05 February 2015 (gig)
07 February 2015
The name Ennio Morricone has become synonymous with film, having provided the backdrop to countless classic movies.
The Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor and former trumpet player is credited with writing the music for over 500 film and TV series and at 86 years old he still towers like a monolith above all others.
It was for these reasons that I made my way to the O2 Arena for what must be one of his last UK performances.
The 75-person choir shuffled quietly onto the stage, with the 100-strong orchestra following, all dressed impeccably in black evening dresses and suits. Then Ennio Morricone walked on at pace, looking like a man half his age, sporting a black suit and polo neck.
‘The Strength of the Righteous Man’, main title from The Untouchables, kicked off proceedings and it was clear the Ennio Morricone Orchestra meant business, each individual note shining through. Without a pause ‘Deborah’s theme’, from Once Upon A Time In America, filled the air and I could feel the tears begin to form. ‘Poverty’, from the same film, followed and if I ever doubted the breathtaking effect of Morricone's majestic music, this was a welcome reminder.
The sheer number of people involved was in keeping with the music's block buster origins. Perched delicately on his seat facing the vast array of musicians he must have been a very happy man. Morricone the captain at the helm of this titanic orchestra, which continually rose then fell away manoeuvering them through violent straights and soaring heights to eventual calm.
Novecento, The Sicilian Clan, Love Circle, Le Professionel; the film reminders came thick and fast. The tour Ennio Morriccone ‘My Life In Music’ took us on a journey through a career that has touched us all at some point. I found myself thinking 'why on earth haven't I seen ALL these films?' They will be added to that long list. But it was a moment of career defining magic which stole the show. ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’, from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with soprano Susanna Rigacci’s voice floating over the vast luxurious sound of the choir and orchestra inducing pure elation. Other highlights were taken from Cinema Paradiso, Once Upon a Time in the West and The Mission in a night of intense joy, sadness and tears, but I guess that's what life is all about, the important bits at least.
With the richest sound bursting from every corner of the stage, there simply is no one better at what he does.
One of the most moving musical nights of my life.
SET LIST - ENNIO MORRICONNE - MY LIFE IN MUSIC
ACT 1 - 51.04 mins
LIFE AND LEGEND
1 The Strength of the Righteous (Main Title) 2.27 min The Untouchables
2 Deborah's theme 3.39 min Once Upon a Time in America
3 Poverty 1.47 min Once Upon a Time in America
4 Once Upon a Time in America 1.53 min Once Upon a Time in America
5 Novecento - The Legend of '900 10.00 min Novecento - The Legend of 900
6 H2S 2.31 min H2S
7 The Sicilian Clan 3.36 min The Sicilian Clan
8 Love Circle 3.37 min Metti una Sera a Cena - Love Circle
9 Uno Che Grida Amore 4.47 min Metti una Sera a Cena - Love Circle
10 Come Maddalena 3.49 min Maddalena Soprano Susanna Rigacci sings backstage
THE MODERNITY OF THE MYTH IN SERGIO LEONE'S CINEMA
11 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Titles 4.47 min The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
12 Once Upon a Time in the West 3.04 min Once Upon a Time in the West Soprano Susanna Rigacci & Choir
13 A Fistful of Dynamite 3.57 min A fistful of Dynamite Soprano Susanna Rigacci & Choir
14 The Ecstasy of the Gold 3.03 min The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Soprano Susanna Rigacci & Choir
ACT 2 - 59.44min
15 Chi Mai 4.00 min Le Professionel
16 Cinema Paradiso 3.00 min Cinema Paradiso
17 Love Theme for Nata 4.07 min Cinema Paradiso
18 Malena 4.17 min Malena
19 A Dulce Luminsosa 4.47 min La Luz Prodigiosa / The End of a Mystery with Dulce Pontes
20 The Battle of Algiers 2.30 min The Battle of Algiers
21 The Ballad of Sacco e Vanzetti Pte. 1 4:40 min Sacco e Vanzetti with Dulce Pontes
22 Investigation on a citizen above suspicion 3.04 min Investigation on a citizen above suspicion
23 Sostiene Pereira 3.21 min Sostiene Pereira with Dulce Pontes
24 La Classe Operai va in Paradiso 3.37 min La Classe Operai va in Paradiso
25 Casualities of War 9.02 min Casualities of War Choir
26 Abolisson 4.36 min Quemada With Dulce Pontes & Choir
27 Gabriel's oboe - Mission 2.17 min The Mission
28 Falls - Mission 2.57 min The Mission
29 On Earth as it is on Heaven - Mission 3.29 min The Mission choir
30 Here's to you 3.50 min Sacco e Vanzetti Choir
31 Leone - Final part 3.03 min The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Soprano Susanna Rigacci & Choir
32 A Dulce Luminsosa 4:47min La Luz Prodigiosa / The End of a Mystery with Dulce Pontes