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Ennio Morricone presents 'We All Love Ennio Morricone'

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Sony Classical will release We All Love Ennio Morricone an all-star tribute album celebrating the music of the revered Italian composer Ennio Morricone, performed by some of the greatest names from the worlds of contemporary pop, rock, jazz, and classical music on Tuesday, February 20.

Conceived and produced by Luigi Caiola, who worked on the maestro's monumental retrospective, io, Ennio Morricone, in 2003, We All Love Ennio Morricone brings together seventeen exquisite interpretations most of them newly recorded especially for this collection of Morricone's best-loved film scores and other musical pieces showcasing the extraordinary range of the composer's influences and sensibilities.

All of the artists participating in We All Love Ennio Morricone have a special connection to Morricone's music. Many of them have previously recorded Morricone's songs, performed his music onstage, or used his pieces as overtures to concerts, including Celine Dion, Quincy Jones featuring Herbie Hancock, Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Bocelli, Metallica, Yo-Yo Ma, Ren e Fleming, Daniela Mercury, Eumir Deodato, Dulce Pontes, Chris Botti, Vanessa and the O's, Roger Waters featuring Edward Van Halen, Denyce Graves, and Taro Hakase.

Commenting on the new CD, Morricone said, "You realize that you have composed important music when someone, somewhere is playing it. I am however astonished, obviously in a good way, that famous artists from the musical world have paid tribute to me by participating in the project, We All Love Ennio Morricone, that brings together my most well-known compositions in different versions and fascinating interpretations thanks to the different musical origins of the various artists. My thanks to everyone, I am deeply honored."

"Not only the film industry, but the music industry at large, are deeply indebted to this phenomenal composer whose expressivity embraces so many genres with such integrity and creativity," said Ren e Fleming. "The evocative nature of his work dramatically enhances the visual image and resonates in our deepest emotions."

"I have been inspired by Morricone's raw unbridled emotion, especially in his western scores," said James Hetfield of Metallica. "As a band, we have used his moving 'Ecstasy of Gold' piece as an intro to our performances since 1983."

In addition to three orchestral tracks "Gabriel's Oboe," "The Tropical Variation" and "Cinema Paradiso" performed by Ennio Morricone, the composer has created transitional pieces for We All Love Ennio Morricone to seamlessly connect the individual tracks into a continuously flowing listening experience.

We All Love Ennio Morricone caps a series of unprecedented honors for the 78-year-old composer, who will receive an Honorary Academy Award at the 79th Academy Awards presentation on February 25, 2007, in Los Angeles "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music." Morricone has been nominated for five Academy Award Best Original Score nominations "Days of Heaven" (1978), "The Mission" (1986), "The Untouchables" (1987), "Bugsy" (1991) and "Mal na" (2000). "Receiving an Oscar almost seems like too much, but I can't hide the fact that I'm very happy," said Morricone.

The composer's North American concert debut will take place at Radio City Music Hall on February 3 where he will be conducting the symphonic version of some of the music from We All Love Ennio Morricone He will lead an ensemble of more than 200 musicians from the Rome Sinfonietta Orchestra and the Canticum Novum Singers of New York.

At a private concert at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Friday, February 2, 2007, welcoming the incoming Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon of South Korea, Morricone will lead the same orchestra and chorus. The United Nations concert will feature his elegiac "Voci dal Silenzio (Voices from the Silence)," a piece written in response to the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001.

In addition to Morricone's New York concert appearances, The Museum of Modern Art will present a retrospective of six landmark films scored by Morricone including "The Battle of Algiers," "Once Upon a Time in the West," "Two Mules for Sister Sara," "Once Upon a Time in America," "The Mission," and "U Turn," from February 1 through February 7. The Film Forum will run a three-week festival of films scored by Morricone to run from February 2 through February 22.

Born in Rome in 1928, Ennio Morricone studied classical and choral music before writing his first film scores in 1962. In 1964, he began his monumental collaborations with director Sergio Leone which would result in some of the most iconic scores in film history.

While perhaps best-known for his monumental contributions to more than 500 indelible film and television scores including "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," "The Mission," "Once Upon a Time in America," "The Untouchables," "Cinema Paradiso" and others, Ennio Morricone has worked an astounding number of musical genres including classical, pop, rock, jazz, avant-garde, electronic and Italian folk music into his own unique and timeless oeuvre.