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Film Soundtracks - Released April 20, 2018 | Bacci Bros Records

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Classical - Released July 20, 2010 | Sony Classical

Sure to remain a top seller on the classical charts for some time to come, Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone is a new installment in the great cellist's long series of crossover albums. It diverges from most of the others, however, in its collaborative aspect: the music's original creator, Morricone, had as much to do with this album as did Ma and his creative team. Morricone's career in film music began during the era of the spaghetti Western in the 1960s and has flourished ever since, on both sides of the Atlantic. Morricone and Ma met at the 2001 Academy Awards, where Ma was performing and Morricone was nominated for his score to Giuseppe Tornatore's Malèna. They hatched the idea for this album together, and all the adaptations of Morricone's music are his own. He also conducts the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra. Overall, the results are gorgeous. Morricone opens and closes the album with pairs of excerpts from two individual films, The Mission and the rarely seen The Lady Caliph. In between are four suites of excerpts, three of them associated with Morricone's favorite directorial collaborators (Sergio Leone, Brian de Palma, and Tornatore). These suites, comprising varied but closely related stretches of music, really allow Ma to go to town. He has rarely achieved a more lushly beautiful tone or a more direct emotional appeal. Morricone deftly adapts his music for the cello-and-orchestra combination. At different times, Ma's cello plays the role of another solo instrument (the pan pipes in the Mission score, for instance), sings the wordless vocal lines that populate many of Morricone's scores, or plays lines of orchestral counterpoint that are elaborated into some pretty fancy fingerwork. The only complaints pertain to the selection of music, and it's debatable whether there's really anything to complain about. Represented here are Morricone's big, romantic scores, mostly of fairly recent vintage. Cinema Paradiso, two cues from which are included, is an example casual filmgoers may be acquainted with. The edgier, more experimental scores Morricone wrote for Western and suspense films are ignored, and it was these that endeared the composer to scenesters like John Zorn, who recorded a memorable deconstruction of The Big Gundown some years ago. On the few tracks where electronic elements are introduced, they aren't well integrated into the general concept. As a whole, though, the album hangs together wonderfully, and the music can stand up to anything in the current neo-Romantic rage. Play the "Cockeye's Song" cue from Once Upon a Time in America for classical purists unfamiliar with Morricone, and ask them to guess the composer. Watch them squirm. And then introduce one of the great composers of our time, presented by one of our foremost interpreters. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI Marketing

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Film Soundtracks - Released November 29, 2019 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Classical - Released November 3, 2017 | Arcana

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 23, 2018 | Bacci Bros Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released May 18, 2004 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1981 | Music Box - EMPF

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1982 | Geffen

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1991 | DRG Records

Few viewers are able to resist the charms of Cinema Paradiso, the coming-of-age tale that captured the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1989. Celebrated composer Ennio Morricone's score captures the gentle-natured, nostalgic feel of the film masterfully. From the graceful title theme (which is revisited within most of the compositions) to the wistful "Visit to the Cinema" to the majestic "From American Sex Appeal to the First Fellini Film," Morricone manages to set the mood perfectly and unobtrusively. The orchestral score complements while it adds depth and subtle color to every scene. Andrea Morricone contributes the lovely "Love Theme," a sweeping piece of music incorporating flute and summarizing the entire proceedings. The soundtrack to Cinema Paradiso is another exceptional work from Morricone and the perfect souvenir to the film. [The Special Limited Edition of this album includes a bonus track, an alternate version of "Cinema Paradiso."] © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 16, 2010 | Sony Classical

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 20, 2019 | Bacci Bros Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1987 | A&M

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 31, 2006 | Cinevox

For a late-'60s Morricone soundtrack this is a little on the bland, easy listening side. But it's at the very least pleasant, and there are the occasional streaks of eccentricity to be heard here and there. The majority of the tracks are dainty and sunny, if lushly orchestrated, sometimes decorated with Edda Dell'Orso's female vocal scatting, as if to suggest the dawning of a new romance as the curtains are raised on a sparkling Mediterranean day. Some oddball stuttering organ pokes its head out on "Terrazza Vuota," and "Alla Luce Del Giorno" sounds like generic go-go party music, with callow, innocuous, wordless harmonies. "Ric Happening" takes a left turn into faux Indian-Asian ambient sounds; "Nina" has light jazz ballad colors. This is one for the Morricone completist rather than the listener collecting highlights of his massive discography. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released May 5, 2011 | Cinevox

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Film Soundtracks - Released June 19, 2018 | Creazioni Artistiche Musicali C.A.M. S.r.l.

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Film Soundtracks - Released July 6, 2007 | Gdm

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released November 14, 2014 | EMI General Music srl

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 15, 2014 | Recording Arts

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Lounge - Released February 26, 2015 | EMI General Music srl