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An Ennio Morricone Anthology: All Music Composed & Conducted By Ennio Morricone - From The EMI General Music Vaults
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
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Remembering Past Enchantments And Past Ills
J. E. Barnes | Bayridge, Brooklyn, New York | 06/07/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Few composers outside of the classical canon have expressed the ineffable as beautifully as Ennio Morricone. The Italian Morricone, who has written scores of wildly varying quality for over 400 films, came to international prominence with and is still best - known in America for his "Spaghetti Western" scores of several classic Sergio Leone films of the Sixties, such as A Fistful of Dollars (1964), The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966), and Once Upon A Time In The West (1969). With the Leone scores, Morricone created musical pieces structured like complex mathematical equations, many of which were suffused with a driving, hypnotic, and archetypal power. In fact, the soundtrack for The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly was so dramatically dynamic that it thoroughly outstripped the finished film in terms of imaginative potential. Only with Once Upon A Time In The West did Leone create a film well crafted and realized enough to match Morricone's entrancing, playful, and occasionally perditious score. Similarly, Dario Argento's The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1969) almost completely failed to utilize Morricone's contribution, the best portions of which were heard only dimly and sporadically in the finished film. Leone's late masterpiece, Once Upon A Time In America (1984), two - thirds a perfect film, also failed to fully rise to the occasion of Morricone's simultaneously poignant, wistful, and wonderfully exuberant score. Today, Morricone's work is available on literally hundreds of soundtracks and soundtrack compilations dedicated to the composer, very few of which are entirely satisfying. An Ennio Morricone Anthology (1995), which contains 45 tracks from 39 films produced in Italy from 1965 onward, perpetuates this frustrating tradition. Of the 45 tracks, about a third represent Morricone realizing or approaching the height of his talent, another third are fairly interesting but ultimately repetitious and self-cannibalizing, and the final third, which may have worked reasonably well within the context of the films they were written for, never rise above the status of shrill, discordant, and bellowing kitsch (several attempt a Henry Mancini - like levity and fall flat). In fact, there is a great deal of healthy, raw, and leveling vulgarity even in some of Morricone's most famous compositions, such as "Le Vent, Le Cri" from 1981's The Professional and "Chi Mai" from 1971's Maddalena, both of which are included. Those seeking haunting compositions on the scale of "L'Estasi Dell 'Oro" or "Il Triello" from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly or "Poverty" from Once Upon A Time In America will be disappointed to find very few pieces approaching their caliber here, especially if already familiar with such well - known pieces such as "Moscow Farewell" from the 1987 film of the same name or the otherworldly "Il Gatto A Nove Code" from The Cat O' Nine Tails (1971). As compositions of vastly different quality are interspersed amongst one another in dizzying array, many may find An Ennio Morricone Anthology virtually impossible to listen to from beginning to end without skipping tracks repeatedly. As a genius whose greatest compositions address both the immanent and the transcendent, both perdition and salvation, both the archaic and the modern, Morricone and his admirers deserve a more carefully selected and thoughtfully produced anthology than this haphazard collection offers."
Delightful scores from Ennio Morricone
J. E. Barnes | 12/19/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few composers in film music today are as greatly admired as Ennio Morricone whose scores for a wide range of screen fares and many Oscar nominations and wins have attracted the attention of fans all over the world. This compilation is one of the best and contains very fine original musics and rare tracks of this Italian composer."