Archived post

This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.

« The Winter Break of Our Discontent | Home | Four AAAS Fellows From the College »

Grazie Maestro Morricone

Ennio Morricone.JPGIf you think that Ennio Morricone’s music is lowbrow or no more than derivative, you can stop reading right now. But if his compositions have made you pause or feel ecstasy or led you to rock rhythmically in your chair as if you were on a horse galloping across the High Plains, then you would have been moved at the Paris concert on October 2 that was part of the Maestro’s farewell tour. The sold-out crowd at the Palais des Congrès applauded Morricone for five minutes when he came on stage, and we stood and applauded at intermission and for four or five encores. The artists, too — a choir of over eighty singers and at least the same number of musicians — played with an intensity that seemed to come from a gratitude for all of the emotions that the Maestro has provoked in filmgoers over the years. At 87, Morricone moves with a little difficulty, and he sits in a chair when he conducts, but the pieces played and sung on the stage had all the verve that animated Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Philippe Noiret, Kevin Costner and many other actors on the big screen:

Morricone Concert.jpg

It has never taken me more than a few minutes in a movie to recognize that the music has been composed by Morricone, even if I have never heard it before. His compositions seem part of a drama rather than background to it. For good reason were Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns considered to have given real meaning to the Hollywood term horse opera.

If I ever were to meet the man, I’d want to ask him if he has been happy in his life. I like to believe that music of such joy comes from a deeply contented soul.

Addendum: Sure it’s over the top, but what other movie in any genre has a five-minute-long scene with no dialogue?

I first saw The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (Le Bon, La Brute et Le Truand in France; Il Buono, Il Brutto e Il Cattivo in Italy) at a midnight arthouse showing in Montreal. We sat in the first row, and the music was a little too loud. No matter. Though we had consumed no alcohol nor taken drugs of any kind, we were quite high from the sound and the color and the fury.


Featured posts

  • August 14, 2013
    Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
    History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
  • June 25, 2013
    Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
    Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
  • October 18, 2009
    When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
    We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
  • October 9, 2009
    D Afraid of a Little Competish
    So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
  • September 4, 2009
    How Regents Should Reign
    As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
  • August 29, 2009
    Election Reform Study Committee
    If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…

Dartblog Specials

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Help, Pecuniarily

Please note

This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.

All content appearing at should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.




June 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30