39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2001
These two discs contain three complete, original recordings by this unique composer, who along with Schifrin changed the sound of film music. His music for many great Sergio Leone westerns announced a new direction for the evolution of the soundtrack, with the sort of creative and often startling use of instrumentation so well exhibited on this collection.
The first cd presents the music from the first two 'Dollars' films. The opening theme, not one of his best-known, builds on guitars and an evocative whistled melody with unsettling vocals and rolling percussion, which carries your imagination over a sunscorched desert plain. Full string sounds layer the music, adding depth and musical texture.
Whilst you notice the most significant themes almost ooze from the score, sometimes phrases creep in, sometimes only suggested, this is not thematic based scoring. Morricone creates a collection of very different pieces of music. Each concieved to fill your mind with moods - melancholy, excitement and the undefinable feeling of escapism. This is very intelligent mood music. Thats not a criticism! There are several beautifully melodic pieces, from cornet solos to electric guitars. And an often unsettling array of percussive sounds. The second score on the disc moves away from the themes of the first film, but not the mood. In very much the same idiom, creating once again stirring sounds, and utilizing an always surprising array of unusual and original instrumentation. Watch out for some pretty tunes on track 11, and 16, which brings a sense of uncertain tranquility, a subtle end to a worth while listen
However fine the first disc, the second features what is probably Morricones finest work in it's entirety. Far more startling than the much referenced 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', which brings together a truly uplifting theme, of operatic scale, and a truly brilliant series of cues that use an enormous range of percussion, electric and acoustic guitars, and the positively eerie harmonica, to paint a musical picture of the expansive, threatening, totally overwhelming West that Leone creates visually. The power of the landscapes, desolate, hostile, comes across to the listener without need ever having seen the film. Suspense is the key here, and Morricone achieves it deftly. For those who have seen the film, youll remember the way, in the style of a tone poem almost, the music follows every movement on screen, fusing sound effect with score, characterizing the people with musical sounds that tell you more about the story than the dialogue itself. If you havent seen it, then simply enjoy this unique musical experience, from the master of his own, unmistakable style.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2011
finally! a decent original version of the soundtracks, doesn't sound (and i believe it isn't) synthesized for once! excellent music, but you'll probably realise that if your looking for this recording, my opinion one of the best recordings of the music (that i have found at least).
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2010
Music from the real, original soundtracks of Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More & on disc 2, Once upon a Time in the West. Potent quality audio, not too distant or dim.
True soundtracks of Morricone, rather than some cheap knock-offs that seek very often, to play sedate arrangements of his masterful works. Goes well with soundtrack to Good, the Bad & the Ugly, of course..which really should have been included in this set for a fuller 'Sergio Leone' feel.