Ten Tracks Today – An Ennio Morricone Special #1 – 12th November 2011

In a (belated) celebration of Morricone’s birthday here’s 10 tracks that played this evening. Not the most well-known group of films but quality music nonetheless.

01 – “Romanza a Cristina #1” – Sepolta Viva

It’s amazing how often Morricone can compose such wonderful, romantic melodies that sound so familiar as Morricone compositions but at the same time sound so unique that they rarely remind me of other Morricone compositions. Sweeping strings, meandering piano and characteristic woodwinds all combine for a beautiful track.

02 – “Alfonsina Delle Camelie #2” – La Storia Vera Della Signora Delle Camelie

Another lovely melody, this time driven by a beautiful piano line and supported by delicate strings and flute. There’s a hint of sadness in the cue that’s not too obvious: the sadness comes almost as an afterthought to the listener.

03 – “Theme” – Metti, Una Sera A Cena

A live version of this theme that, to me, has a sort of pop character to it. It almost sounds like a Continental instrumental pop track. Perhaps it is the orchestration that is used for this live concert. Orchestration and rhythm combine together to reinforce this feel for me, but this does not detract from the fact that it is another catchy melody.

04 – “Humanity” – The Thing

The score for John Carpenter’s superior horror re-make is simply one of the greatest pieces of music composition for film – in my opinion! Although Carpenter elected not to use much of the score in the final cut of the film, listening to Morricone’s music away from the film immediately transports me back to the snow wastelands of the Antarctic. It’s a bleak and lonely cue this. And it’s great! This particular version is taken from the recent re-recording released by BSX Records: it’s a faithful and excellent re-recording and is one of the highlight releases of 2011.

05 – “Dal Mare 3” – Il Segreto

One of Morricone’s “simple” tracks. Trademark strings, piano and trademark female vocals meld together to give a short but excellent track. I don’t know how the composer writes such beautiful pieces for the human voice.

06 – “La Cosa Buffa (Reprise 1)” – La Cosa Buffa

Unusual use of the female voice in this track, but his use of harpsichord is typical Morricone. This is not a film I am familiar with (how many times could I say this about a film with a Morricone score?) but his music wants me to hunt the movie down to see how it fits the visuals.

07 – “Sempre Più Verità'” – L’Assoluto Naturale

Another catchy theme! Great use of rhythm and male/female voices (that also beat out the rhythm). I like the way that Morricone adds to the original idea as the track progresses. Sound quality has suffered over the years on the recording I have: a bit muffled and in mono sound.

08 – “Jill’s America” – Once Upon A Time In The West

What more needs to be said about this track that hasn’t been said already? Not much. A wonderful theme from an excellent score to an excellent film. The crane shot that reveals the bustling town married with Morricone’s music (I am assuming that this is the music used!) is a great example of how film music can fuse with the image. And the lush statement of the theme (with the almost angelic vocals) is a definite highlight in Morricone’s career.

09 – “Passacaglia #2” – La Storia Vera Della Signora Delle Camelie

A second track from this score in this list of ten. Piano dominates once again supported (again) by strings and flute. Sadness reigns again in this lovely statement of the theme.

10 – “Theme” – Moses The Lawgiver

For years I had this track on a “Best of” album and it was the only piece of music from this TV movie that I had from the score (I suppose like many of us). The recent release of this score on CD finally let me hear much more of Morricone’s music. I did find though that this theme was (by far) the highlight of the score as a whole.


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