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Thursday, December 22, 2005

CD REVIEWS - I Quattro Dell'Ave Maria & Piedone a Hong Kong

I Quattro Dell'Ave Maria
Music by Carlo Rustichelli
Digitmovies CDDM043 (Italy)
Disc 1 - 16 Tracks 30:35 mins Disc 2 - 25 Tracks 63:20 mins

There have been previous releases of music from this 1968 Bud Spencer/Terence Hill western, but this must be the definitive one, bringing together on disc one the original album tracks, together with over an hour of previously unreleased music on disc two, including source music and alternative cues.
Taking the album first, Rustichelli's music features a muscular, upbeat main theme, sometimes coupled with a Strauss-like string theme or a quirky organ waltz. In fact Tomas organ crops up consistantly throughout the score, playing fragments of this and that, with the score's conductor Bruno Nicolai performing the solos. I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni also feature, particularly strongly on the main theme. Other score highlights include Motivo Dei, a beautiful romantic track for organ and orchestra and the infectious Mexican dance Mexico Lindo, but really there's so much to offer in the score that there's barely a disappointing track.
The supplemental material on disc two features fuller orchestral and extended versions of many of the album tracks, but there's also a lot of new material, including some generous suites.
The source and alternative material includes some marching band and folksy dance music, plus a number of stripped down versions of themes, with solo instruments or duets; and there is a fascinating bonus track featuring an excerpt from a recording session, on which can be heard the voices of both composer and conductor.
The usual colourful and informative booklet accompanies this splendid release.

Piedone a Hong Kong
Music by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis
Digitmovies CDM042 (Italy)
26 Tracks 71:33 mins

Digitmovies previously released two more scores in the series of 1970s movies starring Bud Spencer as a two-fisted cop, Piedone lo Sbirro (CDDM031) and Piedone L'Africano (CDDM029). Here he travels to Hong Kong in this 1975 entry, which features a typically catchy score by the De Angelis brothers, for which only a single was previously available (both sides included here as bonus material). Now, thanks to the label's good relations with C.A.M., we can enjoy the complete score, starting out with the catchy, easy-going main theme Flat Foot Cop,
which is reprised throughout the album in various forms like for Spanish guitar or in a tarantella-like version. The other strong theme Silkin Street is a brassy, beat-driven affair, and this is also reprised in various forms throughout the album. Other highlights include some nice source music cues and the quirky comic march for Mimi "Mani D'Oro." Unfortunately, some of the '7os grooves are a bit repetitive, but one can soon skip on to one of the more melodic cues, of which there are plenty.
Again, a colourful and informative booklet accompanies this lengthy album. Another winner from this enterprising label.


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