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Friday, January 20, 2006

CD REVIEWS - Blindman & Un Bianco Vestito per Mariale

Music by Stelvio Cipriani
Digitmovies CDDM044 (Italy)
17 Tracks 44:59 mins

Digitmovies have done Italian Western fans proud again, releasing for the first time, in full stereo, the complete score of the 1971 film Blindman, which starred Tony Anthony as the Old West's version of the Japanese samurai hero Zatoichi. The CD was edited and remastered from composer Stelvio Cipriani's own stereo mastertapes.
Cipriani's score is somewhat ethnic flavoured, particularly in its main theme, which moves along quite exotically with, among others, percussion and sitar, and Nora Orlandi and her choir
lending vocal support. The composer's secondary theme is a guitar-driven action motif, with elements of the main theme, sometimes with a somewhat eastern-flavoured pastoral bridge. The other principal recurring theme is an infectious Mexican dance, which is featured in a number of tracks, with various instruments taking the lead. A highlight of the score is the galloping action of neighbouring tracks Fifty Women for Blindman and Rescuing the Girls. The Finale & End Titles brings together all three principal themes to provide a satisfying close to proceedings.Another great addition to the Italian Western score catalogue.

Un Bianco Vestito per Mariale
Music by Fiorenzo Carpi
Digitmovies CDDM045 (Italy)
31 Tracks 71:40 mins

Although not scored by Bruno Nicolai, the music for this 1972 Giallo entry, was arranged and conducted by him, and very much carries that Nicolai sound.
An album was issued by Gemeli some three years after the film's release, which ran for about 37 minutes and featured a number of tracks not actually used in the film. These tracks are included on this disc as bonus material and are actually some of the most enjoyable of the whole album, but I digress. Digitmovies were able to find the complete stereo masters from the film and now release the complete original score, as well as the said album tracks.
At the heart of the score are two themes, the first, Mariale, initially heard as a light and delicate track with vocals by the great Edda Dell'Orso, and then developed for guitar and strings, with a popped up and very catchy bridge, is repeated in various arrangements, some quite brief throughout the disc, with the splendid concluding version, combining the best elements from all the arrengements. The second theme, Garden Party, is a sunny little mover, sometimes flowing, sometimes more laid back, and is again reprised in various lengthed tracks throughout. Much of the rest of the score is atonal and suspenseful, though there is some propulsion in tracks like La Vittima. There is also a typical '70s rock source number, which is given a longer arrangement in the bonus material, which brings me to those tracks, which include Beni Perdutti, a nice easy-going theme; Leggenda, an easy, harpsichord-propelled theme; the sunny Equinozio; and the romantic piano & strings of Pensiero Romantico.
As always, each Digitmovies release is accompanied by a colourful booklet, with notes on the film and its score, plus plenty of stills and artwork.


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