A Christmas concert in Assisi 2012: Ennio Morricone

To commemorate the passing of Ennio Morricone earlier this year, we have chosen to remember one of the maestro’s most evocative performances, which took place at the Christmas Concert in Assisi in 2012, an event supported by Intesa Sanpaolo for a long time.

Now in its 35th year the annual event takes place in the Basilica Superiore of Assisi. It is a unique opportunity to experience Christmas in a glorious setting where music and art come together.

Over the years, many internationally renowned performers have appeared on the Basilica’s hallowed stage.

In 2012, Morricone conducted the RAI National Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia in a heart-warming seasonal programme.

The concert opened with Silent Night, its notes immediately conjuring the spirit of Christmas in the Basilica. It then proceeded with Angels We Have Heard On High, a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Argentine composer Ariel Ramírez’s La Peregrinacion recalled with Latin American rhythms the journey of Joseph and Mary, and was followed by Panis Angelicus and White Christmas.

Morricone’s own magical composition, Vuoto d’Anima Piena, with lyrics by Italian contemporary composer Francesco De Melis, marked the most moving moment of the concert. The orchestra then performed È Nato, from the score for the film We Free Kings.

Singer and actor Massimo Ranieri received an ovation for his stirring interpretation of Italian Christmas carols Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle and Quanno Nascette Ninno, composed in the 18th century by Sant’Alfonso Maria de' Liguori.

The grand finale featured Gabriel’s Oboe, the main theme of Morricone’s celebrated soundtrack for The Mission.