Ennio Morricone – An Italian Legend Posted by on Jul 8, 2020 in Culture, Italian Language

Ennio Morricone – Un Mito Italiano 

Ieri ci lascia un genio, un mito della musica, un grande vanto dell’Italia, Ennio Morricone. Il compositore aveva 91 anni. 

Yesterday a genius left us, a musical legend, a great pride of Italy, Ennio Morricone. The composer was 91 years old, and died as a result of complications from a fall last week.

You have certainly heard his music – from the famous Italian film Cinema Paradiso, to Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns and the Trilogia del dollaro (Dollars Trilogy). Most recently, he collaborated with Quentin Tarantino for the haunting score of the Hateful Eight, for which he won his first Oscar.

Just one listen to the opening scene of the Hateful Eight and the stirring, powerful music written and composed by Morricone will prove just how big of a loss this is to Italy and the world of cinema and music:

And how could you forget the song “The Ecstasy of Gold”  from The Good, the Bad and The Ugly? I might even argue that Morricone was the reason for the sudden surge in popularity of the cinematic style of Western all’italiana (Spaghetti Westerns).

He was modest, though, once saying about the success of Leone’s films:

“Non scrivo per il successo. Scrivo per me. I film di Sergio Leone sono dei capolavori. E basta”

“I don’t write for success. I write for me. Sergio Leone’s films are masterpieces. And that’s it.”

Sergio Leone, who met Morricone in elementary school, once said this of the famous composer’s music:

“The music is indispensable, because my films could practically be silent movies, the dialogue counts for relatively little, and so the music underlines actions and feelings more than the dialogue, I’ve had him write the music before shooting, really as a part of the screenplay itself.”

As Leone says, his music quite literally speaks for itself, stirring up the exact intended emotional response the director wants. However, those emotions were not always pre-planned, like in Tarantino’s case. Morricone had complete freedom and zero direction from the prolific Hollywood director of the aforementioned film, showing complete trust and admiration for his craft. How many people can say that the notoriously particular Tarantino trusts them whole-heartedly? Probably no one else nor anyone ever again. Incredibile.

Or, did you see the 1986 film The Mission by Roland Joffé? Ancora il maestro Morricone:

Qualunque sia il tuo gusto, whichever is your taste, they are representative of Morricone’s expansive and powerful musical contribution to the world of cinema.

Grazie di aver contribuì a diffondere cultura, emozioni, e a rendere grande la nazione italiana. 

Thank you for having spread culture, emotions, and for making the Italian nation great. Rest In Peace to the maestro.

To close, here’s a quote by Morricone talking about his trade. Let’s see your translation skills in the comments!

“La musica poi è intangibile, non ha sembianze, è come un sogno: esiste solo se viene eseguita, prende corpo nella mente di chi ascolta. Non è come la poesia, che non necessita di interpretazione perché le parole hanno un loro significato. La musica può essere interpretata in vario modo. Una composizione per una scena di guerra può essere intesa anche come brano che accompagna una danza frenetica.”


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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language. Wannabe Digital Nomad.


  1. Giovanni Angelo Carmine Aniello Giuseppe Gotti Romano Calabrese:

    i heard about ennio morricone’s passing

    he did the music for the original italian birdcage trigolgy the untouchables starring robert deniro etc

    rip fratello 🙂

  2. Joe Schepis:

    E’ vero che la musica possa interpreta di chi ascolta. Secondo me Il modo solo di capire il significato vero di un brano si deve domandare l’artista che l’ha scritto. Joseph Schepis. Un studente Della lingua italiana.

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