A Fistful of Dollars

A Fistful of Dollars ★★★★

While I loved Fistful of Dollars from the first moment, I have no doubt that Ennio Morricone's score had the greater first impact than Sergio Leone's vision. Quirky, fun, cool, operatic and all of these things in a single piece. Seeing Fistful... for the first time sent me down a rabbit hole for both Leone and Morricone that would turn into a lifelong love. While I can only watch the films ever so often for fear of reducing their impact, Gabriel's Oboe is played more often than Für Elise on the ABC Classical radio station, and I could listen to variations of his music exclusively, every score an iconic and distinctive sound. The desolate pipe of Cockeye's theme, the desperate desire for ascendency of The Mission, the filthy bass of Come Madalena to the ultimate adventure theme of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. So many more great pieces and nobody has contributed the depth or breadth to film score and atmosphere in the past sixty years.

I was lucky enough to see him conduct live for the Adelaide Festival one year, maybe seven years ago now. The local council screwed it up royally by choosing to make it an outdoor concert and trusting the car race that was on the same day to finish on time. Despite all that, it was still magical to hear these quintessential pieces under a heavenly blue summer sky.

Goodbye Maestro, you have been a treasure to the arts and your legacy is unparalleled. We've all felt The Ecstasy of Gold through your music.


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