Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Canon #2

Ennio Morricone - "Il Triello" (The Trio)

Anyone who has ever seen The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly knows how powerful the climactic final scene is - that three-way standoff between Blondie, Tuco, and Angel Eyes. On the screen, you only see the eyes of each gunman as they are seconds away from drawing their pistols - the camera pans increasingly faster from man to man's eyes. You see their eyes wincing from the scorching desert sun, the sweat beading down their brows, and the cocksure look in each of their eyes. You feel the tension and momentum building inside yourself. You know why? Ennio Morricone. The camera shots wouldn't be half as powerful without Morricone's immortal score. The fluttering Spanish guitar arpeggios, the descending piano lines, the muted trumpet, and those soaring strings - he is master of build and release. Even without the film in front of you, you can listen to his compositions and be moved and enthralled. The best part of this work is the climax: that epic, dam-busting trumpet solo and the sawing string section. Christ, the only other time I've heard such triumphant, heart-thumping trumpet playing was by Miles Davis on Bitches Brew. Everytime I hear this song or any of Morricone's other spaghetti western scores, I want to start a tex-mex, southwestern, orchestral, desert-rock sort-of band.


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