By Marie-Louise Gumuchian
MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Ennio Morricone's dramatic scores to the "Dollars" classics were a key part of the spaghetti western trilogy -- maybe even more powerful than the films themselves, some critics say.
But the Italian maestro has faced accusations in the past that some of the music in the 400 or more films he has scored has been repetitious.
It is not a jibe that worries him.
"A few years ago, some said that I was repeating myself, it was some kind of an accusation," Morricone told reporters. "But each author repeats himself, each author writes his work.
"His personality has to come out, it continues to be there."
Morricone, 80, who has composed the scores of more than 400 films including "Cinema Paradiso" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," says he cannot pick a favorite from his works.
"I just don't know. I am fond of everything," Morricone, known as "maestro" in Italy, said ahead of a concert in Milan.
"I don't know how to pick which I like the most. In each I tried to give everything. Each is part of a progression that I wanted to follow."
Morricone's many credits include soundtracks for "The Battle of Algiers," "Once Upon A Time in America," "Mission" and "The Untouchables."
In his career spanning half a century, the native Roman has been nominated for an Oscar five times. He received the coveted statuette with an honorary Oscar in 2007.
Morricone will direct the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra and the Nuovo Coro Lirico Sinfonico Romano in a free concert in Milan on Thursday, for which thousands of tickets were grabbed by fans.
The concert, which will include music from his famous works, closes Milan's Jazzin' Festival.
"The fact that the public follows my work with such attention, I just can't explain it," Morricone said. "Maybe it's because the films have had so much success."
Morricone began composing music as a six-year-old and attracted international notice in his collaboration with film director Sergio Leone on "A Fistful of Dollars" in 1964.
He amplified the film's plots and drama through the use of diverse arrangements and instrumentation.
Jew's harps, dissonant harmonicas, dancing piccolos, bombastic church organs, eerie whistling, thundering trumpets and oddly sung gunfighter ballads were all in his armoury and became trademarks of the Morricone-Leone productions, and then of the spaghetti western genre as a whole.