Ennio Morricone @ 80 II


Se telefonando” (1966) by Mina (for previously unreleased footage of Mr. Stein, scrub to 0:39.)

“The extraordinary thing about “Se telefonando” is that it has everything which is expected from a song: verse, structure and melody. Yet it also, very subtly, negates these qualities. The musical elements are reduced to handful of spiraling notes.” —Sholem Stein

Tim Lucas also had the birthday of Ennio Morricone on his mind today and wrote:

“I recently posted here about Morricone’s soul-stirring pop song “Se telefonando,” which comes as close to his own standards of perfection as anything else I’ve heard — but it’s not film music. It was only within the past year or so that I finally heard something else from Morricone’s catalogue that I believe — in its romanticism, melancholy, majesty and drama — stands as a true equal to the likes of such outstanding OUATITW tracks as “Jill’s America[1] or “Man with a Harmonica.”[2] That cue is “Amore come dolore” (“A Love Like Sorrow”), a haunting 6:10 piece from Luciano Ercoli‘s 1970 giallo thriller Le foto proibite di una signora per bene[3].[4]

This is a quote from the “previous post” Lucas referred to:

“No less a musical authority than FILM SCORE MONTHLY‘s John Bender considers this song, written by Ennio Morricone and performed by Mina Mazzini, to be the most sublime few minutes in the history of pop music.”[5]


Se telefonando” (1966) by Mina

I agree with both Tim and John, “Telefonando” is on the list of my most cherished YouTube discoveries of the last few years.


Sunday Morning” (1966) by The Velvet Underground

What both Tim and John have not mentioned is the extraordinary similarity in the opening piano line of “Telefonando” with the opening “bell” line of The Velvet Underground‘s “Sunday Morning“, which was recorded and released a few months after “Telefonando” in that same year 1966.

6 thoughts on “Ennio Morricone @ 80 II

  1. lichanos

    Yep, that song packs quite a “hook!” I like the the way it repeats it continuously, unapologetically, the way some of the best, most basic blues numbers are based on just a few notes played over and over.

  2. John Bender

    Tim, I’m so glad you have been smitten by Ennio’s “Amore Come Dolore”. It is a masterwork of his oeuvre, and it is my wish that you ride this magnificent wave you have caught, and forever on into a future filled with retro Euro-cult film music! Your iPod should be filled with nothing but film music, and mostly Italian film music at that.
    There exists a breathtaking vocal version of Amore Come Dolore called “Ridevi”. Fortunately the piece was recorded by Milva; the beautiful, sultry Italian Diva with irresistible, dark bedroom eyes and cascading, heavy waves of glistening red hair. Milva always stood as Mina’s only true threat to the throne as the ultimate Diva of 20th century adult popular music. I have a video of them performing together on Italian TV – a big thrill for a rabid fan like me! Milva’s voice, as is Mina’s, is proud and defiant, and manifests an almost frightening range backed by faultless control. Her rendition of Ridevi/Amore Come Dolore is different from the film cue only in terms of tempo and melodramatic immediacy, but all the charismatic sensuality remains intact (including the all-important role of the piano). Ridevi plus 11 other EM standards were arranged by Morricone himself for the legendary 1972 LP entitled DEDICATO A MILVA DA ENNIO MORRICONE. Any self-respecting Morricone addict simply must have this recording on the shelf. I believe it was last released in 1999 (Italy) by BMG Ricordi (CD – 74321664102). For Tim and any others, who have been or are willing to succumb to Morricone’s erotic palette, I will also strongly recommend six CDs, three from out of Japan and three more from Germany. The Japanese discs are absolute jewels as examples of the soundtrack curator’s art: ENNIO MORRICONE: “L’ORCHESTRA LA VOCE” (SLCS-7243), COLORI (SLCS-7244), and IDEATO SCRITTO E DIRETTO DA ENNIO MORRICONE (SLCS-7242), and the more recent German releases are MONDO MORRICONE (CST 34.8057), MORE MONDO MORRICONE (CST 34.8058), and MOLTO MONDO MORRICONE (REF 08).

  3. lichanos

    …shocked to be informed several months after my introduction that it’s in fact a rather bleak breakup song…

    Any song in which the lady exclaims, “Basta!” has to be such. …or was she saying Pasta?..

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