Daniele Patucchi is a composer who is sadly unrepresented on compact disc and when you think about it he was also treated in a similar fashion when it came to his scores being issued on vinyl. Thankfully his score for MAN FROM DEEP RIVER aka SACRIFICE has at last made it onto compact disc, Patucchi,s score is mainly a melodic one with two central themes re-occurring throughout its running time, the composer also makes good use of some slightly more atonal and sinister sounding music which is a fusion of symphonic and also electronic, but the two elements combine seamlessly and compliment each other along the way, giving support and also bolstering one another as the score progresses. The composer utilises strings and also a scattering of harpsichord that are in turn supported by subdued brass and woodwind with the occasional female solo voice making an appearance giving the work an uplifting and almost sensuous atmosphere as in track number 12 until said Female performer is interrupted by a searing electronic sound which is thankfully short lived but necessary. Track number 11 is one that I returned to because of the fresh and vibrant arrangement of one of the core themes, Patucchi launching it headlong in an up-tempo but at the same time slightly manic fashion with the string section doing most of the work, this is a score that I have to recommend because it is a great example of the work of this underrated composer in fact when Patucchi utilises harpsichord and strings and introduces woods and mixes in a sensual female voice the sound achieved is not unlike that of Ennio Morricone, and at one point his harpsichord has a chilling effect that is very similar to that when Bruno Nicolai used the instrument in a spidery sounding introduction to IL CONTE DRACULA, this is a gem of a score that has thankfully been preserved by BEAT. Nice art work with informative notes by Umberto Lenzi and Fabio Babini.
IL ROLLERBOY, circa 1980, is a low budget Italian production that has a curious and really a wasteful plot, by wasteful I mean it was a waste of time actually writing this rubbish and then turning into a movie. So the less said about the boring and uninteresting film the better. The score is by Italian Maestro Stelvio Cipriani, and although I have to say I am normally a fan of Cipriani and he is a very genuine person and in 99.9 percent of scenarios delivers great film music that is original and memorable he certainly must have had a bad day at the office when he got involved with this little classic. It is basically a collection of upbeat instantly forgettable tunes with a few vocals thrown in (literally) along the way. It is a mystery to me that BEAT records who have like many other labels begun to release a lot of soundtracks that were originally issued on the illustrious CAM label, so why pick material such as this it is not exactly interesting or original in fact its mind numbing in the worst sense of that word. The scores only saving grace is one particularly attractive cue entitled THE ROAD TO CALIFORNIA, which has harmonica lead and is a pleasant easy going theme. The remainder of the score is a serious film music collector’s nightmare and includes sub standard disco hits; you know the ones that you find on the compilations as fillers for the real hits. The songs include that evergreen disco stomper by Dwayne Ford YOU, VE GOT TO BE MEANT or is that MEAN (I think so). Track number seven is DISCO MEN, yes; surely you know that contagious classic? (Nope, neither do I) but it goes down a storm in roller discos and sounds very similar to DANNY BOY by the way (is,nt that copyright infringement as there is no mention of it in the credits). Enough said I think, IL ROLLERBOY, is certainly a case of the music being better than the movie it was written for, but saying that the music is nothing special in fact its nothing really at all, certainly a miss in my book. Again it’s a case of record companies issuing scores for the sake of doing so, why release this when there are so many other good soundtracks in the CAM catalogue that deserve a release on compact disc for the first time, it’s a waste of time and effort not to mention money for record companies, a pointless exercise that will I know end up stuck on a shelf in an archive or languish for weeks in the bargain bin until finally some poor unsuspecting member of the public decides to shell out 50 pence on it and even then they would have paid over the odds. Avoid it like the plague…..The composer should have.
After recently listening to and enjoying Elia Cmiral, s glorious score for ATLAS SHATTERED 3, I was pleased to see that Varese Sarabande had released the composers score for WICKED BLOOD, the two scores are to coin a phrase like chalk and cheese or at least are very different animals in style and sound. The ATLAS SHATTERED score is dramatic and also romantic even lush and lavish, whereas WICKED BLOOD is slightly darker in its overall make up and tone with the composers music taking on a more intimate persona and as I have already stated being darker brooding and quietly threatening in places. The orchestration and also the instrumentation on the score is completely different from AS 3, but this shows us just how inventive and talented Cmiral is as a composer changing atmospheres and moods to fit every genre. WICKED BLOOD is a straight to DVD release directed by Mark Young, this thriller is pretty impressive and Cmiral, s music supports and also elevates the scenarios being acted out perfectly.
