Happy Friday, people.
Ennio Morricone's music for the Sergio Leone spaghetti western "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" is amazing. Everybody recognizes the opening theme, of course, and it is great, but the best stuff comes at the end of the movie. The music in the last half hour is not only my favorite stuff of Morricone's, not only some of my favorite film music, but some of my favorite music, period.
On the soundtrack album, the last two tracks are called "The Ecstasy of Gold" and "The Trio," and I love them both. I got the album when I was in my first year of grad school, and would listen to these tracks, plus the opening theme, on my discman immediately before tests to get myself pumped up. It worked. Structural analysis never felt so epic and purposeful. I would categorize these pieces as "get shit done" music.
The segment from the movie with "The Trio" in it kind of gives away the end of the movie, so those who don't mind spoilers can check it out here. So good. Meanwhile, here's The Ecstasy of Gold:
And here's an excellent concert performance of it: