Cinema Paradiso, written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1989. Its "Love Theme," written by Ennio Morricone with his son Andrea, has been embraced and interpreted by artists and ensembles across genres, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, BBC Orchestra, Chris Botti, Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden, George Colligan, Josh Groban, and Roberta Gambarini.
Ennio Morricone passed away on July 6th in Rome at age 91.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma was among many who recorded the music from Cinema Paradiso; he remembered the composer this way in a post on Facebook: "I'll never forget the way Ennio Morricone described music as "energy, space, and time." It is, perhaps, the most concise and accurate description I've ever heard. We'll truly miss him."
The 1988 release, Cinema Paradiso, is a story about love: of the movies, of a young man for a young woman, and the love inherent in a life-changing friendship. It tells a story through flashback of how a famous Italian filmmaker fell in love with the movies as a young boy in the years after World War II, mentored by the projectionist in his hometown cinema.
Its "Love Theme" has charmed artists from classical to jazz to pop.
Here's violinist Itzhak Perlman and the City of Praga Orchestra:
Keith Lockhart led the BBC Orchestra in a performance of "Love Theme" at the 2011 Proms:
American trumpeter Chris Botti played it at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2006:
Here's jazz vibraphonist Joe Locke on his alum For the Love of You:
Jazz pianist George Colligan adds his own twist in his album, Past-Present-Future:
Singer Josh Groban performs it in concert:
And Italian jazz singer Roberta Gambarini performs a medley of music from the film:
Morricone composed his first full movie score in 1961, going on to a career writing for move than 500 films, as well as other works for orchestra, chorus, opera, and songs that have been covered by Andrea Boccelli, Celine Dion, and more.