Released on BEAT records in 2013.
Born Dominic Colarossi on January 24th 1933 in Rome Italy, composer Nico Fidenco began his career as a vocalist and became a popular singer in Italy during the latter part of the 1950,s through to the 1970,s, it was actually because the composer had recorded a number of cover versions of theme songs from movies that he decided to become involved in the writing of music for films as the composer recalled. “When I was singing I did a few cover versions of songs from films, EXODUS, MOON RIVER, SUSIE WONG and WHAT A SKY for example. These recordings were very popular in Italy, and my interest in film music grew from this. So I decided to try and write some material myself, cinema had always attracted me, even when I was younger, and too be part of the cinema world was I suppose a dream come true. The whole process of movie making and production has always interested me. I have in recent years attended a movie player course at “CENTRO SPERIMENTALE DI CINEMATOGRAFA” in Rome. So I am still learning”. Fidenco began composing for film in 1964 when he wrote the score for DESTINATION MIAMI-OBJECTIVE MURDER which was followed by IN THE SHADOW OF A COLT in 1965. It was after this that the composer began to become involved with the scoring of motion pictures on a more regular basis and soon became a much in demand film music composer. Often Fidenco would be called upon to provide music for a film when composers such as Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai were not available and he was responsible for penning numerous soundtracks for Italian westerns when they were at their most popular. His music has graced over 80 motion pictures in a glittering career that has lasted more than 50 years and the music that Fidenco composed back in the 1960,s and 1970,s still remains fresh, vibrant and original to this day and is in demand by the likes of DJ,s and music producers. Fidenco’s scores for the EMANUELLE series of films are probably his most recognized and acclaimed and the composer himself marks these soundtracks as his best works. “I have to say that my music to BLACK EMANUELLE is my favourite soundtrack and I also consider this to be my best score”. It is true to say that Fidenco was and still is a remarkable composer, arranger, performer and vocalist, his soundtracks for the Italian Western genre in particular are outstanding and although many are filled with the now established “SOUND” that is associated with that collective of movies, they were all original and innovative in their own individual way and at the time of their creation set standards and musical guidelines for many other composers at times influencing music in Hollywood produced westerns. During his career Fidenco has worked with many other artists and composers, among these are Alessandro Alessandroni, Nora Orlandi, Franco De Gemini, Edda Dell Orso and has retained a special friendship and collaborative partnership with fellow composer Giacamo Dell Orso. “It must be at least 35 years or even more now that Giacamo and I have worked together, we still see each other and occasionally do musical things together, but I rarely write for cinema now and spend a lot of time performing recitals on piano in Italy and also in South America”.
Fidenco received no formal musical education and was a self taught musician often playing by ear. “I simply learnt about music by listening to it, and by being around musicians and singers. I listened and watched, and by doing this I began to pick things up”. The musical score for EL CHE GUEVARA was originally released on a long playing record on the CAM label (sag 9007) in 1969, which has become something of a rarity. The LP contained 14 tracks which represented Fidenco’s score, this new edition contains all of those cues plus another five tracks, three of which are alternate instrumental and vocal versions of LA BALLATA DEL CHE or previously unreleased tracks from the score which are source cues. Composer Nico Fidenco rose wonderfully to the task of scoring this biopic and produced a score that contained many South American flavours and sounds, the composer fusing these components of the score seamlessly with proud and dramatic musical passages, all of which combine to create a soundtrack that embellishes and services the movie well and also manages to stand alone as an entertaining collection of themes away from the images they were intended to enhance. This is the first time that any of the music from EL CHE GUEVARA has been issued onto compact disc with the exception of a five minute suite which included three or four of the scores principal themes that was made available on a six compact disc box set that was released to celebrate Nico Fidenco’s 50th anniversary as a composer and performer in 2010. EL CHE GUEVARA is surely one of the composer’s finest scores as it contains so much variety and original sounding writing. Fidenco utilizes a fairly small orchestra but adds choir and rhythmic and booming percussive elements, solo female voice, guitar and martial sounding flourishes to the proceedings, all of which combine to create a work of great worth and one that is above all a pleasurable listening experience.
EL CHE GUEVARA was released in 1968. The film was produced shortly after the death of CHE (Ernesto Guevara de la Serna) in October 1967 following his execution in Bolivia, many critics at the time of the movies release were unhappy with the authenticity of the films storyline. But to be fair to both the films director Paolo Heusch and his production team very little was known of the central character and the events that surrounded his life and background at the time. The screenplay by Adriano Bolzoni was more than likely based upon newspaper articles and other media reports that had been edited and censored, so in effect we were served up a biopic which did not have all the facts to hand because any information that was available was probably either watered down accounts of the truth or even slightly fabricated. Leading actor Francisco Rabal’s depiction of CHE also suffers somewhat from a clear lack of knowledge of his character. While he does do some sterling work in the central role he remains somewhat awkward and at times shallow in his performance. His portrayal of CHE is maybe based more upon the mystery, romance and elusiveness that at the time shrouded the man rather than the actual facts about this rebel with a cause. American actor John Ireland also makes an appearance and gives a credible performance as a correspondent Stuart.