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Album Review

Venerated score composer Ennio Morricone is past 80 and semi-retired, but he returns to work for the first time in five years for Giuseppe Tornatore's autobiographical epic Baarìa, having written the music for all of the director's previous films, including the celebrated Cinema Paradiso. Appropriately for a soundtrack album that bears a photograph of the composer on the cover, the music is stamped with Morricone's signature style, melodic and lushly romantic. The stately opening theme, "Sinfonia per Baarìa," is an 11-minute work with the voices of the characters woven in among its contrasting motives. Morricone can be stirring ("Ribellione") and playful ("Un Gioco Sereno") in this varied score for a film covering 70 years in the lives of its characters. But his identity as a composer is rarely in doubt, and if this score does not sum up his style, it is a representative rendering of it.


Born: 10 November 1928 in Rome, Italy

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ennio Morricone is probably the most famous film composer of the 20th century. He is also one of the most prolific composers working in any medium. No exact figure is available, but he's scored over 500 films over several decades, plus many dozens of classical works. While his film scores have been in almost every imaginable musical style (and for almost every imaginable kind of movie), he is most identified with the "spaghetti Western" style of soundtracks, which he pioneered when providing the...
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