Movie Music and More #10 -- Guest Post by Hamlette

Today, J and J Productions welcomes a new member to the guest author team with Hamlette.

Hi there! James has kindly invited me to write some guest posts, since we share a passion for movies and their music.  Just a quick introduction before I get to the good stuff:  I go by Hamlette, I'm 35, a Christian, married, and have 3 kids that I homeschool.  I love movies, books, baking, and playing in the dirt.  I also write in my spare time, and I blog about movies and other important things at Hamlette's Soliloquy, and about books at The Edge of the Precipice.

Now for the good stuff.  Today, I'm going to focus on the ever-iconic soundtrack for the The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966).  It's scored by the astoundingly prolific Ennio Morricone, like the previous two Clint Eastwood "Man with No Name" spaghetti westerns.  If you're at all interested in classic movies or their scores, you're undoubtedly familiar with the Main Title, with its insouciant whistle laid over thudding hoofbeats.  In fact, it's so famous, I'm not going to talk about it more here, because there's not much I could say that you probably haven't thought of already.  Instead, I'll highlight my two favorite songs on the soundtrack, which is readily available on CD.

First is "Ecstasy of Gold," which comes from the film's climax, and which does everything I love in a song.  It starts quietly, with a hint of mystery and melancholy, then builds and builds to an almost manic, fist-pumping finish.  You can feel such a wide range of emotions in this piece:  longing, hope, desperation, frustration, expectation, and a giddy triumph.  Is there any wonder Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony chose it to open their 1999 concert?

My other favorite is "The Trio."  It begins all pensive and reflective, building to a brash, swaggering statement of confidence, then subsiding back into the quieter mode before bursting forth with machismo and yearning.  (For some reason, this video is 8 minutes long, but the song only lasts 5, and then there's silence for 3 minutes.  Hmm.  Still, the best-sounding version I found on YouTube.)

I have a great love of trumpets, and Morricone could use them more gloriously than just about anyone.  No wonder this soundtrack delights me!

Thank you, James, for inviting me to share my love of soundtracks on your blog!  This is going to be great fun :-)

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