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Four scores and more
By Chen Jie (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-05-19 09:54

Four scores and more

Legendary composer Ennio Morricone is responsible for some of the finest film scores ever heard.

Music by Ennio Morricone will fill the Great Hall of the People on Saturday night and the legendary composer, now 81, will be holding the baton.

If the name is unfamiliar, his list of credits includes some of the finest film scores ever heard. Think Once Upon A Time in America (1984), Cinema Paradiso (1988), Lolita (1997), The Legend of 1900 (1998) and Malena (2000), and even years after watching them, the score lingers in the mind. His CV lists 500 movies spanning half a century.

After five Academy Award nominations, the Italian finally picked up an Honorary Oscar in 2007 for his "magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music".

Academy president Sid Ganis said: "The Academy wants to recognize not only the important number of soundtracks composed by Morricone, but also the fact many of them are well loved and popular masterpieces."

Morricone is also a multi award winner in his native Italy. Overseas he has also won a Grammy, two Golden Globes, BAFTA's Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music five times, plus lifetime achievement awards from ASCAP, the Venice Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review.

"Not only the film industry, but the music industry at large, is deeply indebted to this phenomenal composer, whose expressivity embraces so many genres with such integrity and creativity," said opera star Renee Fleming. "The evocative nature of his work dramatically enhances the visual images and resonates in our deepest emotions."

Although not a mainstream star in China, Morricone nonetheless has a following here. "I first encountered the work of Morricone in the early 1990s," says rock musician Zuoxiao Zuzou. "I love his music in Once A Upon A Time in America. It's one of my favorite movies. I really love Robert De Niro's acting in the movie and of course, Morricone's music intrigued me. I also love his music in Malena. Emotionally, I think his music echoes Chopin but with modern elements. Technically, his strings part is perfect."

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