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Thursday, January 26, 2006

CD REVIEW - Ecologia del Delitto/Cani Arrabbiati/Gli Orrori del Castello di Norimberga
Music by Stelvio Cipriani
Digitmovies CDDM046 (Italy)
Disc 1 - 31 Tracks 65:28 mins Disc 2 - 17 Tracks 57:33 mins

This third volume of music composed for the films of Mario Bava presents three scores, composed between 1971 and 1973, by Stelvio Cipriani, featured in a double CD set, accompanied by the usual informative and lavishly illustrated booklet.
Ecologia del Delitto (aka Bay of Blood) opens disc one, and has a somewhat jungle feel about it, with the leisurely main theme accompanied by a percussive beat. Variations on this theme, sometimes predominantly percussive, appear throughout the score, as do variations on the curiously titled, classical-styled piano-lead love theme Evelyn. Curously because there is no character by that name in the film! A possible explanation for this is advanced in Tim Lucas' booklet notes. A number of very listenable source cues are dotted about, and the score proper concludes with the highly infectious vocal group-assisted Teen-agers cha cha cha. Another version of this is a presented as a bonus track, along with a slightly longer version of Evelyn, both of which shared a 45, available at the times of the film's release. Save for these tracks, this is a premiere release of the full score in fine stereo sound, as are all the scores presented in this set.
Disc One concludes with Cipriani's score for the cop thriller Cani Arrabbiati (aka Rabid Dogs). Much of the music is based on a rhythmic, harpsichord and percussion-driven ostinato, which is quite exciting and versatile, equally effective fugue-like, or in low-key, easy listening variations, with flute, trumpet of piano leads, and even jazzy with saxophone solos. A couple of alternate arrangements are included as bonus tracks.
Disc Two presents the score from the horror Gli Orrori del Castello di Norimberga (aka Baron Blood) and is quite a different animal from the previous scores, being largely tense and suspenseful, with much dissonance. Quite unexpected after the opening title track, a flowing, easy-listening, Latin-flavoured theme with piano and choir. This theme however shows its versatility, played mysterioso in Esplorando il Castello or as an organ solo in Nella Cattedrale. Cipriani includes another fine ostinato for Inseguita and a delicate love theme with female voice in Eva e Peter, but it is the creepy dissonance that dominates, and there's even a ritualistic piece, with tribal beat, in Magia Nera. A trumpet-lead version of the main theme concludes the score proper, with a bonus take of the theme without it's melodic line completing the disc.
Digitmovies are doing a splendid job in releasing so much fine previously unavailable film music. Long may they continue to do so.


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