Italy reacts to death of Ennio Morricone

Italy is in mourning for the much-loved Morricone.

Italy's president Sergio Mattarella led the tributes to Ennio Morricone, who died in Rome aged 91 this morning, hailing the legendary composer as an "eminent and brilliant artist."

Mattarella said that Morricone was both a "refined and popular" musician who "spread and strengthened the prestige of Italy in the world."

Italian premier Giuseppe Conte said Morricone "made us dream, moved us, and caused us to reflect, writing memorable notes that will remain etched in the history of music and cinema."

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi described Morricone as a "great musician and composer of our time," adding that: "Rome was his city and today it mourns the loss of a much-loved artist."

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, said that with his music Morricone expressed "the ineffable and invisible, which are the soul of religion."

Conductor Riccardo Muti said Morricone was "an extraordinary musician not only for his film scores but also for his classical compositions," reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The composer, who died at dawn today "with the comfort of faith" according to a statement from his lawyer, penned his own obituary in which he sent his "most painful farewell" to his wife Maria.

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