Tag Archives: Gianni Marchetti


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As a film music collector that has always been interested in music from Italian movies the name of Gianni Marchetti is one that has always been in mind when discussing or listening to scores from Italian productions, Marchetti was up until recently more or less ignored by many of the recording labels both in Italy and outside of that country. Yes a number of his soundtracks had been available on original LP records from the 1960,s and 1970,s but with the furious re-issue programme undertaken by certain labels I was surprised that we did not see more of this composers music out on the shiny little discs. However over the past four years or so Gianni Marchetti’s soundtracks have at last received the attention form labels such as KRONOS, HILLSIDE,BEAT and QUARTET amongst others. One score by the composer that I thought would be at the top of the list to be released was IL MAGNIFICO TONY CARREA, but alas no, I had to make do with my original CAM vinyl long playing record up until just a few weeks ago when Quartet records announced they would release it.

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Marchetti is in my opinion still vastly underrated and never seems to get the credit that he so richly deserves, but with this release and the handful of others that have been issued I think that now collectors are beginning to realise just what a great talent he was as a composer, arranger, orchestrator etc. The problem with Marchetti was he was somewhat overshadowed by the great success of composers such as Piero Piccioni, Stelvio Cipriani, Bruno Nicolai and Ennio Morricone, it was not that Marchetti’s music was in any way inferior to his fellow Maestro’s but it was the films he scored rather than anything to do with the actual music as many of his projects were not released outside of Italy. This release on the Quartet label includes the 12 original tracks from the CAM LP release plus it also contains another 23 cues which are listed as Film Versions or Alternatives. Many of the composers infectious themes for the movie make more than one appearance on the recording, or at least we get to hear varying versions of them, with the composer arranging or orchestrating them differently, keeping them fresh and vibrant on each outing. The composer utilises the unique vocal sounds of Nora Orlandi’s 4+4 on the score and I may be wrong but I am sure that the Sitar solo’s are the work of Alessandro Alessandroni, but don’t quote me.

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IL MAGNIFICO TONY CARRERA is an infectiously rhythmic work, the composer bringing into the musical equation up beat percussion, light and subdued harpsichord, electric guitar, hip sounding organ, fuzzy sounding guitar, acoustic guitar, solo female wordless vocals, woodwind and a scattering of strings all of which produce lilting and haunting themes of the romantic and nostalgic variety plus a number of fast paced pop orientated funky sounding compositions that delight and get ones foot tapping. There are also just a few cues that I suppose can be categorized as being comedic music, with a group whistling a jaunty little theme whilst being accompanied on banjo and percussion, which adds a certain variety to the work. I love the way that Marchetti utilises the choir within the score adding it either as a punctuation to the music or as the main stay of a particular cue, either way it is wonderfully effective. Presented well by Quartet with striking cover art and a handful of images from the movie within the CD liner, also has some informative and enjoyable notes by Gergely Hubai, sound quality is of a high standard also, in fact I cannot recommend this release enough, so don’t think about it just buy it now.




IL DIARIO SEGRETO DI UNA MINORENNE (E’ NATA UNA DONNE) 1968, is a film that contains a Gianni Marchetti score that is a veritable gem from what many collectors consider to be the sparkling age of Italian film music. It was during this period in Italian cinema history that composers such as Marchetti, Morricone, Nicolai, De Masi, Cipriani and many others made their mark upon the film music community and created highly original, rhythmically contagious and atmospheric soundtracks for a tidal wave of movies that just seemed to flood out of the gates of Cinecitta. It was a particularly furtive and productive time for the Italian film industry and it was also a period in which cinema audiences and critics alike began to notice the innovative and haunting music that was being composed by Italian Maestro’s to enhance and support motion pictures. IL DIARIO SEGRETO DI UNA MINORENNE aka- SECRET DIARY OF A MINOR, was the first in a series of three movies that starred the debonair heart-throb Rossano Brazzi, the film which was directed by Oscar Brazzi (Rossano’s Brother) and contained a screenplay that the siblings collaborated on. The film which is regarded as being within the genre of comedy but also has been referred to as a soft porn flick also starred Mimma Biscardi, Walter Trequattrini, Donatella Fossi, Renzo Petretto and Arduino Sacco. The central character is a young girl named Betty whose parents are always arguing, because of their constant bickering and disagreements that often blow up into major disputes Betty is often left alone to and for the majority of the time has to either care for herself or is left to do as she pleases. She feels that she is stuck in the middle of an awkward and at times unpleasant situation, She considers herself to no longer be a child (but is treated like one by her Mother and Father), but feels she is now a woman. Along with a good friend Lalla, she makes a discovery that men are highly attracted and aroused by the female form and along with Lalla the pair begin to experiment with make up and clothes with the intention of catching the eye of the opposite sex, plus are also attracted to each other. Amongst the girls new found group of admirers is the shy and unassuming Walter who becomes infatuated with Betty and at one point in the storyline stands in the doorway of her house for hours hoping that she will see him. Eventually Walter’s persistence pays off and Betty too becomes attracted to him. Their friendship soon blossoms into love for one another. Walter becomes intent on marrying Betty but he has no job and very few prospects to offer thus has no money.

