Another TV score and one that I for one think is just brimming with so many great themes, Hotel Portofino has a score that is composed by Stefano Cabrera, it is a sheer delight to sit and listen to on its own away from the series but is just as entertaining when hearing the score work with the unfolding storylines and images within the series. This is a score that tantalizes and works a dreamy kind of magic that envelops and caresses the images and elevates each episode.
There is a rich and wholesome sound to this work, which is created by joyous sounding strings that seem to skip along being punctuated by piano and woods. I cannot make up my mind which composer I most drawn to when it comes to making comparisons with this wonderful score and others, possibly Georges Delerue, and the early work of Alexandre Desplat, and Nicola Piovani, but also at times gives gentle nods to the style of Dario Marianelli.
There is a definite European sound present, but also a quintessentially English musical persona is in place throughout, underlining and dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. Light, majestic and luxurious, with delicate nuances performed on harp, piano and clever use of subtle woods, the score has to it a fragility and an almost precious ambience that oozes sophistication and charm.
The composer at times, employing strident but low-key string passages that work marvelously emotive and poignant melodies into the proceedings seamlessly, which are touching and affecting. A quality soundtrack from an entertaining series, available on digital platforms via Silva Screen records UK. Well worth checking out.
Soundtrack releases and up and coming releases of film music.
Kronos records have announced CD releases of three recordings that were previously only available on digital platforms, which for me is wonderful news as the more soundtracks that are released onto compact disc or even vinyl is only a good thing. For a few years now there have been several soundtracks that received digital releases only, which for collectors such as me who prefer to see physical recordings in their collection can be quite frustrating. But thanks to a handful of labels (to few now sadly) we are still seeing the CD release holding its head above water as it were, and with the resurgence of the popularity of the LP record things are on the up for old fogies like me.
So, when a label such as Kronos announces its new releases on CD and all have previously been available on digital platforms it does give hope to collectors of the physical format. And its encouraging too that the latest three releases from Kronos are all wonderful and atmospheric in their own unique way, which tells us that the art of film music too is alive and well. The three scores in question are Claret by ÓSCAR M LEANIZBARRUTIA, The Gravediggers Wife by ANDRE MATTHIAS and Suono Velati which is a compilation of music from documentaries as scored by MATTEO CREMOLINI. Each release is innovative and brilliantly thematic, with the individual composer flexing their creative muscles fashioning unique and affecting compositions. The Gravediggers Wife is I would say an interesting score because it is so subtle but still effective, the orchestration and instrumentation creating a sound and a style that is haunting. With some alluring guitar performances from Riccardo Rocchi.
Claret too is a wonderfully rich and spiritual sounding work which earned the composer much applause and recognition this year from the likes of IFMCA, and MMI. And Suono Velati the compilation of documentary music is just stunning.
All three are ready for pre order now from Kronos and should be released officially by September 2022. Reber Clark is a composer who I feel is somewhat overlooked, he has written so many great scores for both film, and radio, His House of the Gorgon particularly standing out as a homage to the music of both Hammer and AIP productions from yesteryear. His latest score is now available on Bandcamp and it is again a worthy addition to his ever growing canon.
Mystery Highway may only be a score of just three short cues, but the music is in my opinion superbly written and creates a mood that becomes uneasy and highly atmospheric, it is quite low key and subtle, but builds to a menacing and apprehensive peak. Again, I must remark that the music evokes the style of Jerry Goldsmith in places, its effectively bringing to fruition an unnerving and uncertain mood but also contains thematic qualities that are pleasing and rewarding. It’s a smouldering and slow burning work but hits all the right spots. Another great work from a composer who so deserves to be given a big box office production.
Other releases that are soon to be unleashed on the unsuspecting film music collecting community include Force to Fear by Matt Cannon, who has written an excellent synth based score that oozes an atmosphere of 1980’s retro, and is probably one of the best non symphonic scores to get a release this year thus far, this and Andrew Scott Bell’s amazing score for Psycho Storm Chaser are both available on Howlin’ Wolf records for order, the latter score is superbly rich and contains so many wonderfully affecting and gloriously thematic pieces throughout. Whilst you are ordering these two worthy soundtracks check out the abundance of excellence from the horror genre that are available at HWR. And bookmark their website as there are some very fine soundtracks in the works.
