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Once Upon a Time in Kilmainham: The night Ennio Morricone brought the magic of the Spaghetti Western to Ireland

As the world is robbed of one of the finest movie composers of all time, John Meagher remembers a wet summer’s night seven years ago, when the Oscar-winning Italian composer charmed Dublin for the first time.

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Composer Ennio Morricone (Yui Mok/PA)

Composer Ennio Morricone (Yui Mok/PA)

Composer Ennio Morricone (Yui Mok/PA)

It was a rainy Saturday evening in late July but the thousands who had paid good money to attend the outdoor concert at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin were not complaining. The year was 2013 and Ennio Morricone was conducting a cast of 200 — evenly split between the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta and the Dublin Gospel Choir — and for 90 minutes he held the sodden masses rapt.

The Italian maestro was 84 then but he carried himself like someone far younger. He cut an animated figure during the more stirring moments of the music he had fashioned so many years before. And what a show it was: a spectacular journey through many of his greatest creations and, by extension, some of the finest musical moments in the history of cinema.

His death, at 91, robs the world of one of the greatest ever movie composers — a man whose work is just as indelible as the films he scored.