The Good, The Bad and Ennio Morricone (1928-2020)
September 18, 2020
Greetings film score fans! This is Peter, the Audio Video Librarian. If you’re like me, you love film scores, and one of the best film music composers, Ennio Morricone, has passed away in Rome at age 91. If his name doesn’t sound familiar, the sound of the films he scored certainly will, especially his unmistakable and entirely unique music for the “Spaghetti Westerns” of Sergio Leone. In particular, his scores for Leone’s Dollars trilogy of the mid-60’s, starring Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad And the Ugly) stand out with their trademark coyote howls, harmonicas and eerie whistling, perhaps the most recognizable soundtracks of the decade. For younger movie fans, The Eastwood character inspired Marty McFly’s assumed name and costume in the third installment of the Back to the Future trilogy and Phil Connors’ outfit worn on his movie date with Nancy in Groundhog Day. In both cases, the accompanying music parodies the original Morricone scores. His music also crossed over into other genres, with the Ramones using The Ecstasy of Gold from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as the closing theme for their concerts and Metallica using the same piece as an introduction for theirs. Morricone also scored numerous Hollywood films, including The Untouchables, Days of Heaven, The Mission, and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Tarantino is a huge fan, and often uses excerpts from Morricone’s scores in the soundtracks of his other films as well. Not as well known is the fact that Morricone wrote a number of concert pieces for orchestra as well as his film work. The vast majority of his output in all music genres has been recorded over the years, much of it conducted by the composer himself. Most of these albums are available from the Library via the digital service Hoopla, which can be easily accessed on the home page of our website. Downloads are immediate with no waiting time, and are automatically returned after seven days.
The following links will bring you directly to the dozens of recordings of the music of Ennio Morricone in all genres, available from our Hoopla digital service. Items are available for immediate download, and are automatically returned after 7 days. Those who enjoy his film soundtrack music will certainly also want to listen to his classical concert pieces, which are among his most melodic and accessible work, so please sample more than just one and enjoy! Two particular favorites of mine are his scores for the classic Italian film Cinema Paradiso and Sergio Leone’s last film Once Upon a Time in America.
“What actor wouldn’t want to ride into town with that kind of music playing behind him?” – Clint Eastwood
To sign up for a Hoopla account through the Library, you will need to enter the email and password connected to your library card, select your home library of Lindenhurst from a drop-down list, and enter your library card barcode. Click here for your library account. If your card has expired, you may click here for a temporary Library card while the Library is closed. For any other issues that arise, please email the Library at email@example.com for help.
For those with an interest in the technical side of the work of Ennio Morricone, here is a link to the ebook download of his well-reviewed book Composing for the Cinema: The Theory and Praxis of Music in Film, written with Sergio Miceli, which is available from the Library via our Overdrive digital service. Clicking on the link will bring you directly to the download page for the title which, if not immediately available, may be reserved: https://livebrary.overdrive.com/media/1440160
To sign up for a Live-brary OverDrive account, you will need to select your home library of Lindenhurst from a drop-down list, and enter your library card barcode or username and password. Click here for your library account. If your card has expired, you may click here for a temporary Library card while the Library is closed. For any other issues that arise, please email the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Of course, now that the Library is once again circulating material, most of the films scored by Morricone are available from the library or as inter-library loans from other libraries on DVD and many of his soundtrack recordings are available on music CDs. Please contact the Library (631-957-7755) to let us know which titles you’re interested in, and we will have them ready for you for curbside pick-up!