He invites Betty on a date but to finance this he decides to turn to crime and plans a robbery. This does not go well for him and he is pursued by the police, the chase ends in disaster when Walter is killed in an automobile accident, this leaves Betty contemplating what has happened and why it has happened but also returns her to the situation of being treated like a child by her warring parents.
The score for the movie or at least selections from Marchetti’s soundtrack were originally released on a CAM records long playing record, it was the B side on a double feature soundtrack release (SAG 9024) it included just eight cues from the soundtrack and the A side included selections from another Marchetti score VITA SEGRETA DI UNA DICIOTTENE (also available on BEAT RECORDS on CD). Marchetti penned an infectious and hauntingly mesmerising score for IL DIARIO SEGRETO DI UNA MINORENNE and utilised what can I suppose be categorised as an easy listening/jazz orientated style throughout as in the track, GIOVANE E BEAT. The composers work for the cinema was at times highly original as Marchetti was not afraid of experimenting with sounds and styles, but at the same time his “sound” evoked and echoed the works of his contemporaries such as Trovaioli and even more so Morricone. Marchetti employing a pop slanted approach that was laced with romantic and dramatic backgrounds and themes. I suppose if I was to try and describe the style of Marchetti, I would have to say it has the inventiveness of Morricone combined with the infectious up beat persona of Berto Pisano, in other words compelling and entertaining. Marchetti’s sound was also down to the fact that he would often use the soaring female vocals of Edda dell Orso and the distinct sound of Alessandro Allessandroni’s IL CANTORI MODERNI, who were after all both great contributors in their own right to the world of Italian film music. Symphonic and pop colours were both employed within his film scores when they called for it and the composer fused both of these styles with consummate ease producing consistently attractive works that not only supported the movies but stood alone as music that could be listened to and enjoyed. Marchetti to this day still remains underrated and often is ignored or side stepped by record labels, but his out put during the 1960,s and 1970,s was considerable but like so many other composers who were scoring movies during this period he was overshadowed by the sheer weight of Morricone’s musical productivity, during his career Marchetti worked on over 40 motion pictures, he was born in Rome on September 7th 1933, his music graced a plethora of genres that included, police drama’s, westerns, sex/comedies, erotic stories and romantic tales, as well as being particularly active working on documentaries. He died in Rome on April 11th 2012 after battling with a long illness.


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Any soundtrack by Maestro Gianni Marchetti is always a welcome sight to me and I am sure to other collectors of Italian/European film music. Even in this instance when it is a re-release of a Marchetti score it is still one that is a must have purchase, even if you do already have the original compact disc release. L’OCCHIO SELVAGGIO (WILD EYE) was directed by Paolo Carvara in 1967 and has always been a work for film by the composer that many have cited as his best and ultimately the score that collectors and critics alike associate with the Maestro. Marchetti was very active during the mid 1960,s through to the end of the 1970,s and his music not only suited well the movies he worked on but had and still has the ability to stand on its own as just music purely to listen to and to be entertained by. Marchetti,s style of composition was in many ways akin to fellow Italian composers, Morricone, Nicolai, Fidenco and Ferrio but for some reason the composer never found recognition outside of his native Italy, always seeming to be overshadowed by the likes of Morricone. Marchetti employed a fusion of pop orientated catchy tunes with dramatic and energetic passages within many of his film scores and although the thrilling and hard hitting style and the lighter material at times seemed to be musically worlds apart they somehow still managed to compliment each other and work well for the picture, this was I think because of the composers obvious talent for orchestration and arranging and his ability to easily adapt to each and every scenario he was presented with. L’OCCHIO SELVAGGIO was released on long playing record on CAM in 1967,(sag9001) and is listed as a promo, the soundtrack was also issued on the RCA Victor label in 1968 in the United States and Canada, this version contained a song TWO LOVERS which was performed by Rufus Lumley and arranged and conducted by Marty Manning (which is not present on this latest release).The compact disc version appeared in 1991 and was originally part of the CAM original soundtracks encyclopaedia which was a set of 100 titles all classic Italian soundtracks that were released on CD for the first time. In 2007 the score received another release on The King Records/Seven Seas label in Japan which up until the release of this new recording was in my opinion the better version. As I have already stated it was a popular soundtrack and was quickly snapped up by collectors, the score is filled with tense and suspense filled cues that are accompanied by as many cues that lean towards steamy and Smokey jazz interludes, the Maestro flawlessly and seamlessly mixing the varying styles and sounds to create a rewarding and haunting work.

