Here's the tally, without my vote:
Yo Yo Ma
Thanks to Lee and John for keeping it at a more acceptable blow-out instead. Wouldn't it have been horrible if the Great Ennio had left without a single vote?
Powerful lessons here. We all more or less agreed that Morricone is a brilliant composer; some of us--including me--count his soundtracks among our all-time favorite music. And yet... even then most of us prefer Yo Yo Ma's version.
It was a tad unfair, I admit... Pitting musician/interpreter against composer/conductor. Orchestra/choir vs. soloist. But I truly thought the "unfairness" would work against, and not for, Yo Yo Ma. I'm pleased with the results, I admit--I've always felt guilty for enjoying his version on my iPod more than the actual film soundtrack. And your voting helped me understand why: there's a core difference between music composed for a film--music arranged for a film--and the arrangement required for a stand-alone piece. It was a battle not just between musician/interpreter and composer/conductor, not even between arrangements, but between different senses of the function of music.
Loved this. Thank you all for the visits and the votes and, especially, the insights.
See y'all on August 1st!