Ennio Morricone, the greatest living composer of movie scores (and the only reason you cry at the end of Cinema Paradiso), will receive an Oops-We're-Idiots Oscar from the Academy at the ceremony in February. As a primer, I recommend the album Cinema Concerto at Santa Cecilia, from a live 1998 concert directed by the man himself. It features his best work: Paradiso, of course, plus the epic choral boomings of The Mission (the only piece of music in existence that'll make you consider martyrdom) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (your neck hairs will bristle). My favorite, though, is his quiet score for Bugsy, which is so rich it clogs your blood vessels with sweet melancholy. Surely there will be a medley of his scores performed during the ceremony. They must get a chorus. Done correctly, this tribute could be a showstopper.
Watch, listen and wonder why he never won a competitive Oscar: "Gabriel's Oboe" from The Mission. "The Ecstasy of Gold" from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Theme from Cinema Paradiso. The Untouchables. Days of Heaven.
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