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This particular edition of the soundtrack which is released on BEAT records contains 9 extra tracks that are previously unreleased and has been re-mastered to a high standard by Claudio Fuiano, it also contains some interesting liner notes by Fabio Babini and stills from the movie. This for me is Marchetti,s swansong, his tour de force and the score that I will always associate with the composer and affectionately look upon it as one of the great Italian film scores from the 1960,s and one that evokes many memories of my early days of collecting. A must have release even if you have the original, you still need to have this too.





Released in 1969, SETTE BASCHI ROSSI was an Italian/West German production, which is set against the violence and chaos of the Simba revolution in the Belgian Congo. The movie opens with a violent execution of a group of mercenaries that have been captured by rebels and also a rape of a young French Journalist by a gang of Simba soldiers, who is subsequently held prisoner in the village where the Simbas are stationed, one of the Mercenaries a German Captain, Brandt played by Sieghardt Rupp (who also made an appearance in A Fistful of Dollars) escapes the execution and manages to make his way back to his head quarters where he is rebuked by his Colonel in chief who wants to know how he managed to escape the execution and leave his comrades behind and also is further taken to task for leaving important papers behind. Civil war and unrest has ravaged the countryside and many of its inhabitants are either fleeing or have already been mercilessly butchered by the cruel and sadistic Simba’s who show no compassion even towards women and children. Brandt assures his Colonel that he can return to the village retrieve the papers and also rescue the woman. The Colonel reluctantly agrees as the papers contain delicate information about the movements of the Mercenaries and also the identities of their employers. Brandt’s past record shows that he is not capable of leadership so the Colonel orders an African American Captain named Loriwood to take charge of the mission and lead an unsavoury group of Mercenaries, back into the Jungles of the Congo this annoys and frustrates Brandt, who seems to abhor any man, woman or child that has been born black, but he agrees to go and try and put right his mistake. Filmed in Ethiopia, SETTE BASCHI ROSSI, which was also known outside of Italy as THE RED BERETS, SEVEN RED BERETS and CONGO HELL was directed by the screenwriter Mario Siciliano who made his directorial debut with this movie and it can be said that the movie does have certain similarities to DARK OF THE SUN which was released one year previous and even contains a train sequence. The movie is an action picture but also contains a fairly strong storyline.


The music for the movie is the work of the highly underrated Italian Maestro Gianni Marchetti, who although did not find international fame via his film music still has attained something of a cult following in more recent years. The vibrant and pulsating musical themes that the composer produced for the movie are laced with more than a hint of ethnic African sounds, harsh but rhythmic percussion for example introduce the composers score in the track entitled AFRICAN DRUMS and this throbbing and highly charged atmosphere continues throughout the entire soundtrack, with brief respites and breaks for the odd melodic moment the score being as affecting as it is infectious. The soundtrack was originally released in 1969 on a CAM records long playing vinyl album (MAG-10 121) which contained just seven cues from the work which was on the B side of the release. The A side contained selections from another of Marchetti’s glorious soundtracks, a Spaghetti western score COWARDS DON’T PRAY. Marchetti was born in Rome, Lazio on September 7th 1933, he worked on approximately 40 films which included documentaries and shorts as well as feature films in his career and although he is not as well known or familiar with film music collectors as other Italian composers such as Cipriani, Nicolai, Morricone, Ferrio etc, he produced an impressive array of scores for a diverse collection of movies all of which had varying subject matters. His talents however were not restricted to writing for the silver screen; Marchetti also contributed music to all of the songs that had lyrics by Piero Campi, which were performed by the likes of Adriano Celentano, Katyna Ranieri, Nicola Di Bari and others. The composer passed away in Rome on April 11th 2012 after suffering from a long illness.





