Ennio Morricone 
5 March, 2017

Ennio Morricone “My life in Music” Concert Review

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Author Nualan O’Brien

As we left the Moriconne concert on February 13th, my thoughts were: how could I ever express the beauty of this performance in words?

I was, it seems not alone in thinking this about this revered Italian composer.

“Sometimes words aren’t enough and that’s why we have art. Musically and visually artists can convey the wealth and depth of the human condition in a way that is beyond language either spoken or written.”

State.ie’s review of Morricone’s concert in Dublin in 2013 (which was sold out in 8 minutes)

This was Morricone’s first concert in Zurich and my first time to see him.

In many eyes and ears ☺ Morricone is in the undisputed maestro of film scores having written music for over 500 films including: the Mission, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly and a Fistful of Dollars. His list of awards is extensive including an honorary Academy award, Golden globe awards (one for “the Mission”) and several “best original” Grammy awards and oh some Bafta awards. The list goes on…

The evening began with a ten-minute film in Italian with Morricone talking about his “Life in Music”. He said: “Music should not have it’s own personality, but complement the theme of the film.” I wondered about this, as in my view his music defined the films rather than the other way around. Without the score of Cinema Paradiso would the love story have been so touching? Would the suspense and tension have built so well in the “Trio’s Final Showdown” in the Good, Bad and the Ugly without the music? I think not.

His modesty however was refreshing in comparison to the current vogue of celebrities who frequently remind us of their marvelous gifts and virtues, e.g. Jay Z, the rapper (married to the ubiquitous Beyonce) saying in an interview on the Jonathan Ross British talk show “I sold 50 million albums, I’m a big deal.”

The following quote “doth spring to mind”
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
Saint Augustine

Morricone was accompanied by his orchestra, and also included two solo singers. The choir also sang beautifully and powerfully. The hall was filled with mesmerising music, transporting even the most cold of souls to a sublime place of reflection, joy and emotion. Tears filled my eyes for many of the pieces.

Morricone is 85 years young. As the concluded the last set to a standing ovation, he stumbled from his podium on his way to exit the stage. The concert hall held its breath as he lay there, completely still. Four colleagues rushed to help him. He rose, not quickly but carefully. He walked off to some deafening clapping.

Was he okay, we all worried? A few minutes later he came back to conduct a repeat of classics “Ecstasy of Gold” from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – also received to a standing ovation. Some of the more enthusiastic audience members shouted out “Ennio Ti amo,” (I love you). His final piece was from the Mission – also met with a standing ovation. Way to go, Mr Morricone, I thought. It’s not how often we fall, but how often we pick ourselves up that matters.

Photo © EnnioMorricone.com


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