More Italian and American soundtracks receive a release and reissue from labels such as BEAT and Quartet. The scores for La Casa Stregata –Mia Moglie e Una Strega are both available on one CD on BEAT, music by Detto Mariano and a 50th Anniversary LP is now on sale from the label of the soundtrack for the Italian western They Still Call me Trinity, music by De Angelis.
As is an LP release of Piero Piccioni soundtrack from Io e Caterina and the Maestro’s Inghilterra Nuda, is now available from Quartet records on both LP and CD.
The Spanish soundtrack label have also released Ernest Gold’s score for Sam Peckinpah’s gritty WWll drama Cross of Iron which is a welcomed re-issue.
Also released from Quartet is a pair of soundtracks on one disc from composer Alberto Baldan Bembo, L’Amica di mia Madre and Ecco Lingua d’ Argento is available now as is another Bembo score in which he collaborates with his sibling and fellow composer Dario, on Velluto Nero. Quartet have also released on LP record.
Scorpio and Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia in celebration of what would have been Jerry Fielding’s 100th Birthday. Also on LP from Quartet is Woody Allen’s Bananas, which has a score by Marvin Hamlish.
Going back to the BEAT label and mention should be made of Acqua e Sepone which is a delightful score by composer Fabio Liberatori and is available on CD, with ltd LP pressings also coming soon.
Cinevox is one of the oldest soundtrack labels in Italy alongside the likes of CAM, they have this month re-issued Ennio Morricone’s western score for Occhio Alla Penna, which is a parody of everything that Morricone created for the Italian western genre. We hear segments of his dollar films, slices of Death Rides a Horse and elements of his They Call me Nobody and The Genius, its an entertaining score with this release boasting 14 bonus tracks.
At the time of the film’s release (1981), Cinevox Records released a 33 rpm disc (MDF 33/145) containing 15 selections. The first CD reissue was only released in Germany in 1990 (Alhambra A 8916), but the sound of that edition left much to be desired as the 33 rpm master had deteriorated. It was not until 2007 when the specialist label Digitmovies printed an expanded CD (CDDM071) using the 1981 Session master tapes considered lost forever. The stereo elements were in perfect condition. For this new CD edition, Cinevox Record label, we were able to find a first-generation master assembled for the 33 rpm by Ennio Morricone himself. At the end of the album program alternate versions of the main themes are included. For the new edition of this score Cinevox discovered two totally unreleased tracks, which is a bonus for fans of Maestro Ennio Morricone and actor Bud Spencer.
Chris’ Soundtrack Corner is a label that has released a whole bunch of wonderful Italian scores and sells other Italian and International soundtrack releases on their web site. They have recently released the CD soundtrack to José María Forqué’s La Donna Della Calda Terra. This,1978 film was produced off of the back of the popularity of erotic cinema which was prominent in the 1970s, which was led by those Sylvia Kristel Emanuele movies. And La Donna Della Calda is amongst the many imitators of the Emanuelle series. The sensual and sensitive sounding score is the work of the much-underrated Italian Maestro Carlo Savina. In which the composer utilises a very different approach from what we were accustomed to from him. This is a first time release for the score and available now.
Chris’ Soundtrack Corner have also re-released on a gatefold presentation LP Keoma by De Angelis, they are saying it’s the first official release of the score, but this is not so, Hexachord released Keoma on CD and LP, back in 1993/94, which was an official release, and this is a reissue of Chris’ Soundtrack corners 2020 LP issue, which was itself a re-issue of the Hexachord release, so nothing new here apart from the art work.
Dragons Domain will release The Ratings Game, featuring music composed by David Spear from the 1984 romantic comedy directed by Danny DeVito,
Written by Jim Mulholland and Michael Barrie, and starring Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Gerrit Graham, Barry Corbin, Basil Hoffman, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Richards, Ron Rifkin, Joe Santos and Vincent Schiavelli.
That’s it for now.
FILM AND TELEVISION MUSIC FROM AROUND THE WORLD. WITH MOVIE REVIEWS AND NEWS FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE.