Top Sensation aka The Seducers.

Ulla is a prostitute and is hired by the despicable Mudy who the is mother of the shy and mentally disturbed 20-year-old Tony who has a tendency towards pyromania. Ulla is invited on a sea cruise where she is meant to “take” Tony’s virginity. Also invited on the cruise are the provocative Paula and her husband Aldo, who are constantly striving to win the favour of a wealthy woman in hope of obtaining an oil concession. Despite her efforts, Ulla has no effect on the young man until the yacht stops on a Mediterranean island inhabited only by a goat herder and his wife, Beba. Tony is attracted to her, but little by little his mental disorders arise, and the story ends in tragedy. That’s the rather flimsy and offbeat synopsis of the Erotic/drama/thriller movie Top Sensation or The Seducers which was released in 1969.  

But it’s not really the film I am concerned with here but the score which is by Italian Maestro Sante Maria Romitelli who was a composer that was active throughout the 1960’s and into the 1980’s providing a variety of music for cinema and TV productions. Romitelli’s trademark being the use of organ and upbeat percussive backing tracks within his scores. He like many other composers during the 1960’s and 1970’s in Italy worked on Italian produced westerns including Gods Gun and Spara Gringo Spara, both of which contained brilliant sounding musical scores. Gods Gun sadly remains unreleased we are told that the tapes were destroyed, but who knows they could just turn up in studio one day (with extra cues even). Spara Gringo Spara was originally released on a CAM LP record and then later received a much-deserved CD release on Hillside/GDM.

Romitelli’s non-western scores such as Top Sensation, are filled with groovy and hip sounding lounge and easy listening cues, to which he adds a dramatic content when the picture calls for it, its an easy going sound that contains lilting themes and laid-back passages, that at times erupt into fast paced big band brassy sounding affairs. Which is something that many Italian composers would employ as in Trovajoli, Pisano, Nicolai, Marchetti, and even on occasion Morricone. Romitelli treats us to some sublime sounding jazz influenced cues throughout the score and delivers lilting and haunting themes such as the cue entitled Tema di Beba, which is a piece for woods, guitar, and organ, within the make up this cue one can just pick out the elements that go to fashion Tema di Stark in his Spara Gringo Spara score, but on this occasion, he restricts them to subtle and affecting tone poems.

Romitelli also composed a wonderfully alluring and sensual sounding score for La Rossa Dalla Pelle Che Scotta in which the composer utilised the flawless voice of Edda Dell Orso, in the very Morricone-esque sounding Bambole Sensuali. Top Sensation is a fast paced and foot tapping musical affair, pop orientated, blues and jazz infused and dramatically driving. This is a case of the music being far superior to the film it was written for. Top Sensation or The Seducers is available on digital platforms, find it, play it, love it.



Sepolta Viva, (Woman Buried Alive) is a period drama directed by Aldo Lado and was released in Italy in 1973. The movie itself although very good and having an intriguing storyline and containing memorable performances from the likes of Agostina Belli and Maurizio Bonuglia failed to entice audiences into cinemas but has since become a movie of interest amongst certain film buffs. The films plot focuses upon Christina a young and beautiful woman who is the daughter of a fisherman who marries Duke Philippe. But the Duke’s brothers, see that after the marriage they would miss out on any inheritance, so they decide to get rid of the woman by imprisoning her in a tower and convince the duke that Christina has died.

The score is one that in my opinion stands out from many of the works that were penned by Ennio Morricone for the cinema during the early part of the 1970’s.

 It is a soundtrack that I have had in my collection for years, firstly on a BEAT records LP, and then with a CD release from the same label that paired it with two sections from Morricone’s The Antichrist score (1974) which had been released as a 45rpm single on BEAT. 

Sepolta Viva is Ennio Morricone at his emotive and mysteriously elusive best, the score is filled with melancholy and overflowing with a rich and tender abundance of romantically laced themes. This fully symphonic and classical sounding work is a must have item for any Morricone fan and even now stands as one of the Maestro’s finer works from this decade. There are so many themes within the score, each containing their own unique sound and musical persona, but at the same time all having the unmistakable musical stamp of Morricone. Plus having to them an elegance and opulent sound and style. We are treated to lush love themes that are luxurious and haunting, chamber slanted works that are delicate and low key which are complimented by darker and more dramatic and shadowy sounding pieces.

The composer utilizes solo piano, melodic and romantic sounding woods which are underpinned by light use of organ and sliding strings in the opening of the first cue Romanza A Christina, this slight but affecting introduction soon builds with the string section becoming fuller and swelling to become the main element of the piece. The strings then take on fully the core theme and enhanced by piano start to develop this to an even greater level, the strings rising and bringing to life the affecting and expressive theme until it dominates. A theme that is utilized in other places during the score, with Morricone presenting it in varying arrangements, including solo violin performances, and woodwind renditions becoming more prominent.


There is an intimacy and a fragility to the work which makes it even more endearing and effective. The subtle shades and gentle tone poems being perfect for the storyline and its various scenarios, again as with most of Morricone’s romantically laced works, it is also highly listenable and entertaining away from the images on screen. Within the work we can hear that this is undeniably Morricone, a sound that has been utilised in many other scores, a sound that is instantly recognisable and one that is also totally absorbing, and heartrending.

Asperges Me Vidi Aqum,

There is no choral work to speak of within the score, which is unusual for a Morricone score from this period apart from track number twelve on the soundtrack release, entitled Asperges Me Vidi Aqum, that is performed acapella by female vocalists.

But beautiful harp and harpsichord work is heard throughout which fashion a sophisticated and alluring air, piano passages and heart melting violin solos are also featured, the instruments combining at times but also being performed solo to create mesmerising moments in an already enchanting and stunning work.

This is music that beguiles and hypnotises, adds emotion, and gives greater depth and atmosphere to the storyline being acted out on screen. It is without a doubt another one of Morricone’s evergreen scores, but one that is very rarely spoken of like Questa Specie di Amore, and La Due Stagione della Vita. We hear throughout this richly thematic work echoes of earlier scores such as La Califfa, with hints of themes and the use of orchestration that would also become part of the Maestro’s unique and undeniably attractive musical fingerprint. We also hear nuances and sounds that we would experience in later years within Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, The Banker, and Cinema Paradiso, it is like so many of the composer’s soundtracks from the 1970’s, film music gold.