This rather fast paced, madcap and chaotic romp was directed by Giuseppe Colizzi back in 1972 and starred that amiable duo Bud Spencer and Terence Hill who made numerous movies together in Italy back in the 1970,s through to the 1990,s. When I originally encountered this soundtrack it was back in the days of Michael Jones and the arts theatre club in London, Michael actually worked a great flanker and sold it as an Italian Western score, A kind of sequel to “THEY STILL CALL ME TRINITY” he said, of course not true as we all found out, but we forgive you Mr Jones as the score is a pretty infectious and haunting one and I suppose has become a kind of mini classic amongst Italian soundtrack collectors. Composing siblings Guido and Maurizio De Angelis were renowned for producing some rather odd ball soundtracks and I suppose their style of music and also the way it is used within a movie is a rather acquired taste, you either love it or you hate it. I have to admit that there are many soundtracks that have been penned by the De Angelis Bros that I often think WHY? Did you do that why did you write that passage of music, why did you use a song here why use that instrument there etc etc etc. But! After a while and after a few years listening to many of their scores it is a sound that certainly grows on you and also a style that works within the movies that they scored. PUI FORTE RAGAZZI ! is a score that I was so pleased got a compact disc release, its one of those soundtracks that you can put into the disc player and just let it play and not have to worry about skipping any tracks as all of them do entertain and contain very pleasing attributes, plus the music is not only in the main up tempo but it is simple. The soundtrack was originally issued on a long playing record on the RCA label (which I still have), that record contained just thirteen tracks which ran for just over half an hour. This compact disc release treats us to many alternate tracks and also a handful of cues not heard before and they certainly add to the works vitality and appeal, it runs for nearly an hour and has a full and clear sound to it. The actual movie was set in the Amazonian jungles of South American and not the deserts of the United States as in the TRINITY movies the films includes gun toting bandits and smugglers which of course Spencer and Hill come into direct conflict with and the film is filled with unlikely but hilarious situations that all are rectified by the good old Spencer/Hill formula, which is a loud and well staged brawl, where no one really gets hurt or even blooded or bruised in the slightest. It’s all enjoyable clean fun with the accent and emphasis on slapstick and the highly improbable. The score is a delight and is a fusion of a handful of styles, most of which are fairly up beat and vibrant, but all contain real melody and substance, whether it be a riotous sounding samba or a sensuous Bossa nova or even a instrumental version of the scores central theme song FLYING THROUGH THE AIR, it remains interesting and also enjoyable throughout the entire hour. In fact there are so many themes or versions and arrangements of themes within the score it would be very difficult to become bored or tired with it. The compact disc is presented wonderfully by BEAT records and has a great front cover which is taken from the original RCA LP release, plus there are some great notes by Ivan Bersanetti and a number of stills from the movie within the liner of the disc, so entertaining, eye arresting and long overdue, what more could you want ?
Mark Mckenzie has always been a composer of much interest, his scores always seemed to light up the movie they were enhancing and brought a higher dimension and depth to their storylines and emotional content. This his latest offering is no exception to any of that, in fact I would say that this is probably the composer’s finest work thus far. I say thus far because I hope he will continue to write music for movies for many years to come. This is a score for an animated feature which has been produced in Mexico, the music is just beautiful. It is inspiring and also haunting to the point of being distracting, in a pleasant way of course. The composers rich and celestial themes engulf and surround the listener and just captivate one from the offset. This is a score that contains so much passion, such large helpings of poignancy and huge slices of meekness interludes of melancholy and also an atmosphere that is humbling. But above all else this is a work that is overflowing with sumptuous melodies, tone poems that glide and segue into each other creating an ambience that is relaxing and almost serene. As I listened to the work, I tried to think what style or what composer I could liken it to, but it is difficult to do this as one is just being immersed in so much quality music. But I will say I did think that maybe I could liken this marvellous score to the work of Italian composer, Bishop Marco Frisina, there is such a depth of emotion within it. It is akin to Frisina’s sacred music and also has many affiliations with his music for movies such as PAPA GIOVANNI. Then there is another style and sound that can be likened to James Horner in his early days, ie: WILLOW, BRAINSTORM etc. I think it’s the choral sections more than anything that attract me to Mckenzie’s score, he fuses choir with stirring strings that also posses a heartfelt and emotive quality, he adds brass and woods to give the work depth and substance whilst on high and as if from nowhere we hear little nuances of sounds such as trills from woods and chimes or bells and delicately plucked harp some of which are only just audible but they complete the musical picture, bringing each piece together and making the listening experience a complete one.
Cues such as ANGELS, DEMONS AND PRAYER are riveting listening, the composer utilising to full effect the string section, combined with strident brass and the ever present divine choral backing, this particular cue has an air of peril about it at first, but this mood changes swiftly but only briefly into a more relaxed almost laid back tone, brass then introduce the strident sounding theme once again which all too quickly melts away and is replaced by pensive sounding woods which are supported by delicate sounding strings, again the atmosphere alters and we are taken into a darker musical realm by the composers effective placing of shadowy low strings, then the cue erupts into a triumphant sounding piece for strings that are heralded in by proud sounding brass flourishes, a wonderful track that is for me one of this scores many highlights. ASCENSION/GLORIA PARTRI is also a cue I would recommend without reservation, it is a blissful composition that has choir and strings in a soaring unison, brass flourishes and an amazing crescendo where all the aforementioned components of the orchestra come together to create a very special composition. Then there is A CLEAN SOUL, which begins with organ playing a delicate melody punctuated by harp the melody is not dissimilar to the opening of AVE MARIA and evokes a spiritual atmosphere that is relaxing and peaceful, the organ and harp are joined by underlying strings after approximately a minute who at first support then take on the theme giving it a full working, the main part of the theme being carried as if it is weightless whilst choir and other members of the string section provide a magical sounding background.
