WITH ENNIO MORRICONE
English by Patrick Bouster from a French translation of the original
Notes by the last translator.
the radio channel France-Musiques in 3 parts on Sundays October
20, 27 and November 3, 2002, at 12:00 PM. The discussions about
the films mentioned were illustrated by film and music excerpts.
are by Marc-David Calvet.
Part 1: The
Mission and the Giuseppe Tornatore films
[On the question
of the 4CD box compilation Io, Ennio Morricone]
It is the first
time that a disc presents all the aspects from the work of a composer,
in all his styles, even if some productions are only evoked, because
it is impossible indeed in 4 hours and 30 minutes to show the whole
life of a composer.
There are a lot of things, very representative of my occupation,
and I believe it is a unique situation. The 4 CDs make up, musically
and morally, a summary of the life of a composer.
You usually say: "I am first of all a music composer, and only
after, a film composer." What did you mean by this?
A lot of people
believe that I began with the cinema, and then started to write
"absolute music"; it is not true. I began with writing
"absolute music", and then I worked for the cinema because
some directors called to me. I made experiences of arrangements
for the radio, the television, the theatre... Therefore, I became
known and was called for the cinema.
For the film The Mission, Roland Joffé wanted eclectic music...
The film story
is true: it happened in a named Guarani
Indians place near Amazon drainage
area in south Americain in the 18th century, in a period,
musically, of a renewal of the instrumental music. This music is
brought by a priest, playing oboe, in South America. He brings not
only the instrumental music, with his oboe, but the rules of the
Trento's council (1), dating from the end of the 16th century. It
established some rules to put some order in the liturgical music,
for which Palestrina (2) is the main responsible. Here
are the two roots of the occidental music, put in the film The Mission:
the liturgical music rules and the instrumental music. A third element
added is the ethnic music, from the Guaranis.
Concretely, on the special point of the natives' music of the Guaranis,
did you have some contacts with ethnologists, who know precisely
I know the music
history, the music of this period, in South America, and in occidental
countries. I could therefore put together the three elements.
There is a musical piece while the cardinal Altamirano is visiting
the natives: Ave Maria Guarani...
(Very very beautiful!)
...which has nothing to do with the Guarani's music. It shows already
the intrusion of the occidental liturgical music, by the Jesuits,
after the Trento's council, transplanted in South America and badly
sung. Because Indians could not sing like European people.
We looked for singers from diverse origins, who didn't sing well,
who had voice problems, who did some "strange" sounds.
There were therefore occidental and ethnic elements, united in this
performance. We had to do some efforts to have this result. The
director's idea was to take different people, with the help of several
embassies, who did not know the music. I added another idea: to
dispose the choir in an unusual manner. Classically, the groups
of singers of a choir (soprano, tenor, ...) are put together, in
order, for each singer, to hear his group. I chose to disperse the
singers to break this order. I gave the signal to begin and it was
a... I don't want to say the word![laughs].....(More