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About this Piece

Ennio Morricone (b. 1928) first came to prominence as the composer for the "spaghetti Westerns" of Sergio Leone, starring the young Clint Eastwood. Morricone's striking and unorthodox use of electronic instruments within the traditional orchestra setting and quirky instruments and effects such as hammer dulcimer, harmonica, ocarina, electric guitar, whistling, and strange untexted vocal sounds has become a hallmark of the Morricone sound. He has composed for over 100 films, including favorites like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Cinema Paradiso; and In the Line of Fire.

Morricone's gritty, urgent score for director Brian DePalma's 1987 film The Untouchables was nominated for an Academy Award. His music captures both the dynamic energy of the conflict between Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and Al Capone (Robert De Niro) and the poignancy of idealism and loss.