With his score to Bernardo Bertolucci's 1976 historical epic Novecento, Ennio Morricone delivered one of the richest efforts of his legendary career. A sweeping and impressively variegated work, it manages to capture the period detail required to complement Bertoluccio's onscreen narrative, yet boasts a timelessness that's the hallmark of all the composer's masterpieces. Morricone's mastery of mood and texture reaches new zeniths here. Novecento communicates a vast emotional palette that extends from soaring joy (the beautiful piano theme "Tema di Ada") to searing tension (the atonal "Autunno-1922"), all crafted with uncommon complexity. Most impressive of all is the opening "Romanzo," which builds from intimate clarinet to orchestral bombast in quintessential Morricone fashion.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny