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 Posted:   Feb 22, 2011 - 10:38 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

THE HAWKS AND THE SPARROWS
Uccellacci E Uccellini
Morricone Sung Titles
#36



This series is inspired by a controversy thread where someone posited the idea that besides THE MISSION and some Sergio Leone westerns Ennio Morricone hasn't written anything great. Rather than making my usual comment that most of Morricone's great scores are from Italy and trying to get Americans to listen to them is like getting them to see movies with subtitles, I decided to take another tact. Since I am at an age where I will only be able to make my case a finite number of times I decided to turn this into a series presenting each great score one at a time, sort of like recordman.

Yes, a few years before Harry Nilsson sung the end titles to Otto Preminger’s SKIDDOO, literally, Ennio Morricone began his long term association with director Pier Paolo Pasolini with UCCELLACCI E UCCELLINI where the main titles are also sung. The “singing” is by Domenico Modugno and purportedly it is Morricone himself musically laughing after the lyrics “Ennio Morricone Musico”.






And with all due respect to Nilsson, for me Morricone’s piece is a sounder piece of music as evidenced by the instrumental version on the soundtrack.
Here is Morricone, from his book, on Pasolini:

I felt particular empathy in working with Pier Paolo Pasolini, a man of extraordinary sensitivity and kindness. I first met him in 1966, when he asked to write the music for HAWKS AND SPARROWS. Initially he wanted me to adapt existing music. At that point I decided to tell him that he made a mistake in contacting me; I had always seen my job of music composer as a creative contribution to the making of a film. I assumed that he would then appoint someone else, so as to be able to stick to his own artistic choices with regard to the music in the film. I was, therefore, very surprised when – without hesitation – he said that he would leave me free to write whatever I wanted, but he asked to be constantly informed about the work I was doing. After that, we worked together a number of times and the understanding between us continued to grow.

Ironically Ennio ended up adapting a number of classical pieces for him over the years. SALO actually only ended up with only one piece of original music. Pier Paolo Pasolini was a fascinating figure in film history. From his first film ACCATTONE to his murder in 1975 everything he did was steeped in controversy. He had more films banned than any major director including Bunuel. I always found him tough going. One reason was he came from a Neo-realist background choosing many non-actors for his films most of them doing deadpan non-acting. Also, even though I wouldn’t say you have to be gay to enjoy his films but I would say it would definitely help. He was full of contrasts. He began writing poetry at 7, his first novel at 33 and wrote a lot of screenplays for Mauro Bolognini, and also everyone from Fellini to Bertolucci, until he did his first film at 39. He was an atheist but made one of the most acclaimed stories of Christ on film THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW. His father saved Mussolini’s life but Piero was a communist even though they expelled him for being a homosexual. He liked street subject matter but would often choose classic literature to adapt for his films.
This hardcore neorealist approach probably is what contributed to Morricone’s scores for his movies being minimal and simple. But THE HAWKS AND THE SPARROWS had the most variety. It includes the beautiful “S. Francesco parla agli uccelli”, a very cool rock piece, a magnificent choral march “Scarpe Rotte” and a lovely piece of exotica "Nidi di Rondine". The score is very short but sweet.
Incidentally this film starred Toto (Italy's Charlie Chaplin), on the last leg of his long and illustrious career, and Ninetto Davoli, who was Pasolini's alter ego on screen.






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 Posted:   Feb 22, 2011 - 1:37 PM   
 By:   Zambra Alex   (Member)

Anything sung by Domenico Modugno is great.
Now along with Morricone they are magical.
An exceptional song!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 5:09 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

A great track - I remember doing a very modest deconstruction of it a few years ago on these pages.

Pasolini's a fascinating figure (regardless of whether you appreciate his point of view)who pushed the limits and died a horrible, undeserved death. That Morricone chimed with him is enough for me to give him some credence and respect.

TG

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 5:56 AM   
 By:   Loren   (Member)

A great track - I remember doing a very modest deconstruction of it a few years ago on these pages.

do you have the link, please?

the Main Titles sung by Modugno are perhaps a unicum in film music history.
This score can't miss in any Morricone collection. Best Totò's performance imo.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)


do you have the link, please?


Sorry old boy - spent a few minutes searching but with an un-Thor-like lack of success. Be of good cheer, though, because you aren't missing much. When I said modest, I wasn't being, er, modest. It was only a line or two, as I recall.

TG

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 8:18 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Anything sung by Domenico Modugno is great.
Now along with Morricone they are magical.
An exceptional song!


...and there is a legendary musical TOMASSO D'AMALFI that Modugno wrote and Morricone arranged and conducted for him.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2011 - 10:22 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

A great track - I remember doing a very modest deconstruction of it a few years ago on these pages.

Pasolini's a fascinating figure (regardless of whether you appreciate his point of view)who pushed the limits and died a horrible, undeserved death. That Morricone chimed with him is enough for me to give him some credence and respect.

TG


...and his score to ARABIAN NIGHTS is very special for Pasolini and I hope to include it in the future.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 2, 2011 - 1:24 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

That song has brought more amusement to my house over the years than any other ... first heard as the final track of the double vinyl album Un Film, Una Musica. There are some dissonant (and generally weird) tracks in the four sides but Uccellacci e Uccellini - Titoli di testa takes the prize.

I recall playing it for my wife's Italian cousin and partner when they visited many years ago and both just laughed and tried to explain. It is only recently I purchased the full score (I missed out on the earlier RCA CD release) and yes, it has some lovely cues. As for the song ... I think it joins Mr. Sinatra's There's a flaw in my flue as being a song for a particular time.

 
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