'We all love Ennio Morricone': Concert pays tribute to late Italian music legend
Ding Siyue

"We all love Ennio Morricone," a tribute concert was held in Beijing last Friday to honor the Italian composer Ennio Morricone who passed away last July.

Chinese musicians from different genres, such as classical, ethnic, rock and jazz, gathered at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing to pay tribute to the legend in a concert titled "We All Love Ennio Morricone."

Many renowned melodies from the composer were played, including those from "Once Upon a Time in America," "Once Upon a Time in the West," "Malèna," "Cinema Paradiso" and "Legend of 1900."

The Rome-born composer scored more than 500 films. Although famous for the tension-filled scores of spaghetti Westerns, Morricone has also contributed to a huge range of other film genres: comedies, thrillers, romances and art movies – making him one of the film world's most versatile artists.

Morricone won an Academy Award for his soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" in 2016 and an honorary Academy Award in 2007. 

Ennio Morricone onstage. /CFP

Ennio Morricone onstage. /CFP

He has won several BAFTAs, Grammy's and the Golden Globes, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

This concert included a special line-up of many "crossover" musicians. Usually, Morricone's works are played by a symphony orchestra, but not this time. Instead, performers interpreted his work in their own way, using traditional Chinese musical instruments. 

"It's very challenging both in terms of tone and musical expression. We chose the music from 'For a few Dollars More,' which is a spaghetti Western. I was very nervous when we got the assignment. I didn't know how the music would sound on a guqin. So, I listened to the original melodies every day and tried to incorporate them with the characteristics of my own musical instrument," said Zhao Jiazhen, a guqin instrumentalist.

During the concert, musicians commemorated the legend with romantic performances. Host of the concert Youdai said Morricone's film soundtracks transcend the limitations of the screen and the boundaries of music genres. 

This concert is also the first big event in Beijing under the "Road to 2022" project, which highlights a series of cultural exchange activities to welcome the 2022 China-Italy Culture and Tourism Year. 

(Cover: "We all love Ennio Morricone," a tribute concert is held in Beijing, China, April 9, 2021. /CGTN)

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