This is an inspired score, a special work within the world of film music, it is a soundtrack that once heard will remain a firm favourite amongst collectors of film music, it is a work that will make cinema audiences weep and create even greater emotion for the story being told on screen. Scores such as this happen rarely these days, and when one such as this does emerge we should embrace it, savour it, adore it and shout from the rooftops about it…
The best way to describe this release from Digitmovies, is fantastic, wonderful, great just marvellous. A FINE PAIR which was released in 1968, starred Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale, the score was provided by Ennio Morricone, and up until recently the tapes for this were thought to be lost or destroyed, Morricone fans have often lamented over this score not being available, but thanks to GDM and also those lovely people at Digitmovies,(CF), here we have it and its been worth the wait. Ok, how can I describe the sound and style of this score? Right take a little snippet of WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS, a smidgen of LOVE CIRCLE, add to them a drop of DANGER DIABOLIK, sprinkle it with just a touch of FORZA G and stir in some bits and pieces of THE INFERNAL TRIO and MALAMONDO add to these elements of IL LADRONE and top it with some stunning vocal work by Edda and Alessandroni’s distinctive IL CANTORI MODERNI, and there you have it a recipe for a mouth watering musical dish to be savoured by all. In my opinion the period from 1964 through to 1971 were most definitely Morricone’s Golden years, his compositions during this time just flowed with elegant ease from his ever industrious fingers, and A FINE FAIR is a prime example of Morricone on top form, addictive sambas fill the soundtrack, plus we are treated to a number of what I would call Hippy Chick sounding typical 60s lounge type tracks. A FINE PAIR is one of those scores that once heard will be returned to again and again, Tracks 5 and 7 are I think probably the most infectious sounding cues on the CD, on cue 5 a fairly up tempo backing track supports electric organ as it winds its way through playing a simple but catchy theme, and it is the simplicity of this music that makes it so attractive. Track 7 is in fact a slightly different take on one of the composers themes from MALAMONDO, but with a little extra added to it. It is a happy go lucky sounding score, well written and superbly orchestrated and performed. Sound quality is excellent and as always the presentation by Digitmovies is top notch, I urge you to go and get this one, if you do not you will miss out on a real treat.
I must admit it’s not that often that I decide to review a compilation, especially when it’s by such a well known composer such as Morricone. Invariably most of the cues that are on the said compilation, collectors will already have via other compilations or even because they own the complete soundtrack. MORRICONE BOSSA however, I looked at in a different light. Ok the musical content of the disc is an important factor to everyone that purchases the compact disc, but in this instance lets look beyond the music or should I say consider other elements as well as the music on the disc. The packaging for this collection is stunning, it comes in a hard back binder cover, which is crammed with some of the most exquisite art work and publicity posters. This is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears, an enjoyable and interesting listening experience and also a rewarding and somewhat nostalgic read. The front cover boasts a photograph of a Morricone that we know from the decade of the 1960,s when he was really just beginning to make his musical mark upon the world, open the booklet and it reveals notes by Paolo Pagliarani, which are in both Italian and English. The short but informative preface is followed by some eye arresting posters, record covers and stills from a total of 18 movies, LE MONACHINE, SLALOM, MALAMONDO, BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, LOVE CIRCLE, WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS and INCONTRO among them. As well as these visual delights, there are some examples of the original sketches for movies such as LOVE CIRCLE and VERGOGNA SCHIFOSI and re-productions of some of Morricone’s manuscripts.
Amarkord records must be congratulated for their most careful and thoughtful attention to detail on this production. This can also be said for the selection of musical cues that are included, and also the production values on these, as they seem to sound a lot crisper and clearer than they do on the original recordings. So this compilation I recommend whole heartedly, even if you have all the music content, it is still a more than worthwhile addition to one’s collection simply because it looks so good.
The film music and sounds of composer Bruno Maderna are few and far between and to see a compact disc of this soundtrack released was a little surprising. I must admit that Maderna’s modern, experimental and futuristic sounding work for LA MORTE HA FATTO L’UOMO is anything but easy on the ear or the brain for that matter. It is at times very difficult to listen to and I found myself thinking maybe the director or producer of the movie was drunk when he agreed that the composers score was suitable for the film. Obviously it was, and has made a lasting impression on many a collector or fan of giallo pictures and music from them. The composer supplies us with a somewhat disjointed sound throughout the work, by this I mean if you are looking for nice melodies and easy listening passages you have certainly come to the wrong place. It is a score that will require 100% concentration to appreciate the composers musical solutions to the films requirements. Although saying this on the second listen, I did find some attractive pieces which are performed in the main on solo violin, that is supported by classical guitar and interspersed with male voice which speaks rather than attempts to be musical in any way. This is an interesting score because it was so far ahead of its time, after all most of the other giallo movies during this period were being scored by the likes of Cipriani, Morricone and Nicolai etc with haunting melodies and dramatic sounding compositions, which at times were themselves reffered to as experimental by critics, so Maderna has to congratulated for enhancing the images of this particular motion picture with music and sounds musical and otherwise which are certainly innovative if nothing else. This is a soundtrack that should be added to ones collection, because of its importance and also because of its rarity. Sound quality is very clean and crisp, and the disc is packaged well.