Remembering Ennio Morricone

The Oscar-winning Italian film composer Ennio Morricone has passed away. He was 91.

Morricone scored more than 500 films, including the suspenseful spaghetti Westerns of director Sergio Leone. His scores include The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Days of Heaven (1978), The Mission (1986), The Untouchables (1987), and The Hateful Eight (2015).

Almost obsessive repetition, slowly driving rhythm, the deep voice of the contrabassoon, and (in the final moments) a bass line which wanders like a hungry, demonic predator all add up to gradually building intensity in this excerpt from The Hateful Eight. I hear echoes of Shostakovich:

Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission is one of Morricone’s most beautiful and memorable melodies:

Here is Itzhak Perlman’s recording of the soaring love theme from the 1988 drama, Cinema Paradiso:

The 1969 Soviet/Italian film, The Red Tent, tells the story of the 1928 rescue mission following the crash of the airship, Italia, near the North Pole. Morricone’s score gives us a sense of glinting sunlight on ice and the ultimate time-altering cinematic expanse:

Recordings

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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