Ennio Morricone, 60 Years Of Music

Emotions are never far from the surface when Ennio Morricone is in town. As I recall on his last trip to the O2 I was crying in under three minutes, impressive even for an old romantic cry baby like me. Then ‘Deborah’s theme’ from Once Upon A Time In America was the key that saw the gates open, this time it was the gentle harp from ‘The Legend of 1900′ that started things rolling.

Tonight we also knew that this would be farewell to our friend ‘Ennio’, a man that has stood like a collossus through some of the most loved and emotional journeys of our lives. It has been the warmth, love and passion he shared in his many scores along with those visual cinematic masterpieces that have endeared him so poignantly to so many.

All in black seated in front of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus, Ennio looked relaxed, comfortable and in control.
The following pieces ‘Chi Mai’ (from the film Maddalena), ‘H2S’, ‘Uno che Grida Amore’ (from the film Metti, Una Sera a Cena), ‘Once Upon a Time in America’, ‘Baaria’ and ‘Tarantella’ showcasing his versatility with every corner of the orchestra coming to the fore in dramatic fashion.
Two screens showed no cinematic images but the masterful orchestra blending one classic to the next as tonight’s musical tapestry was delicately woven.

The Sergio Leonie moments included ‘The Man with the Harmonica’ (from the film Once Upon a Time in the West), ‘The Fortress’ (from the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and ‘The Ecstacy of Gold’ from the same film with outstanding soprano Susanna Rigacci providing the goosebumps of the night.

Part two kicked off with ‘Last Stage to Red Rock’ from The Hateful Eight then going on to showcase many celebrated works but my stand out moments came with the final works of ‘Cinema Paradiso’, a return to ‘The Ecstasy Of Gold’ and the curtain closer ‘Abolisson’ (From “Queimada”).

Adio ‘Ennio’ cried one as the O2 stood and clapped in unison to arguably the best film composer ever. A fitting all-encompassing musical celebration to a truly magnificent career. His music will endure for countless generations to come, and I for one will be proud to say I was here to say goodbye to a living legend.