Of course Elia Cmiral is probably best known for his soundtrack to RONIN which brought him recognition and acclaim, since then however he has been wrongly under utilised and is in a word underrated. The score for WICKED BLOOD has to it a folk or even slight country/Southern States sound within it and it is this sound or style that I suppose is the backbone or central focal point of the work the composer using solo violin and also a string quartet at one point to create this kind of laid back but at the same time lonely sound which he purveys to a greater degree with guitar in many of the cues. There is however another side to the score which is more intense and also one which purveys an almost sombre darkness but all the time it remains melodious and I suppose has a fragility to it which is relayed by sporadic and fleeting use of solo piano. Synthetic sounds or electronics do come into the equation but even these remain fairly melodic and low key and fuse seamlessly with the acoustic sound of the guitar, the solo performances on violin and the strings and piano. Certainly worth checking out.
The third and final chapter of the ATLAS SHRUGGED series begins after 12 years of suffering mysterious disappearances of society’s most-productive; the nation’s economy on the verge of collapse, the government pursues policies imposing even greater viciousness against those remaining. One man has the answer. One woman determined to keep the world running stands in his way. He swore by his life. She swore to stop him. Who is John Galt?
Composer Elia Cmiral scored the first movie in this trilogy ATLAS SHRUGGED and with this outstanding soundtrack makes a triumph and highly affecting return to the series of movies. His score is emotive, captivating and heartbreakingly alluring, filled with highly melodious tone poems that are fragile, delicate and sensitive. The work is brimming with luxurious and sweeping thematic material which lingers in ones mind long after the compact disc has finished playing. Flyaway and wistful woodwinds enhance lavish sounding strings and romantically laced piano solos throughout the score and it is quite simply a heart string tugging soundtrack.
The composer combining the string section with faraway sounding horns and further embellishing these elements with chorale support at key moments within the score. This for me is a return to pure romanticism and also a return to the way in which movies were scored many years ago. It contains solid and attractive themes that build, rise and burst forth creating emotion upon emotion and purveying a superb and salubrious sound sensation that envelopes the listener totally and completely mesmerises them. This is a side of the composer I have I must say not experienced before now, and I certainly like what I am hearing. Within the score there are also a handful of more dramatic and urgent cues, again the composer turning to the string section to create a driving and pressing atmosphere with subdued use of percussion adding depth and bringing a greater sense of determination and drama to the proceedings. But it is the gloriously rich themes purveyed by both strings and piano that make this score stand out, eloquent, opulent and hauntingly beautiful cues that will be returned to often I predict once heard. Definitely one for your collection.
Composer Guy Farley is one of those names one sees on numerous credits of movies and is a composer who always produces wonderful scores for any genre of film. Sadly he seems to very rarely get credit for his musical prowess and his expertise in the art of film scoring, which can also be said for many composers who work in film and television who continue writing great scores that are unfortunately sidestepped or overlooked for the more lucrative and spotlighted scores from big Hollywood productions which contain music by composers who in most cases do not even come close to the talents of lesser known Maestros who work in the field such as Guy Farley. The SECRET SHARER is an interesting score and contains a number of oriental sounding instruments within its make up, it has a central theme that is in my opinion very European in its style and sound, in fact the utilisation of the accordion and later the trumpet and woodwind to relay this piece did remind me some what of IL POSTINO and also evoked memories of Rota’s GODFATHER soundtrack. It is however the highly melodic and romantic sounding themes that fill the score which attracted me to it. The composer uses the string section and also piano to purvey a sense of romanticism that is tinged with melancholy throughout the work, Farley also brings into the equation woodwinds, harp, horns and ethnic flutes and percussion. For me also there were little nuances and quirks of orchestration etc that gave the work a certain Barry-esque sound, the rich sounding strings and also the composer’s obvious gift to create haunting musical passages that are delicate, fragile and highly emotive bringing forth some beautiful and stunningly touching melodious pieces. This score is certainly worth having as I know that you will return to it many times to sample the highly emotive and poignant compositions. But hang on there is more as they say. The compact disc also includes the unused score for the South African movie TSOTSI (2005) why this score was unused I do not know as it is wonderfully earthy and haunting. Farley employing the distinct vocal talents of Nicola Emmanuel (who also performed on George Fenton’s CRY FREEDOM). Farley enhanced her vocal performance with ethnic flutes, Ocarina and punctuated these with a sprinkling of African percussion underlining the proceedings with plaintive and at times dissonant strings that bring a richness and depth to the work. Again I have to say that this is work of merit and quality, the composer conveying sadness via his thematic material and also creating an atmosphere that is both dramatic and emotive. Both scores on this compact disc are in a word stunning.
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