and Puzzled by Morricone's Official Website
and expectations from Chinese fans
Wenguang Han （37）
(with thanks to Michael Caletka)
name is Wenguang Han, and I'm an Ennio Morricone fan from
China. I was born in 1937 and worked for the company Sinopec,
before I retired. I love philately and music. Although I
am only 9 years younger than Ennio Morricone, I came to
know Morricone's name rather late in life. In 1979 I was
assigned by Sinopec to go to Le Creusot, a plant in France
for supervising an important turbine equipment. A French
engineer named Martin lent me a tape with the music of Once
Upon a Time in the West on it (it was a copied tape though,
so no titles or further information was given). When I first
heard the music, it felt very novel and surprising and I
was very impressed. I asked Martin "What is this music?"
He said he didn't know, but he also loved it very much.
To be able to listen to the music, I had to spend my precious
80 francs (that was half of my three-month allowance abroad.
At that time, the Chinese wages were very low and the ordinary
people had no foreign currency) to buy a GE cassette recorder
and some tapes. On the Chinese market at that time such
a commodity had not yet appeared.
returning home, the music still attracted me like a magnet.
I tried to find out more about it, but China was in the
closed state then, and I was not able to find someone who
could answer all my questions. Until by chance in 1994,
15 years later, I bought a very attractive CD in Beijing.
Its price was 85 RMB, which was equivalent to about half
of my monthly income at that time. It had both English and
Chinese titles given. The English title is “FILM, MUSIC
& LOVE TO ENNIO MORRICONE”, performed by the London
Philharmonic Orchestra. Okay, but what did this “ENNIO MORRICONE”
mean? Just when I came home and listened to it, I found
there the music I have been searching for so many years.
And its composer was this ENNIO MORRICONE! This disc (ISRC
number is CN-C07-94-323-12/A.J6) may be the first Morricone-album
released in mainland China. It was 20-30 years later than
in the West!
retired in 1997, created my first philately website in 2002,
where I introduced the music I love.Through this music,
I started to get to some friends who love Morricone's music
as well. They strongly urged me to set up a music website
about Morricone. One of them, Ms. Ding, came to my home
in Nanjing from Beijing, a distance of 1000 km, just to
provide me with more than 100 albums of Morricone’s soundtracks,
which she had collected over many years. (The network transmission
speed in those days was very slow, only 2-3K/S) It became
the first batch of resource for the construction of my site.
Many soundtracks I generously obtained through the American
fan Don Trunick, who was known as "The Godfather"
of the Morricone fans. (See "Maestro" issue #7
p.16). By time Don became a good friend of mine. With the
help and encouragement of my friends on August 8th 2003
my Morricone-website finally went online in English and
Chinese. It became a major event for Chinese Morricone fans,
and I started to deliver important information to the fans
worldwide. Many fans asked for help in finding resources.
After only eight months 1373 people had signed on. Since
the establishment of the website I gradually got to know
many new friends around the world, especially many fans
from the West. Like Don from America, Didier from Belgium,
Michael from Austria, Rainer from Germany, Nicolas and Patrick
from France, Alex, Nikita and Ilia from Russia, Jing from
The Philippines, Takeshi from Japan and many more. Most
of them were senior fans, giving me a lot of help with their
knowledge and sharing of information and resources. It was
a great support and effort in finally closing the gap that
existed for decades about professional knowledge of Morricone
and his work between Chinese and Western fans. I also learned
about the sublime status of Ennio Morricone as a world-renowned
musician, which made me to feel honored and responsible
as a webmaster of a website on Morricone.
the gradual enhancement of my site, I first had to figure
out which scores were really by Morricone, and which were
not. For fans in the Western world, this may not have
been such a big problem, because most fans have followed
Morricone for many decades, but for Chinese fans, it was
not so easy. Since 2005 I began to pay attention to find
other websites that offered a chronology of Morricone's
work. And I found many: I listed 26 sites on my website
(38) , but their contents differed
very much, and it was difficult to distinguish which information
was right and which one was wrong.
a while, I mainly studied two Italian sites. One of them
calls itself as the "Ennio Morricone official website"
http://www.enniomorricone.com. Its Italian title was “Ennio
Morricone sito ufficiale autorizzato”. I thought it should
be the most authoritative information, so I began to build
up my own chronology according to its data. After more
than a year of time, I completed all my webpage updates.
