Ennio Morricone reads a giant Happy 80th Birthday card from all of us
Just a quick note to say happy birthday and thank you for all those notes you’ve managed to put together over your career that, when combined, have resulted in some of the most sublime, giddy, thrilling music ever written for the movies. If you’d only written the theme from Once Upon A Time in the West, well, we might have begged for more but would have had to admit that such haunted loveliness would be far in excess of what we could ever expect from the average composer. But then you did give us so much more. Some of my personal favorites would have to include the mournful dread of your scores for Brian De Palma, including Casualties of War and Mission to Mars (and, of course, the thrusting toughness of The Untouchables); the playfulness of your melodies for Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! which underscored the ambivalence we were feeling about the situation of the characters on screen; the soaring stories of the countryside and the people that infuse your beautiful music for Days of Heaven and 1900; and of course the inimitable (though so many have tried) whistles and blasts and twangs and cresecendoes and sudden silences you created for the Dollars films— music to score a life by, and many of us have done just that. So much to get lost in amongst the aural streams of those works alone, yet those are not even the tip of your iceberg. You have given us so much musical pleasure, so much musical challenge in your 80 years. It would be greedy to hope for 80 more, and yet I cannot resist the impulse, and so I do. May you not see the end of this day without knowing full well how much your work means to those of us who listen with our hearts as well as our ears, those of us who cannot wait to the experience the tales you tell us with your exceptional and unique talent each time we see the credit, “Music by Ennio Morricone.”
Happy birthday, old friend.
(As always, Green Cine Daily points the way toward myriad tributes to Morricone on this special day, including fine pieces by Tim Lucas and Robert Cumbow.)