 96.
    Appassionato / Yo-yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 702668 Release Date: 01/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  César Franck,  George Gershwin,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  John T. 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  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 97.
    Violins Of The World / Dubeau, La Pietà
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28721 Release Date: 11/22/2006  
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Fritz Kreisler,  Dag Wirén,  David Popper  ... 
    Performer:  Angèle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
    CD: $18.49
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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 100.
    Best Film Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70900 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  André Saint-Clivier,  Wayne Marshall,  Maria Tipo,  Andrei Gavrilov  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Auriacombe,  Sir David Willcocks,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Chamber Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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