LA RAGION PURA

ragion-puraReleased in 2001 the movie LA RAGION PURA (aka THE SLEEPING WIFE) was directed, written, photographed, produced and edited by film maker and author Silvano Agosti, who apparently was also going to score the film but thankfully made the decision to pass the musical duties to Maestro Ennio Morricone. Although written in 2001 the score contains many of the stock sounds and musical trademarks that we associate with the composer from his highly industrious period of the 1960,s and 1970,s when he worked on movies such as LOVE CIRCLE, THE NICEST WIFE, LA COSSA BUFFA, DEVIL IN THE BRAIN and QUESTA SPECIE DI AMORE. This comedy that is laced with a touch of spice starred respected actor Franco Nero and Eleonora Brigliadori who portray a married couple who’s fifteen year marriage seems to be going through a difficult period, Nero a filmmaker thinks that his wife’s disinterest in the bedroom might have something to do with the fact that they are unable to have children or due to his infidelity or maybe because she is suffering from depression. One night Nero lays awake and hears his wife mumbling in her sleep, she murmurs a number of sexual and erotic suggestions which the Nero character is more than pleased about and even more happier to act upon when his wife awakens. The score is a highly melodic one and I have to say stands out amongst the works of the composer from this period, it is lush and fully symphonic and contains so many thematic properties that it is at times hard to believe that the score was written in 2001,there is just an atmosphere and emotional presence to it that evokes so many memories of the Maestros work for the cinema of past decades, it is also hard to fathom out why the score was not released before, it is crammed with touching and delicate tone poems and enormously poignant and emotive musical phrases and nuances, an inventive and pleasing work that will delight and amaze the listener. Track number one which is the title track LA RAGION PURA commences with a low sound from the string section, in fact very similar to the opening of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, a trumpet is then added and performs a down tempo but catchy sequence of notes, this is supported by further use of strings which increase in volume as piano is ushered in to punctuate the proceedings with a light and delicate air, piano also establishes the central theme or the principal melody within this opening cue, and as the strings and piano build very slowly trumpet still maintains its presence albeit as a background, woodwind is introduced under the strings as the cue segues into a fuller, richer rendition of the theme with strings lending their ample weight to convert the subtle and fragile phrases into a lush and lavish performance that is filled with emotion and romanticism.

The mood alters once again as we return to low key underlying strings with sparse use of piano that both act as a background to a repeat of the trumpet performance, which closes the cue. Track number two, ALLA FINESTRA, is another fragile and subtle sounding composition, on this occasion strings and piano enhance a brief but effective performance from woodwind, the cue in my opinion sounds almost magical with little twinkling commas and full stops being added or replacing the parts of the work that would normally be performed on piano, in many ways this cue and in fact this entire work has many affiliations and similarities with the composers score for LOVE AFFAIR, all that is missing is the female vocals of Edda. It is a subdued work but at the same time highly effecting and emotive, it contains an array of haunting themes and also has a number of stunning violin solos which evoke memories of the concert performance version of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, and transfix the listener because of the heartfelt sound that is realized. I for one am so pleased that Hillside/GDM released it. It is a classic Ennio Morricone score and I am confident it will become a firm favourite of Morricone fans and any collector of fine movie music. Excellent…

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