I was happy that my site had now correct data.
eventually I found some problems. When I edited some movie
titles, where the credits clearly showed the composer
was Morricone, but I could not find them in the official
chronology. Example: The Red Tent (1968), Machine Gun
McCain (1968), Beyond Justice (1991), Fateless (2004).
I compared the
information with those on other websites, like the IMDB,
that clearly credit Morricone as composer for these movies.
When I found a contact email on the official site, I wrote
them, asking for their interpretation. But I never got
That was the first time I had some doubt about this site.
official site reorganization
2009 there were some changes made on the official site.
The two Italian sites mentioned above had merged into a
single website, and were available in Italian and English.
The site was called "Morricone's official website".
The two sites were still run independently, but their chronology
had been extensively revised. It had been increased by more
than 30 films, 401 movies from 1961-2008 in total. Many
errors had been corrected, and I felt gratified. Although
there were still some unresolved problems, I decided to
rewrite my chronology, trusting the new corrected data.
It was a lot of work. After six years of construction, my
site had grown to more than 2.000 single web pages. Modifications
in the chronology involved almost all pages, and they had
to be modified manually. But despite all this, and in order
to maintain consistency with the official site, but also
because I felt responsible for my readers, I finally decided
to do it. The process took more than two years until in
2011 my site used all data of the new chronology catalogue
and was basically consistent with the official site.
was announced, that in May 2009 Morricone would hold his
first China concert in Beijing. As a fan, I would have
liked to give some personal advice to the maestro, hoping
his first China concert would be more successful. (Perhaps
this was superfluous of me, but I thought I should give
it a try.)
had no contact information about Ennio Morricone (in 2007
I had written a letter in Italian to him using Morricone’s
mail address in Rome, provided by Philippines friend Jing,
but I received no reply (39), so
first I hoped his official website could help me. I found
an e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org . The above-right
screenshot is the content of the email.
ensure this e-mail would be received, I also sent an email
with similar content to the Italian embassy in China and
its cultural office, and also to the concert ticketing
agency in both English and Chinese. Only the ticket agency
replied, telling me that they had forwarded my email to
the relevant department. But in the end, it was all the
reaction I got - nobody ever responded to my mail. It
made me very sad. After the concert, I got a booklet.
On it there was given a "show contact" email
address email@example.com. So I tried this address
by sending a similar email to get in touch, but it was
fruitless as well.
I dedicated myself to the hobby of philately at end of
the last century, I wrote to leaders of over 100 countries
worldwide, requesting their signature. Finally I received
32 national replies and signatures, including German Chancellor
Helmut Kohl,French President Jacque Chirac, Irish Prime
Minister Berty Ahern, Finland Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen,
Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and so many more.
The response rate of European countries was even up to
61%.(40) In contrast, it was even
harder for me to understand that actually it was that
difficult getting in contact with such a world famous
maestro and his team (including the Italian Embassy and
its cultural office).
do not blame the Maestro though. On May 22nd 2009, I was
in Beijing on behalf of Chinese fans to present a gift
to him. He talked with his hands and was very courteous
and accessible. Of course it is impossible for the Maestro
to handle all his public relations issues personally.
I think the main problem lies in the official website
and the team behind it. They have the responsibility to
establish an easily accessible public channel for the
Maestro, listening to opinions from all sides, grasping
and handling relevant issues and meticulously keeping
track of data. Thus there would be a real exchange and
it would help to maintain the good image of the Maestro.
Maestro Morricone on the other hand should properly control
the frequency of his concerts and all his other assignments.
