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Ennio Morricone - The (fatal) Mission

My concert report from Kuipke, Citadel Park, Gent in Belgium, June 9th 2000
By Henrik,
The Danish Film music Society

Thursday (June 8th) / Friday (June 9th):

Today we (the 3 usual film music-nerds from The Danish Film music Society), will travel to Belgium, primarily to watch the film music legend: Ennio Morricone

I took of from Denmark 11.30 p.m., and by car, we were driving south, trough Germany to Belgium. With a few stops underway, it took us around 13 hrs, before reaching Mechelen, Astridlaan 171, where we tried to visit Luc Van de Ven. We did meet him indeed, but we were not welcome at all. He "had a business to run". Wait a minute: We are his business. Well we had wasted our time, because he did tell us, that we could meet Morricone, and get stuff signed around noon. Then we drove to Gent city, and looked this record store "Frac" up, But Morricone was vanished hrs ago. We did get their poster, though. After lunch, we found an exclusive hotel room, just outside Gent. Then we freshened up for the concert.

Arriving at Kuipke, we tried to get a deal with Morricone after the concert, through a generous supervisor, but no luck. Morricone had to rush off, after the concert. Now where have we heard that before.

The Concert (8.00 p.m.)
First section:
European premiere performance of the 1996 restoration of James Keane's
classic silent film from 1912.

I believe this started 15 minutes too late. People hadn't found their
places yet, and people were still walking around during the concert.
Later on, mobile phones were ringing, and attendants were moving around
with extra chairs. It was very annoying. The music itself was heavy, and
not easy listening. I guess you have to hear the score in fragments and
many times to like it. A 50 minutes suite is just too much. It helped a
little, that we actually saw the film simultaneously. It was remarkable
to watch how Morricone was concentrated on the score, and didn't looked
at the screen at all. 

Second section:

  (The Battle of Algiers)
  (Sacco and Vanzetti)
- Song: Dulce Pontes
  (Investigation of a (Private) Citizen Above Suspicion)
  (According to Pereira)
- Song: Dulce Pontes
  (Lulu the Tool/The Working Class Goes to Heaven)
  (unknown - also: director not listed in official programme)
QUEMADA (1969)

Well, I'm not THAT much into Morricone, so I can't recall any of titles
above, but I liked most of what I heard, and it turned out to be a lot
better second half.

"The Mystique in the films of Sergio Leone" SUITE
Soprano: Gemma Bertagnolli

IL BUONO, IL BRUTO, IL CATTIVO (The good, the bad and the ugly) (1966)
C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST (Once upon a time in the west) (1969)
GIÙ LA TESTA (A Fistful of Dynamite) (1971)

Ah, very powerful - and this is the Morricone, that we all know.

Intended extra, after first standing ovation:
THE MISSION (1986) - A Morricone classic, that is his most known 
score in recent time

Powerful performed with large orchestra, large choir and a extra
child choir. No room for much more on stage.

Extra bonus 
Well, we ran up besides the stage, after THE MISSION, to get signatures.
He did repeat THE MISSION and SACCO E VANZETTI, and a couple others with
vocal performances.

Nobody succeeded getting autographs after the concert.

Saturday June 10th

Today we started driving home at 9.40 a.m. One of my travel companions wanted to shop very briefly in a supermarket, but it took almost an hour. Then we drove further into Dortmund, in Germany to have lunch and a bigger break to shop very cheap records. We were there for about two hours, before driving further north. We all got more and more tired, sitting in this damn car, in the same position. I was glad, I wasn't driving as tired as I was.

I was home at 2.30 a.m., so nearly a trip of 17 hrs. It was a hard trip - In a very different way, than our usual London trip. But it was great to have been only a few steps from the legend himself, and to have seen him conduct so concentrated.

Henrik - 12 June 2000.