Ennio Morricone

Io, Ennio Morricone: Film Music

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The Film Music collection of movie themes, all composed by Italian soundtrack god Ennio Morricone, differs in two very distinct ways from the countless collections of his music licensed by doddering budget houses or performed by hack orchestras and ensembles: one is that Morricone himself produced, arranged, and conducted each selection on this collection, and the second is that these themes were all recorded for this album. This is not a compilation of any kind, but an orchestral review by the composer of his own work in collaboration with Rome's National Academy Orchestra and the Roman Sinfonietta. Like Debussy conducting his own pieces in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this music takes on an entirely different meaning when conducted by its composer. "The Mission" becomes an impressionistic work based on a Roman folk melody, "Once Upon a Time in the West" is not so much a dirge looking back over the wreckage of a place in time but a futuristic gaze into the vastness by a seeker, and "Cinema Paradiso" is a series of statements about the transcendent emotions experienced while inside the cinema. In Morricone's own hands, this music leaves the big screen and enters into the canon of a classical music that could only have been composed in the 20th century. "Deborah's Theme" from Once Upon a Time in America holds within it all the promise, regret, pathos, and destruction the time symbolized. A brief listen to the theme from "Lolita" offers the listener an intimate view of Morricone's own manner of hearing strings as they are played in harmonic striation over the piano's melody and then interchanged, creating a feeling of memory, loss, and regret. Film Music is a fine, stunning collection by the maestro himself, and a must for anyone interested in how Morricone's music sounds to him when he is composing.

blue highlight denotes track pick