Orb & Sceptre William Walton Download 'Orb & Sceptre' on iTunes
A fistful of favourites from the great Italian maestro of movie music.
At 86 years old, movie music master Ennio Morricone has been composing for films and television for half a century. He has written the scores for more than 500 movies and TV series, as well as works for the concert hall. In 2007, he received an honorary Oscar 'for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music'. But which are the ten best soundtracks from this genius of cinema? (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Moviegoers got to see Clint Eastwood's inscrutable 'man with no name' for the first time in Sergio Leone's pioneering Spaghetti Western. For a new kind of anti-hero, Morricone created a new kind of soundtrack - with male chanting, Spanish guitars, whistling and bells. It catapulted the Italian composer to movie scoring stardom.
The third film in the so-called 'Dollars Trilogy' following 'A Fistful of Dollars' and 'For a Few Dollars More'. The plot revolves around three gunslingers competing to find a fortune in buried Confederate gold. Morricone's most famous score combines a classic theme tune with electric guitars and dramatic vocal shrieks, which represent the howling of coyotes.
An epic story with all the expected ingredients - a mysterious stranger (with harmonica), a notorious desperado, the beautiful widow in danger, and a ruthless assassin working for the railroad. This lyrical, harmonica-tinged soundtack helped make director Sergio Leone's brutal western, starring Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson, an all-time classic.
There aren't many people who have seen this obscure film, but Morricone did produce two of his finest themes for it - 'Come Maddalena' and the exquisite 'Chi Mai' which was re-used for the BBC drama series, The Life and Times of David Lloyd George. The track reached number two in the UK pop charts in 1981.
Harmonicas, vocalising and whistling appear in Morricone's haunting, lushly romantic BAFTA-winning score for Sergio Leone's epic saga about Jewish gangsters in New York. Robert de Niro and James Woods headed up a brilliant cast.
Ennio Morricone's Oscar-nominated soundtrack fuses baroque choirs with tribal drumming to evoke the culture-clash of 18th century Spanish Jesuits and Amazonian Indians. Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons gave remarkable performances but the music and cinematography stole the show.
Federal Agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) sets out to stop Al Capone (Robert de Niro); because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team including Jim Malone (Sean Connery in an Oscar-winning role). All the tension and prohibition era atmosphere of director Brian de Palma's gangster drama is captured in Morricone's thrilling, Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning score.
Giuseppe Tornatore's story of a young boy's friendship with a cinema projectionist inspired some of Morricone's most touching and melodic music. The score, composed by Morricone with his son Andrea, won a BAFTA in 1990.
Morricone's jazz and ragtime-style soundtrack is central to the story of a pianist whose entire life is spent on an ocean liner. Tim Roth starred, and Morricone took home a Golden Globe award for Best Original Score.
Morricone provided a bitter-sweet score for another Tornatore coming-of-age drama about a woman who provokes sexual awakening in a group of adolescent boys. Monica Bellucci starred and Morricone picked up his fifth Oscar nomination for the music.