Tag Archives: Nora Orlandi


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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.




The name of Nora Orlandi is synonymous with Italian film music, She is not only a gifted composer and arranger in her own right but also was responsible for providing many Italian soundtracks with their choral backing tracks along with her vocal group 4+4. She worked predominately with Guido and Maurizio de Angelis but has also at times worked with Stelvio Cipriani, Nico Fidenco, Robby Poitevin and Gianni Marchetti. Plus numerous other composers from Italy that have written for film, including Morricone. Her spaghetti western scores are every bit as infectious and original as her peers work in the genre and in fact the style and sound that she achieved was at times very similar to that of fellow composer Francesco De Masi,especially when a solo trumpet was utilized. This particular score is in my opinion one of her best works for cinema, the composer provides us with a highly listenable and varied collection of themes which at times can be likened to the works of Morricone in films such as LOVE CIRCLE and SEASON OF SENSES. Orlandi has written a work that is melodic and haunting but also contains dramatic undertones that are supported by a jazz orientated style,the composer using Hammond organ to great effect and at times employing harpsichord,electric guitar and solo female vocals to express an atmosphere that is steamy and sensuous. Released in 1970 THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF MRS WARHD, is a murder mystery with slasher tendencies.  This particular edition of the soundtrack was the first time that it was issued on any form of recording and Hexacord records in Italy should be congratulated on bringing this marvelous piece of easy listening/ lounge sounding exotica to the attention of soundtrack collectors. Since its release in 2001 it has been re-issued on other labels on vinyl as well as CD,but the original release in my opinion still remains the best. If I was to draw comparisons between this Orlandi score and other Italian soundtracks, I would say it certainly has affiliations with the aforementioned LOVE CIRCLE and also has some uncanny likeness to Nicolai’s THE INSATIABLES, this is the style and sound that Orlandi has achieved here, so not a bad thing, highly recommended,  it will blow you away…….

Nora Orlandi.

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John Mansell: Where and when were you born?
Nora Orlandi: I was born in Voghera (Lombardia), Italy on the 28th of June 1933.

John Mansell: What musical education do you have?
Nora Orlandi: I studied at the academy of music in Voghera (Conservatorio).

John Mansell: Did you come from a musical family background?
Nora Orlandi: My mother, Fanny Miriam Campos, was a great lyric singer. My father and my brother were merely passionate for music, while my sister is a singer too. She worked with me as soloist and vocalist in both my two groups: the 2+2 and the 4+4. As for my present family, my husband is my most precious collaborator: he helps me in everything… last September we celebrated 55 years of marriage! I have 2 sons and at least 5 nephews, aged from 7 up to 22.

John Mansell: You began primarily as a singer in a group with Alessandroni. When did you decide to form your own singing group?
Nora Orlandi: To tell the truth the group was mine… and I gave to Alessandroni the possibility to join! He was one of my first vocalists. Subsequently I had the pleasure to work with Massimo Cini, one of my vocalists for 30 years, and also there is Enzo Gioieni, who I have worked and performed with since almost the start of my career.
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John Mansell: You have worked with many composers on film scores, who would you say was the most enjoyable to work with?
Nora Orlandi: Every composer or performer I have worked with I have enjoyed collaborating with, my collaborations have always been undertaken with enthusiasm and positivity, independently from the composer or the film. Passion is something you have inside and I merely offered it to everyone that called me to work.

John Mansell: What was your first film score, and how did you progress from a performer to a composer?
Nora Orlandi: In 1953–54, at the age of 20, I composed my first film score: “Non Vogliamo Morire”. I really don’t remember the day I became a singer professionally: it is too far away!

John Mansell: Do you conduct all of your own music, or do you sometimes have a conductor?
Nora Orlandi: No, on the contrary: my scores have always been directed by someone else more famous than me… for example Paolo Ormi and Robbie Poitevin. Besides I was busy with many other projects, and did not have enough time available to conduct my own music.
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John Mansell: Do you think enough of your music from film has been released onto LP or CD?
Nora Orlandi: I have never paid much attention to that matter. Soundtracks are only the 30% of my work, the rest was compounded by various performances, TV and radio-phonic shows, advertising spots… Moreover I took part in about 15 San Remo music Festivals.

John Mansell: How do you work out your musical ideas, do you utilise a piano or do you work with a synthesiser?
Nora Orlandi: I utilise neither a piano nor a synthesiser. I compose without any instrument and only at the end I check what I wrote (generally with a piano): only Mozart could write without checking!

John Mansell: How many times do you normally watch a movie before you start to get any fixed ideas about where the music will be placed and what style of music you will employ?
Nora Orlandi: Most of the times you must ask expressly to watch the film. Often it is sufficient to watch some parts of it, only one time, to understand the more suitable musical style. The music must be a “sound photography”, parallel to the images; it depends really on each individual project.

John Mansell: How long did you normally get to work on a film score; maybe you could use THE SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH as an example?


Nora Orlandi: It depends from the kind of the job… I don’t exactly remember how much time I got to work on a singular film score. Perhaps it is too difficult to quantify it because I could not devote so much time to a sole work. As I have already said, soundtracks are not my priority, even though they are a way of artistic expression that I have a particular passion for myself.


John Mansell: Do you prefer to work on a particular type or genre of movie, or are you happy working on all types of subject matter?
Nora Orlandi: I am happy working on any type of film, because it is always a very interesting artistic experience. As spectator I love very much thrillers… but unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to do many of these.

John Mansell: Have you ever had a score rejected, or have had to do a rush job on a film after another score had been discarded?
Nora Orlandi: Thankfully, this has never happened, I am very fortunate.

John Mansell: What do you think of the film music of today?
Nora Orlandi: In my opinion the film music of today is generally good… however, if it is music from yesterday or of today it is always film music: a “light” entertainment! This kind of music isn’t a committed artwork, but a “light” artwork with a specific beauty.

Orlandi at 80.
Orlandi at 80.

John Mansell: Would you say that you were influenced by any composers in particular, classical or film music composers?
Nora Orlandi: No, not really. For me to write music that is influenced by another composer would be very much like plagiarism, of course it is possible for this to be done unconsciously…

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John Mansell: When a soundtrack recording is released on record or compact disc do you have any input into what music will go onto that release?
Nora Orlandi: When one of my soundtracks is released on record or CD, certainly I am very glad, but I’m not interested to intervene in the track’s selection. Once I finished my work of music composition I spend my time with other projects. I’m very busy!

John Mansell: Do you orchestrate all of your scores yourself?
Nora Orlandi: No, I don’t. It depends by the situation, the needs… and, most of all, by the time I can spend in it, so sometimes I work on them myself other times not.

John Mansell: Are you working on anything at the moment?
Nora Orlandi: Personally I’m busying myself with some very interesting teaching projects… But I always take into consideration what people offer to me.

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Many thanks to Nora Orlandi. Also many thanks to Valentina of the press office at BEAT, and Daniele De Gemini, who’s help with this project has been invaluable.