Ennio Morricone is the Order of the Rising Sun: Japan pays tribute to the master

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Thanks to his music, the Japanese have become fond of Deborah and Noodles in stories Once upon a time in America, to that of Cheyenne and Jill in Once Upon a Time in the West. This was clearly stated by the Japanese ambassador, Keiichi Katakami, in the speech in which he communicated the decision of the Japanese emperor to confer on 91-year-old Ennio Morricone the honor of the Order of the Rising Sun, Rays in gold with rosette : "The Maestro, with his musical compositions for the works of the most representative directors of the Italian film world, has contributed greatly to the diffusion of Italian films in Japan, increasing his notoriety among the Japanese public". And then he revealed what the two works were thanks to which the Italian composer finally entered the hearts of the Japanese people: «In particular, New Cinema Paradiso is one of the most loved Japanese films by the Japanese, and I think I'm not the only one to relive the emotions of the film just by listening to the melody of the soundtrack. The Maestro then amply demonstrated to us how music can convey feelings, crossing any border, with the soundtrack of the scripted historical setting Musashi».

To the French Legion of Honor and to the highest honors of the Italian Republic, the Maestro Morricone adds thus also that conferred by the Japanese Government of theOrder of the Rising Sun, Gold rays with rosette, which shares, among others, with the pianist Martha Argerich, with the Japanese director Keisuke Kinoshita and with the designer Akiro Matsumoto. Accompanied at the residence of the Ambassador in Rome by his son Marco, Maestro Morricone thanked for the honor: "It is a beautiful honor what is reserved for me," he said. "I like to remember my only Japanese work that I did, the TV drama Musashi: it was a beautiful undertaking, the director came to Rome to convince me and I said that I would do it only if I had written in European or Italian style, my fear was that they would ask me music in Japanese style, because in this case I would have to refuse ".

When asked about which Japanese musicians or composers the Maestro follows with more attention, Morricone gives a surprising answer: «I follow all contemporary composers but I don't care about their name, I am interested in their music. But I remember the composer of the music of Bertolucci's film The last Emperor, one of the three is a good musician ", with clear reference to Ryuichi Sakamoto. The Ambassador recalled the activity of orchestra conductor, the three concerts in Japan: "Beyond his career as a composer of soundtracks, I want to dwell here on the equally important activity of Maestro Morricone as conductor, remembering how he pointed to one of his concerts in Tokyo as one of the performances that impressed him most. In the autobiography published in 2018, the Maestro tells how he gave three bis on that occasion, and I was able to perceive all the passion and professional awareness of those who create music, becoming one with the public ».


Ennio Morricone is the Order of the Rising Sun: Japan pays tribute to the master

Speaking of concerts, on June 29th in Lucca it was announced as his last performance: "It was an extraordinary concert in front of 20 thousand people, those present and paying and those at a distance that followed standing" recalls the Master, "With a unique amplification offered by the sound director Fabio Venturi". But then Morricone surprise announces his new orchestra direction, "a concert for the Pope next year in the" Paul VI Hall "in the Vatican. Because even if he didn't ask me personally, I certainly couldn't refuse the Pope. " Then the Maestro reveals that he has recently written two other works: «The theme for an advertising spot, really important. And a concert of contemporary music that will be performed by my son Andrea in Piazza Duomo in Milan early next year, perhaps February. A work far from my cinematographic style, it is complicated and a bit scorbutical ».

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