Personnel: Edda, Modern Singers of Allessandroni (vocals); Alessandroni, Alex Alessandroni (whistling); Franco DeGemini (harmonica).
Liner Note Author: Fred Binkley.
Recording information: 1968.
Unknown Contributor Role: Modern Singers of Allessandroni.
After outlining a whole new genre with three earlier collaborations, Ennio Morricone and director Sergio Leone took the Western a stage further with 1969's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.
For Leone, there was the luxury of draping the composer's deeply atmospheric pre-recorded pieces around the movie as it was filmed. The way this cinematic epic's images combine with Morricone's rich score suggests telepathy was by then at work between the two men. ONCE UPON A TIME encompasses so many memorable themes: the elegant waltz that accompanies Edda del Orso's wordless phrasing on the title piece; "Man With a Harmonica" and its nagging cry, sliced apart by the chime of a desert guitar; "The First Tavern," where Morricone typically sets up incongruous instrumentation and then lets sinister orchestration fight it out with a jaunty barroom piano. A score that truly transcends the incidental or indeed any categorization you attempt to throw at it. Available individually and as part of A FISTFUL OF FILM MUSIC compilation.
Entertainment Weekly (10/12/01, p.32) - Ranked #21 in EW's "100 Best Movie Soundtracks" - "...Arguably the greatest of all Western soundtracks..."
Mojo (Publisher) (6/02, p.65) - Included in Mojo's "100 Coolest Movie Soundtracks" - "...Morricone's deathless masterpiece..."