His precious old age should be taken into account, set
apart the necessary time and energy to pay attention to
these important public and historical issues.
was the 10th anniversary of my website. Over the years,
I have been hoping to compile a paper handbook for fans.
This idea was because I had once encountered many difficulties
in the early years. I wanted to provide a shortcut for the
beginners to understand and help them to get familiar with
the works of Morricone. Just like a compendium, something
I could not find on the Internet. Especially in China this
kind of reference book had never appeared, and was clearly
needed. I also imagined that it could be useful for people
outside China as well. Therefore I decided to use both Chinese
and English text editing and published it. The main contents
of this book were brief introductions of the 401 movies
composed by Ennio Morricone (1961-2008) according to the
official chronology. The name of the book is “Ennio Morricone
Fans Handbook" (41). The editing
process was another big learning process. Although in the
past I had published a number of research articles on my
website (42), when I started this
new job, I had to do a detailed, in-depth analysis and research
again. Thus, a number of new problems appeared. They can
be summed up, in the following three categories
“Music by Ennio Morricone” is shown in the opening credits
of the movies or in IMDB, CHIMAI, SOUNDTRACKCOLLETOR and
other important websites, but the movies do not appear
in the official chronology. There are more than 100 movies
in this category. Examples: Machine Gun McCain (1968),
Nessuno deve sapere (1972, see “Maestro” issue #6, p.31),
Padre Pio - Tra cielo e terra (TV 2000), La Piovra-10
(TV 2001) etc. This may be due to the problem in finding
a unique definition of which title should be used in the
filmography. Without it, one is unable to distinguish
between right or wrong data, and therefore this is the
most urgent problem that should be solved first.
In contrast to the above, some movies have been included
in the official filmography, but they are not mentioned
by most of the other major websites. Although the number
of the movies in this category is rather low, it is still
a source of doubt and controversy. Examples: Agente 077:
Missione Bloody Mary（1965）, Morte di una ragazza per bene
(1999), What Dreams May Come (1999), etc.
There is no dispute in the credit, but there are some
obscure problems, example Alla scoperta dell America (1961),
Verrò and Vicino al ciel (1961). And also music that was
never released on any album or compilation as Arabella
(1967), Labbra di lurido blu (1975), Le Ricain (1976,
see “Maestro” Issue #3 p.19), Todo Modo (1976), La luna
(1979), Don't Kill God (1984)， Con rabbia e con amore
felt confused and puzzled again by such a large number
of problems. Since the official website could not be contacted,
I asked my friend Didier. He explained some of my problems,
and also expressed that the official chronology is not
satisfying. Didier told me that Morricone's team who had
been working on solving these problems, have got in touch
with him. It is expected that soon they will be able to
discuss these issues in detail. In order to my reference,
he also kindly send to me a very complete chronology edited
carefully by himself.
with this reality, as a Chinese who doesn't know much
about the history of these arguments, I really didn't
have the ability to determine which was right and which
was wrong. After much consideration, I decided to edit
the Handbook temporarily according to the official chronology,
because after all, it is the official information. It
should be Ennio Morricone’s mouthpiece. At the same time,
I also tried to add some explanations on to the more controversial
parts in order to raise some interest which may eventually
lead to some solutions.
early 2013, the Handbook was published. It was well received
by a great majority of the readers at home and also abroad,
but there was also some criticism and dispute. These comments
weremainly published in the United States (44),
France (45) and Italy on the official
forums. But unfortunately the Italian forum has been closed
by now (see “Maestro” issue #6 p.13), but its screenshots
is still visible on my website (46).
The main content of the argument was still the chronology
problem. A friend named Laurent said: "Why did they
bother reproducing at least one filmography in which ALLA
SCOPERTA DELL'AMERICA has been erroneously dated from 1961
whereas we all know for sure it's a score from 1977, as
is clearly demonstrated by the music itself?” I understand
his posting, but do not completely agree with him. First,
I have already explained this problem in the Handbook (47)
. ”Its production year is 1961 according to the official
website, but it is 1964, 1971 or 1977 according to some
unofficial sites. Here it is temporarily listed as 1961.
