Teo Usuelli, is another Italian composer that has been almost overlooked by collectors, I personally first encountered his music in the movie SAUL AND DAVID, on an old CAM LP record, and I know this is probably not the best example of this gifted music smiths talents, but it certainly made me aware of this Maestro. The movie was directed by Silvio Amadio and featured the acting talents of the stunning Barbara Boucher and Rosalba Neri. Usuelli,s beautifully crafted and performed score is a delight to listen to, and contains not only somber, tense and harrowing themes, but light and easy going passages that will haunt the listener for days after the initial listen. Usuelli puts to effective use the combined sounds of female voice organ and what sounds like an Ondes martinot (I am probably wrong- I don’t know the difference between a crotchet and a cheese quaver). The effect he realizes is certainly attention grabbing and lasting. The romantic sounding central theme which usually penned for the production is heard in varying arrangements throughout the work, and is pleasing in every manifestation. Strings, female voice, choir and laid back brushed percussion give it a full work out in track number 21. There is also a more up tempo theme, that has an almost disco sound to it, in which Usuelli has a female performer repeating the word SEXUAL in a provocative and steamy fashion over a hip sounding backing track made up of percussion, bass guitar and jazz sounding electric guitar which can be heard in track 22. The way in which the composer combines electronic sounds and the more conventional instrumentation of the orchestra is quite breathtaking, most definitely a musician ahead of his time and one who was clearly not afraid to experiment. The final track on the CD is also a stunner, romantic strings open the cue, then solo female voice becomes centre piece of the composition with strings building around it, creating a lush and fully starry-eyed sound that will I am sure please any connoisseur of the Italian film score. This is another almost forgotten gem from the vaults of BEAT records archive, and a score that I can only recommend that you purchase straight away. Packaged well with some great art work, and a nice booklet that includes more stills and notes on the film, the music and the composer. Well worth the money.


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