Morricone is the Man


I’ve had this in a browser tab for a couple weeks because I knew if I started to play these videos, there went the afternoon. And there it went.

You’ve heard this music before, I’m sure, but what a pleasure to see it being played, to see how it’s made. Morricone is simply a titan among composers, one of the finest melodists ever, and a master of structure, especially rhythmic, and form. And oh, that orchestration! The instruments he uses give the music so much of its meaning and effect, and in that he’s a peer of Mahler.

If you want to waste spend your day doing something constructive and fulfilling, play through this entire mix of live movie themes from the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. And if you don’t have any Morricone in your library—you should—I highly recommend these two discs, which give you music from the Westerns, and also some extraordinarily fine themes from movies you will probably never have the chance to see.

“He gets it! He knows music!”

Alvin Singleton

“I strongly disagree with much of…this essay…but it’s incredibly well-written and thought-provoking, and definitely worth a read. This is the kind of writing that I would hold up as a perfect example of why blogs are not merely fun and interesting, but also serious and important.”

Judd Greenstein

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I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.