We hope that at least the official website should have an
accurate response for the issue." As for the “1977”
statement, many websites have not recognized it. (It is
shown as 1964 in IMDB and soundtrackcollector for example,
as 1971 in the “Ennio Morricone Filmografie 1961-1971” p.42.)
Second, as for saying “bother”: it should be directed to
the root cause, namely the Italian "Ennio Morricone’s
official website" first. There is a more detailed record
on my website about this issue. Such arguments can often
turn very unpleasant.
new official website and more puzzles
“Maestro” issue #6 issued a message: “The official website
www.enniomorricone.it, including its forum, has been abandoned
last August without prior notice. It then took weeks before
a new one saw the light: www.enniomorricone.org. It has
a few announcements by the Maestro but the rest is clearly
still under construction….” I went to see the new official
website with very happy mood and hoped it would bring
a new, long-awaited correct chronology, but the results
were very disappointing. Its chronology was just a copy
of the old website information. From 1961 to 2008, exactly
a total of 401 movies, and also only up to 2008! Seeing
such a result, I was not only disappointed, but even dismayed!
Was this honestly the whole revision they offered? It
was released with exactly the same content as six years
ago with old news in many errors (up to May 2015 it was
still the case!). And there was still no replacement for
the original forum they had suddenly closed.
wrote an email to ask my old friend Didier, He replied
me that: “the official filmography is very bad. I have
been able to mention this to one of the managers, when
Ennio was in Brussels. He said he would contact me about
that, but he hasn’t done it yet. Hopefully he will soon.”
Then I went to ask another old friend Michael, because
he managed that forum during the past few years. He replied
to me: “The contents of the official site are not very
well. They started the site with great plans and everything
new in design, but then somehow it seems those responsible
for the contents lost interest.… The forum had been cut
off over night without telling anyone…. I was feeling
quite disappointed myself when the site went down all
from a sudden.”
answers seem to explain two questions: First, the management
team is aware of the problems and willing to solve them;
second, some unexplained reasons caused the sudden change,
but it was done very recklessly. Differences of opinion?
Budget shortfalls? Nevertheless, we have already seen
that this is a really bad thing for everyone (including
Maestro Ennio Morricone)
the society is always changing. I've seen some of the
new dawn. A Chinese friend in German school Hongmei Wang
recently mailed me a brochure he bought at the Morricone
Oberhausen concert on March 26th, 2015. It has a total
of 48 pages, printed with www.enniomorricone.org in back
cover. This was probably meant as a general information
on Morricone for his European tour. I was most interested
in the chronology offered here. After careful control
I found that it was almost exactly the same with the old
chronology concerning the years 1961-1974. It seems out
of an editing error in 1975, not only the year ismissing,
but also 10movie titles. And in 1999, an interesting thing
happened: That controversial movie What Dreams May Come
had disappeared from the chronology. Was that a correction
of an error in the chronology, or just an editorial error?
Even more interesting was, that 19 movies were added from
2009-2013. That was a very good progress! At least people
see a ray of hope. But only an insider would notice the
another good news see the “Maestro” issue #6 p.10. A book
called ENNIO MORRICONE FILMOGRAFIE edited in German has
been published. Although this book did not say who the
author was, there were the words from “Maestro”: “However,
it is clearly a very well done directory made by passionate
knowledgeable people.” Each directory includes 3 books.
I have bought the first and third book via eBay. Although
the contents still differ a lot with those of the official
website, this issue will at least attract people’s attention.
So hopefully social force will propel the problem to be
a webmaster of a website dedicated to Morricone for such
a long time puzzling over the official website(s), I have
gradually lost patience and confidence. For good development
of my website, I have decided now to wait no longer. I
will independently revise my own chronological directory
for the third time based on the information I gathered
from many famous websites. It will be divided into three
parts (A, B, C). The A part will be the accepted directory,
part B will be "agreed by most people", and
finally part C part will deal with "many disputes".
