Gabriel's Oboe: soulful Morricone tune that soothes the Iguazu Falls
Iguacu Falls Brazil
Gabriel's Oboe is a short instrumental piece written by Ennio Morricone for a key scene in Roland Joffé's period drama film The Mission to show how a flawless melody can de-escalate conflict and set the tone for a cross-cultural contact. The movie describes the historical events that took place in South America in the mid 18th century when the Jesuit order established a mission to convert the native Guarani Indian tribespeople to Christianity and to protect them from Portuguese slave traders.
The Mission was filmed in the vicinity of the world's largest Iguazu Falls which means "big water" in Guarani and, according to native beliefs, was created by God as an obstacle for a young man who stole the deity's beloved.
As the main theme, Gabriel's Oboe appears more than once in the movie, and its intriguing melody acts as a leitmotif through the score. The oboe tune played by the protagonist in front of the natives captures their attention and allows them to overcome their hostility towards the outsiders, thereby emphasizing music as a universal language accessible to everyone.
Listen to Gabriel's Oboe by Ennio Morricone:
While Morricone's legacy is replete with addictive melodies, it is Gabriel's Oboe and its countless variations for piano, cello, and almost any instrument that have filled classical music playlists. There are also two vocal versions sung by sopranos Sarah Brightman and Hayley Westenra, each with its own lyrics.