A number of years ago, I was looking forward to a concert unlike any other I had been to. The iconic composer Ennio Morricone was coming to Los Angeles to perform for the first time. Like so many, I knew Morricone’s music before I had even seen the Sergio Leone films that made them famous. And my love for them grew after I fell in love with The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West. Morricone pretty much created his own genre of music with the spaghetti western themes he created, which would not only influence other film composers, but would also change the pop landscape, finding its way into the songs of artists like Lana Del Rey.
Of course, there was also the magical score written for Cinema Paradisio, or the breathtaking work for The Mission. I had a collection of Morricone’s most famed scores that I listened to A LOT. And even late in life, he was still composing new music for modern directors who idolized him like Quentin Tarantino, who was scheduled to do a Q&A with Morricone when he came to Los Angeles.
Sadly, the concert never happened. Morricone injured himself and was unable to travel. Though I held hope that he may return once recovered, it became clear as the years went on that that would not be the case. And now that the legend has passed away, it appears it was never meant to be.
There is no question the man’s name and music will live on in all the films he elevated with his genius. Listen to some of his most famous work.