Ennio Morricone

Western Quintet

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This double-CD compilation offers a much larger variety of music than one might expect given that all comes from the same composer -- each of the five scores represented is distinctly different from those around it. The main attraction, and arguably Ennio Morricone's greatest creation for a Western movie, is the music from Giu la Testa aka Duck, You Sucker! aka A Fistful of Dynamite -- witty, ironic, and hauntingly ethereal and romantic, filled with unresolved passages that hang there and hold the listener captive, surrounded by delightful flashes of martial music, traditional Irish music, and banjo. It also happens that this set (which divides that score between the two discs) is the easiest way to get that particular soundtrack, which is otherwise unavailable outside of England (and not easy to find there). Of the others, the score for Il Mio Nome E' Nessuno aka My Name Is Nobody opens with as lighthearted as any piece of Western movie music this side of Gene Autry's work, while other sections are as broadly romantic as anything in Gustav Mahler's oeuvre, and "Mucchio Selvaggio" is a ludicrous blend of Wagner parody and choruses that could have come out of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The music from Occhio Alla Penna aka A Fist Goes West, by contrast, is steeped in Native American influences. Tepepa aka Blood and Guns is more Mexican in nature, dominated by Spanish guitar and mariachi music; Vamos a Matar Compañeros aka Compañeros is a gently humored yet highly dramatic score, heavily featuring female chorus, harmonica, and banjo. All of these scores make use of the tactile, as well as the tonal qualities of their distinctive instrumentation -- the timbral effects are rich, diverse, and startling, and one need not even know the movies to enjoy the music. The annotation is thorough in terms of biographical detail, although one would love a discussion of the actual music and not just the films and Morricone's involvement.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:09
2 5:03
3 2:40
4 4:45
5 2:02
6 6:56
7 2:17
8 2:02
9 1:29
10 1:46
11 3:16
12 2:53
13 3:15
14 2:12
15 1:33
16 1:01
17 1:16
18 2:21
19 1:40
20 1:19
21 0:34
22 0:52
23 2:18
24 1:43
25 3:11
26 4:15
27 1:41
28 1:40
29 4:55
30 2:25
blue highlight denotes track pick