From WWS Weekly, a weekly dispatch that is part of an ongoing mission to fulfil the cultural promise of the internet. An enriching and eclectic collection of music, art, film and stories. Think of it as your digital 5-a-day.
This week we present a listening issue to mark the life and work of Ennio Morricone. Considered to be the ‘father of modern arrangement’, he was a unique talent, composing melodic accompaniments to comedies, thrillers and historical dramas by Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Terrence Malick, Roland Joffé, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Mike Nichols, John Carpenter, Quentin Tarantino and other filmmakers.
He scored hundreds of films, working only from a script before screening the rushes. Directors marveled at his range and at the ingenuity of his silences.
He was wary of overloading an audience with emotions and of music that overshadowed the actor. But as Jon Pareles remarks about Morricone’s music, “It’s sometimes a conspirator, sometimes a lampoon, with tunes that are as vividly in the foreground as any of the actors’ faces.”
A selection of some of Morricone’s very best:
from Once Upon A Time In America
from The Mission
The Ecstasy of Gold
from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
“I, Ennio Morricone, am dead.”
Morricone was very aware that it was not long before he left this world, so he left an emotional letter to say goodbye to his loved ones, It is translated below.
I, Ennio Morricone, am dead.
I announce to all the friends who have always been close to me and also to those who are a little far away, I greet you with great affection. Impossible to mention them all.
I send special memories to Peppuccio and Roberta, fraternal friends who are very present in the last years of our lives.
There is only one reason that leads me to greet everyone like this and to celebrate a private funeral: I don’t want to disturb.
I greet with great affection Ines, Laura, Sara, Enzo and Norbert, for having shared a lot with me and my family. much of my life.
I want to remember my sisters Adriana, Maria, Franca and their loved ones with love, and let them know how much I loved them.
An intense and profound greeting to my children Marco, Alessandra, Andrea, Giovanni, my daughter-in-law Monica and my grandchildren Francesca, Valentina, Francesco and Luca.
I hope you know how much I have loved you.
Last but not least, Maria. I renew to her the extraordinary love that kept us together and that I regret leaving.
For her, my most painful goodbye.