A giant of the music world has left us as Italian-born Ennio Morricone has died. He was 91. The news was broken to the media in a statement from Morricone’s lawyer and Variety. Morricone was hospitalized last week after falling and breaking his leg. Best known for scoring Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns such as “The Good The Bad, and The Ugly”, the Oscar winner also produced the sounds and music for ‘Days of Heaven,’ ‘The Mission,’ ‘Cinema Paradiso’ and ‘The Hateful Eight.’. His composition “The Ecstacy of Gold” from “The Good The Bad, and The Ugly” has been the opening music for every Metallica show since 1984, and the band even recorded a full metal band version of it and performs it live every so often, their last being “S & M 2” concerts in September of 2019
The Italian composer, who scored more than 500 films — seven for his countryman Leone after they had met as kids in elementary school — died in Rome following complications from a fall last week in which he broke his femur.
A native and lifelong resident of Rome whose first instrument was the trumpet, Morricone won his Oscar for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (2015) and also was nominated for his original scores for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), Roland Joffe’s The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987), Barry Levinson’s Bugsy (1991) and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena (2000).
Known as “The Maestro,” he also received an honorary Oscar in 2007 (presented by Clint Eastwood) for his “magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music,” and he collected 11 David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s highest film honors.
Morricone’s ripe, pulsating sounds enriched Leone’s low-budget shoot-’em-ups A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) — those three starred Eastwood — Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Duck, You Sucker (1971).