Ennio Morricone is honoured by the Pope

Ennio Morricone is honoured by the Pope


norman lebrecht

April 15, 2019

The film composer will receive the Pope’s Gold Medal today for ‘his extraordinary artistic work, which also has religious aspects’ – or so the citation goes.

Where, exactly?

A Fistful of Dollars? Exorcist II? The Hateful Eight? Bugsy? Once Upon a Time in America?

Has religion lost all meaning?



  • Telemachos says:

    The Mission…

  • Novagerio says:

    Not only “The Mission”. As you might know, Ennio is not only a film composer; among his sacred works you’ll find a Requiem per un destino from 1966, Un Via Crucis (“Stations of The Cross”) from the early 90’s and other choral works, besides concert and chamber music.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Any suggestions what non-film works of Morricone to explore? I’ve always been curious about his other work. That he’s had a serious training background is also obvious from his masterly thematic and harmonic processing. (I saw your other comment on his studies)

  • Ross Amico says:

    “Karol: A Man Who Became Pope,” “Karol: The Pope, the Man,” “The Good Pope: Pope John XXIII,” “Moses the Lawgiver,” “Solomon,” “Jacob,” “The Bible,” “We Free Kings,” “The Little Nuns,” and of course “The Mission.” When you’ve written 500 film and television scores, there’s plenty of music to suit all occasions. Anyway, must “religious aspects” be limited to religious subjects? Are there not heavy religious overtones to a story like “I promessi sposi?”
    This is Italy, Norman.

  • FS60103 says:

    If you talk to Morricone, you’ll quickly become aware that there is an intense seriousness to everything he does, and he’s most proud of his work with social-realist film-makers such as Gillo Pontocorvo – work with a strong moral dimension. He’s described in print how he incorporates quotes from Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Frescobaldi’s sacred music into his scores as a gesture of personal integrity in the face of a commercial system.

  • Ross Amico says:

    Also, I’m sure gestures like this didn’t hurt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmnyM_fHrm0

  • Novagerio says:

    Norman, in case you thought he wrote “only” with Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood in mind, let me inform you that Ennio studied composition with Goffredo Petrassi…

  • Spenser says:

    Perhaps a bit of medal envy there, Norman?
    For those to whom religion has meaning, it has not “lost all meaning”.
    Get a grip, man. Might a long, slow, cleansing breath be in order?