This week we are we pay tribute to one of the greatest composers of our time. Ennio Morricone was one of the greatest but probably the greatest when it comes to film music.
The world lost “The Maestro”, as he was simply called in his home city of Rome, last week, on the 6th of July, at the proud age of 91.
When you want to speak about a legend like Morricone, it isn’t easy to choose from the vast amount of musical artwork that he has produced and where to even begin his story.
He received his trumpet diploma in 1946 and his diploma in Composition from the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in 1954.
He composed a vast variety of music from absolute concert music, applied music and as a composer for theatre, radio and cinema. World fame, however, followed with composing the music for Sergio Leone’s Western films: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and a Fistful of Dynamite (1971).
Ennio Morricone and Sergio Leone grew up in the same part of Rome and had known each other since primary school. A friendship that developed into a creative partnership so unique, that Morricone described it like a “marriage like Catholics used to be married before divorce laws”. He also turned down Clint Eastwood’s offers for musical collaborations in his films, out of loyalty to Sergio Leone.
Like John Williams was to Spielberg, John Barry to James Bond and Nino Rota to Fellini, you cannot separate the impressions of Leone’s films from the sounds of Morricone’s music. Together these two reinvented the American Western and created some of the most famous moments in post-war cinema.
Besides these epic master pieces Ennio Morricone was an oscar nominee for Best Origininal Music scores for Days of Heaven (1979), The Mission (1987), The Untouchables (1988), Bugsy (1992) and Malena (2001). He won this award for the Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (2016) after receiving the Honorary Oscar Award in 2007.
He really should have won the Oscar for The Mission, in our opinion, even just for the eye watering piece Gabriel's Oboe, a piece said to be "about the magic of music itself". Transcribed for the guitar by Carlo Marchione, we give you a special Guitarwaze tribute by our one and only master, Hussein himself: