[Dixielandjazz] "Movie Music"

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Jan 28 07:31:37 PST 2007

Given the length of recent thread about "Cartoon Music", those who were
interested in it might get a kick out of this article which was excerpted
from Today's NY Times. The original is VERY LONG and if anyone wants it, I
would be happy to forward it off list.

Those who think that movie music is "incidental music", or otherwise
discount its importance or artistic value, might wish to read the below
views and have the entire article.

In any event, it seems pretty evident that Ennio Morricone is a
knowledgeable and respected composer, if not a genius.

Steve Barbone 

The Maestro of Spaghetti Westerns Takes a Bow

NY TIMES - By JON PARELES - January 28, 2007

For many filmmakers through the years, a certain kind of pilgrimage to Rome
leads to the opulent parlor of the composer Ennio Morricone. It¹s the place
where he has discussed grand concepts and crucial details, and often
unveiled new themes on the piano, for the distinctive film scores he has
written over the past four decades, from ³The Good, the Bad and the Ugly² to
³The Mission.² There are more than 400 of them, though he hasn¹t kept count.

Next Saturday Mr. Morricone, 78, makes his long-overdue American concert
debut with 200 musicians and singers at Radio City Music Hall. It is the
beginning of a triumphal month in the United States that will also include
festivals of his films at the Museum of Modern Art and Film Forum, and the
release of a tribute album, ³We All Love Ennio Morricone² (Sony
Masterworks), with performances from Bruce Springsteen, Renée Fleming,
Herbie Hancock and Metallica, among others. On Feb. 25 he will be presented
with an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement, atoning for past
omissions. After five nominations, he has never won. . . .

Mr. Morricone has given concerts periodically in Europe, including a
December performance that drew 50,000 people to the Piazza del Duomo in
Milan. At Radio City he will lead the 100-piece Roma Sinfonietta orchestra,
along with the 100-member Canticum Novum Singers. . .

He greeted any generalizations about his work with a shrug, or a terse,
³That is up to the audience to decide.² But through the years he has created
music that is as memorable as the films it accompanies, and sometimes more
so. . .

³Cinema Paradiso² . . . ³Once Upon a Time in America.² . . . ³Investigation
of a Citizen Above Suspicion²  . . . ³1900². . .

He composes not at the piano or on a computer but at an imposing desk in his
writing studio, amid shelves of books, LPs, CDs, tapes and DVDs. On a coffee
table supported by a realistic rhinoceros is a neat stack of score paper
with all the parts for an orchestra written in pencil: Mr. Morricone¹s next
batch of soundtracks. . .

³He doesn¹t have a piano in his studio,² said the director Barry Levinson,
who commissioned Mr. Morricone for ³Bugsy,² a soundtrack nominated for an
Academy Award. . .  He hears a melody, and he writes it down. He hears the
orchestration completely done.²

His extensive background in classical music can be heard in his swelling
love themes and in his meticulous orchestrations, which can suggest the
stateliness of the 18th century or the eerie dissonances of the 20th. . . .

Mr. Morricone grew up playing trumpet like his father, who worked in jazz
bands and opera orchestras; . . . His film scores invoke centuries of
popular music, from tarantellas and polkas to psychedelia, lounge pop and
avant-garde jazz. . . . The sound of an ocarina, the humble potato-shaped
ceramic flute, made his name in the 1960s in the theme for ³The Good, the
Bad and the Ugly.² . . .

He often presents himself as the servant of the director and the film. ³Time
is the element they have in common, music and cinema,² he said. ³You have to
take into account the actors, the plot, the intention of the director and
the story you are going to score.²

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