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Ennio Morricone – Jubilee album review

Twenty-three tracks of Morricone’s most celebrated compositions, conducted by the great man himself.

Ennio Morricone Jubilee

Jubilee is a compilation of many of Ennio Morricone’s most memorable contributions to film and television music. The themes found on the album have been transposed for flute, piano and strings, and are brought to life in arrangements conducted by the great man himself.

The combination of instruments is electrifying. On these pieces, Paolo Zampini plays flute; Luca Pincini Cello; Fausto Aselmo voila and Gilda Butta piano. They work in perfect harmony, and the end result is a stunning album that reminds us what an extraordinary artist Morricone is.

Everyone will have their favourite piece: for us, the frantic, forceful nature of Il Prato is exhilarating, with the flute unusually carrying the drama of the melody. Then there’s the Rachmaninoff-style Mosè, in which the flute takes the melody and the piano accompanies with an arrangement of cords that works against it. Spine-tingling, both.

Our favourite piece is his score for Lolita, which is truly remarkable. Not only is it a brilliant piece of music, but it also successfully evokes the source material. It is full of the obsessional longing and pain of Nabokov’s story, whilst also containing something of the richness and complexity of the text. Rarely has a musical theme ever so near-perfectly understood the narrative.

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The most recognisable pieces will be the scores to the best-known films, and the album starts with the double-bill. First up is Once Upon A Time In The West, Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western – a genre that remains strongly identified with Morricone’s name. The Mission is next: a complicated film about men inspired by religion to do good when organised religion is responsible for so much evil around them. It’s represented here by Gabriel’s Theme – one of Morricone’s best-known compositions. Cinema Paradiso is another familiar score, which rightly finds its way onto this album too.

It’s such standout tracks that undoubtedly sees Ennio Morricone part of that pantheon of film composers alongside the likes of Bernard Herrmann, John Barry and John Williams, who manage to be simultaneously prolific, consistently great and artistically brilliant.

Perhaps the greatest compliment is that, whilst Morricone’s beautiful music never intrudes through the world of the movie, it exists happily outside of it, as an artistic achievement in its own right. To listen to Jubilee is to become lost in the enthralling and distinctive sound of a very fine artist. It’s a pleasure from start to finish, and a reminder of just how many memorable scores Morricone has contributed to cinema to date.

Track Listing:  1. Once Upon A Time In The West / Il etait une fois dans l’Ouest – Theme  2. The Mission / Mission – Gabriel’s Theme  3. Once Upon A Time In America / Il etait une fois en Amerique – Deborah’s Theme  4. L’Eredita Ferramonti / L’Heritage – Theme  5. Metti, Una Sera A Cena (Disons, Un Soir a Diner) – 2eme Theme  6. Il Maestro E Margherita / Le Maitre et Marguerite – Theme  7. Il Prato / Le Pre – Theme  8. Lolita – Theme  9. Rampage / Le Sang du Chatiment – Theme  10. Novecento (1900) – Romanza  11. Mose / Moise – Theme  12. Per le antiche scale / Vertiges – Theme  13. Cinema Paradiso – Theme  14. Il deserto dei Tartari / Le Desert des Tartares  15. Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto / Enquete sur un citoyan au-dessus de tout soupcon  16. Gott mit uns / À l’Aube du cinquieme Jour  17. Red Sonja – Symphonic Suite for Chorus and Orchestra (Part 1a)  18. Red Sonja – Symphonic Suite for Chorus and Orchestra (Part 1d)  19. Cane Bianco  20. Stark System  21. Le stagioni della vita  22. Il potere degli angeli  23. Love Affair Record Company: Milan Music Release Date: 17th June 2016

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