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CUORI SOLITARI, AKA LONELY HEARTS or WIFE SWAPPING ITALIAN STYLE as it was entitled at times outside of Italy, was released in 1969/70, it starred Ugo Tognazzi and Senta Berger the latter being the one and only reason in my eyes for actually watching the picture. To be fair director Franco Giraldi does a fairly good job of steering this quite in depth and serious study of a marriage in trouble through some stormy waters to bring it out at the end as an interesting and entertaining piece of late 60,s cinema. Greatly aided by it two leading players TOGNAZZI AND Berger who are both incredibly strong in their respective roles, they play a married couple whose relationship is suffering and attempt to revitalise this relationship in a number of ways. Berger is exquisite and oozes a seductive and sensual persona without uttering a word. The movie boasts a beautifully infectious soundtrack by Luis Bacalov or Luis Enriquez Bacalov as he was known during this period of his career, the composer created an at times upbeat pop infused work that also included its fair share of dramatic interludes and a plethora of highly addictive melodic and thematic material, in many ways his score in my opinion rivals anything that Morricone had written during this period but that is merely a personal opinion(no letters please). The composer employed the vocal talents of Edda dell Orso for his soundtrack and also utilised the distinct vocalising of Alessandroni,s IL CANTORI MODERNI which immediately created a sound and style that Morricone devotees were attracted too. Bacalov even utilised the artistry of Alessandroni on sitar to enhance the images on screen. The score is made up of a handful of core themes which the composer introduces throughout the running duration of the compact disc, he then very cleverly introduces each of these but serves them up in differing guises and arranges them giving them a freshness and a new leas of life on each outing. Some of his score was re-used in a later French movie THE MODELS (1973) which dealt with similar issues that were raised in CUORI SOLITARI and much of his soundtrack or at least the principle themes appeared on a General Music long playing record from 1972 entitled Il PAESAGGI which was I suppose an early version of a show-reel recording for a composer. Argentinean born Bacalov who began his career as a pianist provided a highly rhythmic and also wonderfully sensual and smouldering soundtrack for the movie which was initially released on RCA records as a single 45rpm disc then received a CD release on the Japanese Avanz label(sp/cr200019) in conjunction with General Music. More recently Saimel records in Spain reissued 13 cues from the score onto compact disc teaming it up with another Bacalov soundtrack IL CORSARO. Tracks from the score also appeared on various compilations most notably the excellent Easy/Right tempo series.

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But for me personally it is the Avanz edition that is the most appealing version. 21 cues nearly 50 minutes of music which is a veritable smorgasbord of delightful musical encounters. From the light and airy samba orientated and Antonino Carlos Jobim influenced PARANAGUA to the jazzy and bluesy sounding TO THE BARREN MOOR and through to the uplifting and infectious EN PLEIN AIR, and touching upon the haunting FINO ALL’ ORIZZONONTE and the various versions of the central theme CUORI SOLITARI, with its harpsichord and sensual vocals underlined by romantic strings, subtle percussion and meandering piano this is an unbeatable and highly entertaining work. If you are unable to obtain the Avanz edition then please buy any version you can, this is a must have item an essential purchase. If you loved WE STILL KILL THE OLD WAY, adored DJANGO and were mesmerised by A MAN CALLED NOON this is a score you will be infatuated with from the moment you hear it.