August 7, 2015

Oscar-winning composer pens Mass for the Pope

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The musical settings of Ennio Morricone are more likely to be heard at a movie theater than a church, but on June 10, the award-winning movie composer debuted a new Mass dedicated to the Jesuit Order and named for one of their own – Pope Francis.

“My wife asked me for years for a Mass, but I did not ever decide to,” Morricone told Radio Vaticana in a June 10 interview. However, a request from the rector of the Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesu, the mother church of the Jesuit order, convinced him to write a Mass for the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Jesuit order.

“The thing that strikes me most about this task,” he explained, “is the fact that I wrote the music for the film ‘The Mission,’ which is the story of the Jesuits in South America, which after some years, in 1750, they were disbanded.”

“In some way I have participated in their dissolution and now I participate in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of their restoration.”

In addition to composing music for the award-winning film ‘The Mission’ – which won a place on AFI’s list of 25 Best Film Scores of all time – Morricone also wrote the score for “Karol: a Man Who Became Pope” in 2006. Among the other compositions that he has become known for: The Untouchables, Once Upon a Time in America, and more recently Django Unchained.

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