Ennio Morricone, who died this month at 91, was for decades the most innovative and irreverent composer of film scores working. Best known for his collaborations with Sergio Leone on his spaghetti westerns, Morricone scored approximately 500 films, working with a who’s who of landmark directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Terrence Malick, John Carpenter, Quentin Tarantino and many more.
Morricone’s music was dynamic, bold and also idiosyncratic — he made impressive use of unusual instrumentation and blank space, creating compositions that contributed to and sometimes dictated the narrative arc of the film. In 2007, he won a lifetime achievement Oscar.
On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about how Morricone’s music shaped the films he worked on, and the high bar he set for other film composers.
Jon Pareles, The New York Times’s chief pop music critic
Joshua Rothkopf, the former film editor of Time Out New York and a writer for The New York Times, Sight & Sound and others