Originally released on a CAM long playing record in the latter part of 1969, Gianni Marchetti’s SEVEN RED BERETS was released as a double soundtrack package which was something that CAM did back in those days, SEVEN RED BERETS took up the B side of the album with Marchetti,s classic Spaghetti western score COWARDS DON’T PRAY occupying the A side. Of course neither of the editions included on the LP were anywhere near complete versions of the soundtracks and were merely representations of the scores. The soundtrack to SEVEN RED BERETS had a running time of less than 20 minutes and consisted of 8 tracks on the LP, this new edition on Kronos records contains a stunning 31 tracks which have a combined running time of nearly 51 minutes, and the sound quality is staggeringly clear and crisp. The original album was issued in Mono with a few stereo versions being made available. The movie was released in 1969 and was to be fair a moderate success in Italy and also in certain parts of Europe. It took most of its inspiration from DARK OF THE SUN which also saw a group of mercenaries given a task to recover something valuable from bloodthirsty Simba revolutionaries in the middle of the Belgium Congo. DARK OF THE SUN was certainly the better film with SEVEN RED BERETS borrowing heavily from its higher budgeted and bigger star cast predecessor. Marchetti,s vibrant and pulsating music was in my opinion one of the films highlights, it is a mix of African sounding music and also has touches of jazz with a martial undercurrent, in short it is an inventive and original sounding work, that away from the movie remains entertaining and also fulfilling for the listener. I am very pleased with Godwin Borg of Kronos who took this project on with much enthusiasm and also affection, which I think has made it such a resounding success, who would have thought all those years ago when listening to the short soundtrack on CAM that one day fans of Marchetti would be able to buy the complete score. In fact thanks to all the new cues that are now available it is like discovering the soundtrack for the very first time, the opening cue alone is dramatic and infectious, AFRICAN DRUMS is a great opening for the compact disc and it sets the scene perfectly for much of what that follows, up tempo throbbing African sounding drums are supported by choir and punctuated by piano and strumming guitar, the drums stop suddenly and then re-start with a more pronounced an forceful persona, underlined by organ and African sounding voices, Marchetti seems then to go up a gear again and increases the tempo and whilst doing so adds more voices and the odd brass flourish. It is a driving and exciting piece which is relentless in its percussive and powerful three minute running time.


Track number 2, VERSO IL DESERTO, again relies upon the deployment of percussive elements and indeed the composition is built upon a foundation of African shakers that are further embellished by pounding drums, over which the composer places a harmonica solo, which performs a seven note motif that will feature throughout the score. Marchetti creates an ethnic and almost easy listening sound by combining the percussion and harmonica. Track number 3, DUNE MAGICHE opens with pulsating drums very much akin to the opening percussion flourishes from Jarre’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, these are interspersed and punctuated by use of shrill sounding flute, and a quirky almost comical guitar, and harpsichord. Drums then take the lead and are underlined by a feint choral support which is short lived but effective. Track number 4, is for me one of the highlights of the score, it begins with a pleasant slightly up-tempo sounding piano solo which takes on the seven note motif that the composer introduced in track number 2, he adds to this a low sounding harmonica that purrs in unison with the piano, and then introduces slightly urgent sounding strings with martial sounding timpani and as these fade he stirs a soulful choral sound that is punctuated by short but sweet sounding, harpsichord and continues to purvey an urgent atmosphere by employing the strings as a background to the proceedings. The seven note theme is heard throughout the score but pops up in various manifestations, Marchetti adding a freshness and vibrancy to it via his arrangement of the piece. Track number 6, SOLO NELLA GIUNGLE, could be from a spaghetti western, a fuzzy sounding guitar rift being the foundation of the composition, choir and also tense sounding percussion adding an atmosphere that is filled with a nervous sense of apprehension. Track number 7, AFRICAN SOUND, is again a variation of the scores central thematic material, again Marchetti adding vitality and originality to this because of his imaginative arranging skills. Track number 9, which is listed as SERENO, is a pleasantly calming guitar solo, in fact I have to point out that it is very similar to Marchetti,s COWARDS DON’T PRAY theme, if one was not aware it could easily be mistaken for a western theme or minor cue from the aforementioned Marchetti western score, it is an easy going and very simple piece, but affecting and pleasing. I love the way in which Marchetti also uses harmonica within the score, at times it is reminiscent to the style of Jerry goldsmith in scores such as STAGECOACH and Marchetti also makes effective use of a whistler later on within the score, that again is effective. This for me is a landmark release, and definitely a Golden Italian soundtrack. Highly Recommended.