The music of Ennio Morricone has been, for decades, and continues to be, a moving experience. Morricone’s work touches that side of us that is sensitive to expressive music. As the composer of more than 400 movie and television scores, Ennio Morricone’s career has been as stupendous as one can achieve. On February 25 of 2007, during the 79th Academy Awards, Morricone received an honorary Oscar for contributions to the art of film music. He has been nominated for 5 awards during his career for movies that include Days of Heaven (1978), The Mission (1986), The Untouchables (1987), Bugsy (1991), and Malena (2000). Personally, he should have been nominated for his Cinema Paradiso score as well, given its deep beauty that is as memorable as the film itself is.
Sony Classical releases We All Love Ennio Morricone in celebration of his Oscar honorary with a selection of established artists (spread across the board, this grouping of recordings highlight Morricone classics with interpretations by Bruce Springsteen, Herbie Hancock, Metallica, Roger Waters, Renee Fleming, and Yo-Yo Ma with even more luminaries than these listed). Interspersed between covers, there are Morricone conducted originals to complete this 17-track tribute special.
Interestingly, this man of 78 (as of this writing), has crossed musical boundaries to produce works in rock, jazz, pop, and electronics as well as his comfortable classical genre. Not bad for a noted musical genius, not bad at all.
Ennio Morricone’s best known piece comes from the Clint Eastwood cowboy drama, the Good, The Bad and The Ugly, with its universally familiar whistle. Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock put a jazzy edge to this title song making a great tune more interesting, never deviating from the essence of that eerie and fearful whistle. Bruce Springsteen revisits “Once Upon a Time in the West” with an uncharacteristic orchestral approach of another great Morricone tune and SHOULD be construed as a Springsteen rarity, therefore collectible, by Springsteen fans (don’t miss this opportunity); Bruce adds guitar in his usual haunting manner as when he works in the folk-styled way. There are no vocals but it’s good nonetheless.
Metallica fans should regard their inclusion of “The Ecstasy of Gold” as a rarity as well and therefore collectible. This Metallica add is a 2007 recording of a studio rock version of this song from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, however, the band has visited this song live in the past, making this newly recorded inclusion a no-brainer choice. Other music include the Yo-Yo Ma recorded “Malena,” the title song from the Guiseppe Tornatorre (director of Cinema Paradiso) film starring Monica Bellucci; a newly recorded “Conmigo” that features the keyboards of jazzman, Eumir Deodato (best known for his catchy jazz rework of the 2001, A Space Odyssey theme, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” back in the early ‘70s) as well as the vocals of Daniela Mercury.
Other classics are the Roger Waters recorded (1998) song from (yet again, Tornatorre) The Legend of 1900 that featured Eddie Van Halen and is a shared composition of Waters and Morricone. We’ll leave the rest to discovery however this set is closed with the entrancing “Cinema Paradiso” theme song, an ode to movie lovers everywhere and very fitting in ending a collection of Morricone composed film score works.
For Morricone fans, picking this collection up is a no-brainer. For rock fans that appreciate the collectible aspects mentioned earlier, don’t delay too long.