It may not be an ideal chronology, but at least it can
fully reflect the current realities, with the living hope
they can be solved one day soon.
Morricone is not only the Italian national treasure, he
also is the idol of global music lovers. To maintain his
outstanding image, we all need to work together. His official
website and the management team have an important responsibility.
First the official website should provide a smooth contact
channel, offer reliable replies on emails, so that they
won't be ignored anymore. The forum should not be closed
arbitrarily. This was a very rude behavior, which is unacceptable
for everyone. (Even if there may be some difficulties, such
a step should be announced in advance.) For the chronology
it requires great determination, and organizational strength
that the existing differences are studied thoroughly and
get finally solved. First there must be a unified definition
for the chronology directory. The situation is very complex,
Morricone's works span a very long period of time, involving
a huge amount of music.
It has to be verified, if the music was actually composed
by Morricone, and if so we have to identify if it was original
music, pre-existing, covered, reused, arranged, supervised
or even stock- or library-music. (See “Maestro” issue #3
p.27 appendix to Le Ricain). Morricone's involvements in
soundtrack music are diverse: He is composer, conductor,
music supervisor, music advisor, music selector, orchestrator,
arranger, and in some cases it seems he cooperated with
other composers. In order to decide what should be included
in the chronology, and what should be skipped, there must
be a clear, unified understanding. Otherwise chaos is inevitable.
Even if we see, that this definition cannot be perfectly
uniformed by relying solely on the strength of the Italian
official website, they at least should have their own clear
definition. They should publish this definition to the world,
telling us why some movies are listed in the directory,
while some movies are not, thus avoiding pointless arguments,
and establishing the due authority of the official website.
I think, if they can't solve the problem, then this website
does not really qualify to be called "official",
because not being correct in an authoritative way and being
called "official", would harm to the reputation
of the Maestro. This year the Maestro Ennio Morricone will
turn 87. If these problems are not solved in his lifetime,
they will be left to the next generation or even several
generations to debate for sure. Second, there is the management
of the Maestro. In general, they are responsible for the
arrangement of Morricone’s various assignments. We know
the Maestro toured a lot during recent years, and according
to Morricone's official website, for 2015 there are planned
26 shows for his European Concert Tour in total. In March
alone there were 11 performances! This is the largest number
of concerts by Morricone recorded over the years. Apart
from the enthusiastic participation, many fans express doubts
about such intensive assignments for an 87-years-old Maestro.
I think it is time to let the long-living Maestro get the
necessary rest. The team must not consider the commercial
side alone, but also has to take into account the necessary
time for the Maestro to recover and arrange his works. They
should financially support the official website much stronger.
They also have to put force into removing people's doubts
leaving a detailed and reliable archive for the world and
history. Finally, we also look forward to the Italian government
and its relevant departments, who should give the full attention
and loving care to their national treasure symbols. It's
in their own interest, that they urge the responsible persons
and departments to seriously address the many problems of
long-lasting dispute, which effects the image of the Maestro.
They should provide a satisfying answer for the fans worldwide.
We are eagerly looking forward to this situation!
have found a contacting email firstname.lastname@example.org at
the bottom of the new official website’s homepage. In order
to try its effectiveness, I respectively sent 2 emails from
my 2 email addresses (One is email@example.com, the other
one is firstname.lastname@example.org) with the same content on May
2015. Up to now (August 2015) I have not yet seen any reply.
I'm not sure what the problem is at present, but it seems
to prove one thing again: This channel is not very smooth!
All the contents of this article are based on reliable facts.
It is impossible to list them all here due to limited space.
If necessary, the author can provide them at any time.
43 Due to space limitations, please download and read the
document with more detailed
explanation here http://morricone.cn/temp/explanation.htm
See P81 in the “Ennio Morricone Fans Handbook” (English
version) and the explanation document here http://morricone.cn/temp/explanation.htm