After collecting soundtracks now for a good few years, it still amazes me that you can stumble upon so many musical gems and although I am now familiar with the score and the film, I was oblivious to its existence when Hexacord released the soundtrack and I think we have to say a big thank-you to Roberto Zamori for bringing this and other shining examples of Italian film music to collectors. So Sweet So Perverse is one such find. The movie, which starred Jean Louis Tringinant and Carrol Baker, is itself an interesting and entertaining piece of cinema, but the score by Riz Ortolani is a classy fusion of both the more classical sounding sides as well as the jazz lounge type style of the composer. So, an attention-grabbing blend of thematic material here.
The CD opens with a up-tempo song performed by J.Vincent Edward, which is followed by an instrumental version of the theme. In fact, the haunting theme can be heard throughout the soundtrack and just seems to become stronger and better on each outing. In many respects this is written in a style that is very similar to that of Nora Orlandi, especially when she worked upon The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh.
The sound achieved by Ortolani on this score is certainly different from, say, The Yellow Rolls Royce and is a delight from beginning to end. Even track number 8, a western saloon sounding cue, is enjoyable. This has to be one of Hexacords best releases, the sound quality art work and overall presentation are excellent. It’s is a limited edition compact disc, which has also been issued as a very limited edition LP for collectors.
Back in the 1970s, Italian film maker Italo Zingarelli and director Enzo Barboni, or E.B.Clucher as he was known on film credits, got together and filmed the first in a series of comedy westerns involving Trinity and his brother Bambino. At first many thought that the idea of combining the Italian western with comedy was a little risky, but after a while the film spawned a sequel and then a third movie appeared assuring the series a place in cinematic history. Maybe not the greatest of movies, but certainly popular, the irreverent Trinity sagas also contained some pretty distinctive sounding musical scores. Composer Franco Micalizzi scored the first in the series, My Name Is Trinity, and then on They Still Call Me Trinity composing duties fell to Italian musician composers Guido and Maurizio De Angelis. The initial trilogy of movies, themselves were the forerunners to numerous offspring which, although not set in the wild west, were also vehicles for actors Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill, who continued to get into various scrapes and adventures. Most of these films were scored by the aforementioned brothers De Angelis. The third Trinity movie had new stars and production team, and a slightly better script, but there again that would not be that difficult. The musical honours on this occasion have gone to composer performer Alessandro Alessandroni, who interestingly performed on the very first Trinity score, as it was he who whistled for composers Franco Micalizzi, and it was also Alessandro,s choir Il Cantori Moderni that provided the vocalising on the score, as they did on numerous spaghetti western soundtracks from the early 1960s through to the latter part of the 1970s.
Alessandroni has provided a typical spaghetti western score for Trinity Goes East, and has very cleverly re-created the “sound” that we associate with that particular genre. It is literally teeming with the wonderful and original sounds of bygone western scores, whistles, solo electric guitar, banjo, grunts, choir, racing snare drums, solo trumpet, patriotic sounding Spanish guitar, jaunty saloon piano, harmonica and harpsichord are all prominent throughout the work. So it not only acts as a perfect tribute to the Italian western score, but is itself an original and gratifying listening experience, many collector who are familiar with the music of Morricone, Nicolai, De Masi and many other composers who worked on Italian productions during the 1960s and 1970s will already be familiar with Maestro Alessandroni, because it was Alessandroni and his choir that provided the distinct an unforgettable sound on so many scores for westerns and others. For anyone who may not be familiar with the composer, please do buy this CD, and I am sure that you will be wanting more of the same. Sound quality is exceptionally good, and the CD is also presented well.
There are a few words I could use and will use to describe this particular score, hard edged, delicious, wonderful, uplifting and also beautiful. I am amazed it took a record company so long to release this onto CD. Luciano Michelini is in my humble opinion one of the most underrated composer to come out of Italy; he has been responsible for numerous soundtracks that are far superior to the movies for which they were written. ANNA, QUEL PARTICOLARE PIACERE is certainly no exception to that rule, the composer has created a virtual smorgasbord of themes that are dramatic, romantic, poignant and just down right entertaining and haunting. Edda Dell Orso is a welcomed participant on this score, her soaring and unique vocals creating a fantastic listening experience for any one who has the good fortune to own this compact disc. Originally issued on a RCA LP (RCA SP 8049) back in 1973, this theme fest of a soundtrack did not seem to interest collectors until after it was long deleted, and now with this expanded CD release collectors would be stupid not to snap it up, it is everything that an Italian film music collector could want for, a text book score that is brimming to overflowing with some of the best compositions I have been privileged enough to hear for a long while, strings, piano, woods and a big band sound on some cues all come together to form a well written, masterfully orchestrated and balanced work. At times Michelini’s score puts me in mind of some of Franco Micalizzi’s work for the cinema, its easy listening and also romantically laced but at the same time hard hitting, upbeat and funky, with lots of the trademarks that we associate with cop thrillers from Cinecitta. Edda’s voice performed in unison with strings on track number 6, “La Giostra Dei Pensieri” is in a word stunning, and I would buy the CD for this track alone. Recommended? Yes it certainly is. This is a limited edition, and has an availability of just 500, with no plans to re-press, so go get it.
Released back in 2001 by the ever popular and industrious independent soundtrack label Hexacord, IL CONTE MELISSA is the work of former film music writer turned film music composer Marco Werba. The movie is a romantic period drama set in the 1660’s. At this stage in his career Werba was relatively new to the film music arena, but the score that he penned for this movie is a classic in more ways than one and has about it a mature ness and style that is reminiscent of some of the Golden age film scores of Hollywood. The style in which he approached the project is perfectly appropriate for this type of movie and his music wonderfully enhances and elevates this romantically slanted drama, the composer utilizes woodwind, strings and harp to great effect and embellishes these with the use of choral passages which convey an atmosphere and feeling of the 17th Century. The works central thematic property can be found in the cue, IL RITRATTO DI ELENORA, which is the love theme from the score, the theme itself is quite short lived but it establishes itself swiftly because it is so lyrical and haunting. Although it is one of the works principal themes in its first outing it seems to lack substance, but this is made up for later in the score when the composer returns to it in varying arrangements and guises which are orchestrated cleverly making them fresh each time they are heard. There is also a secondary theme present within the score, but this in my opinion does not an introduction until the latter part of the soundtrack. In its first appearance the composer calls upon recorder to perform it, this is supported by a subdued string section and also what sounds like a mandolin, the theme r-emerges on a number of occasions again it is given a fresh sound by the composers inventive instrumentation and is also bolstered by choir at one point, which gives it a fuller and richer sound. This is an accomplished and also an enjoyable score, and hopefully there are still a few copies available. Since his work on this movie Marco Werba seems to have gone from strength to strength and has developed his inimitable style and sound, gracing movies with his romantically laced themes and also infusing a sense of drama and at times dread with his dark and formidable sound when necessary. Nicely packaged and presented by Hexacord. Recommended.