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On presentation alone this would be a five star review. The book looks incredible. When you hold it there's a satisfying weight and just a casual flick through - the kind of browse when you first get it - reveals full colour pages with a great layout of LP and 45 covers. Fantastic. There are a selection of written pieces at the front of the book from John Carpenter, Quentin Tarantino and a number of others that are all interesting and set up a nice context. But I had to drop a star. There are a few issues that could be seen as being niggles but the devil is in the detail. I spotted one glaring error, the listing of Space 1999 as being released in 1973 when the simplest of checks on either the iMDb or other website would have found it's proper production date. There may be others in there that I might not have noticed. At the front of the book there is a key listed with symbols denoting TV movie, documentary, Oscar and BAFTA awards amongst others to indentify a score's particular attributes (curiously there is no symbol representing feature films, the author must assume that since the majority of Morricone's scores are for cinema that they don't need one). This is quite useful but they are only used at the beginning of each chapter in the discography and not in the main body of the book in conjunction with the images of the record sleeves. Except for major film awards when they are used in this way. Also, there is a key as listed as 'TV show' but has no corresponding image. To accompany some of the record illustration the author adds a capsule comment. Some are fine but most, perhaps in either the translation or the author's use of English, sound off kilter or contain unhelpful observations. For example take this one from Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, "This film helped to revolutionize the canons of composing for the cinema....Morricone who was not new to experimentation, unleashed all his talent and fashioned it using devices from his abstract treasure trove of experience. The result was timeless music for different moods; even problem solving or trying to sooth one's nerves". There are a few things here, that final line is curious and quite subjective, but soothing is not a word I would have chosen for this score. However the comment, "this film helped to revolutionize the canons of composing for the cinema" surely belongs to earlier work, noticeably the scores for Sergio Leone's westerns. I'm such a Morricone fan that perhaps I was looking for perfection, so don't be put off by my caveats, this book belongs on your shelf if you love the Maestro.
I enjoyed browsing through 50 plus years of film composing by Maestro Morricone. I also enjoyed seeing the cover art for those films. I thought the comments on music itself might have been more revealing in discussing the skills in orchestration that have Morricone apart from his peers.
I’ve been collecting film music for almost six decades, and Morricone and his recordings since RCA released the messy A FIstful of Dollars, in which side B the suite seemed to be the contents of side A.
The most interesting information came from director John Boorman whose Exorcist II The Heretic Morricone scored. Boorman suggests Morricone began to wok with a 60 piece orchestra, except instead of assembling he orchestra, he called the musicians one by one. Each musician would listen on ear phones to a guide track and record his part. Ennio’s 60-piece orchestra now e sited on 60 separate tracks! We sat side by side and he began mixing. “What you like, John?” I finally understood what that meant. He could mix it any way we wanted, and we did!
What can I say. Myself and others who will buy this book have a lot of Morricone. The finished product. I would like to know how he got there, and with what instruments and performers.
I remember being thrilled with Il mil nome e nessuno, the deluxe foldout album and seeing performers’ names there. Such a beautifully produced album.
Oh well, thank you for reading.
Hopefully the prominence of CGI won’t destroy the art of film scoring... I believe the lack of CGI encouraged filmmakers and their creative team to be inventive, playful and idiosyncratic.
A true "coffee table" book that pictures "scores and score"s of Ennio Morricone music released on LP, 45 rpm and CD covers, in all of their full color glory. A previous reviewer gave a heads-up that there was not a lot of reading that comes along with the book so I wasn't disappointed. But it's a great pictorial history of what these covers look like, going back to the Sixties. And a wonderful tribute to one of the most prolific composers of the 20th Century.