Cinema Concerto: Ennio Morricone at Santa Cecilia

Cinema Concerto: Ennio Morricone at Santa Cecilia

by Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra Rome
     
 

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At its best, film music adds something to the story and images on screen that can't be expressed in any other way. At its very best, it conjures up vivid emotions and impressions even when removed from the cinematic context and performed on its own -- and such is the skill of Ennio Morricone, one of the most significant composers of

Overview

At its best, film music adds something to the story and images on screen that can't be expressed in any other way. At its very best, it conjures up vivid emotions and impressions even when removed from the cinematic context and performed on its own -- and such is the skill of Ennio Morricone, one of the most significant composers of the first century of motion pictures. Since the 1960s, Morricone has written scores for films of all kinds, working with directors in both Hollywood and Europe, but he remains best known for his collaborations with Sergio Leone on classic spaghetti westerns like "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Selections from this and other Leone films are at the heart of CINEMA CONCERTO. Recorded live in Rome in 1998, this hour-long suite includes Morricone's themes from "Cinema Paradiso" and "The Mission" as well as many lesser-known films that his music may encourage you to seek out. There is an intense Italian lyricism in his music, and a taste for unusual tone colors, both of which have greatly enhanced the conventional romantic language of orchestral film music. Morricone's versatility and originality speak loud and clear on CINEMA CONCERTO, with several vocal selections adding to the variety, including the famously eerie wordless soprano -- sung here by Gemma Bertagnolli -- that makes his evocation of western landscapes so distinctive.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Although not as satisfying in terms of overall content as the individual soundtracks, this concert recording of Ennio Morricone film music with the composer leading the Orchestra and Chorus of the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has its virtues. Among the latter are the superb musicianship of a full-blown classical orchestra and chorus and the exceptionally clean sound, although this also has its flaws -- the quality of the recording is impeccable, although there is a certain lack of presence; producer David Mottley and recording engineer Mike Sheady could have tried for a closer, more intimate sound, although the performance's wit and charm come through along with the virtuosity of the players. The programming is ambitious as far as it goes, encompassing not only such mega-hits as The Mission and the Leone Westerns, but also a handful of lesser-known art house favorites like Burn! in between titles like Casualties of War. Opening with the main title theme and "Love Theme" from Cinema Paradiso, the record moves on through his clever theme from Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion and through the more restrained music from Bugsy. "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" is transformed into genuine concert music in this setting, with some changes in tempo and emphasis that make it about as appropriate as the music of Respighi -- it opens a Leone quartet of tracks, including music from Once Upon a Time in the West and Duck, You Sucker! (aka A Fistful of Dynamite), concluding with "The Ecstasy of Gold" from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The music is all played (and sung) impeccably, and apart from the lack of presence, which is almost made up for by the cleanness of the sound (check out the overlapping layers of horns and brass on "Love Circle"), the only real flaw is that the programming wasn't longer or more ambitious -- Morricone's 300-plus scores have yielded up serious highlights totaling a lot more than 62 minutes. The annotation is thorough, and the overall disc is sort of essential for fans of the composer; until he conducts a two-hour concert on video, this will be the optimal way in which to hear Morricone's music at its most polished and exalted.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646167229
catalogNumber:
61672

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