Ennio Morricone, one of the world's legendary film score composers, passed away today (06/07) at the age of 91.
Known as the musical mastermind behind Sergio Leone's 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', Giseuppe Tornatore's 'Cinema Paradiso', as well as Roland Joffé's 'The Mission', these were only some of the over 500 films that the Italian composer had scored in his lifetime. Morricone also scored Quentin Tarantino's American thriller film 'The Hateful Eight', which he was subsequently awarded an Academy Award for Original Score for in 2016.
Morricone's death was due to complications from a fall that broke his femur and it was one that shook Hollywood and beyond. American screenwriters C. Robert Cargill and Edgar Wright expressed their heartfelt thoughts on Morricone's passing on Twitter:
Ennio Morricone. You always know when it's a Morricone score, even before you see his name. With just a few notes he evokes images of a whole genre. There aren't any others like him. One of the titans is gone.— C. Robert Cargill (@Massawyrm) July 6, 2020
Where to even begin with iconic composer Ennio Morricone? He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend. He hasn't been off my stereo my entire life. What a legacy of work he leaves behind. RIP. https://t.co/qZX6qE10ke— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 6, 2020
Morricone's chromatic bassline ostinato paired with the shrill inverted pedal in the violins never fails to set a chilling atmosphere to the Spaghetti Westerns of his time and is one of the most distinctive characteristics of his scoring of Leone's films.
On the other hand, the melody line in the piano which is later echoed by the orchestra in Cinema Paradiso's main theme is symbolic of the soaring passion in the storyline, hence making the soundtrack an epitome of late 19th-century romanticism.
In an interview with The Independent four years ago, Morricone vocalised his love for music as a subject that never left his mind, even in the most mundane of activities. “When I have to score a film, I watch the movie first and then start thinking about it. And from that moment on, it is as if I were pregnant. I then have to deliver the child, so from that moment on, I think always about the music – even when I go to the grocery store, I think about it.”
As the world of film music bids farewell to a legend, his music has inspired and evoked the most genuine of emotions in the souls of the generations who have caught the blockbusters.
Here are some of Morricone's most prolific works to remember him by: