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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

CD REVIEW - Ercole e La Regina di Lidia

Ercole e La Regina di Lidia
Music by Enzo Masetti
Digitmovies CDDM057 (Italy)
33 Tracks 53:51 mins

As promised, here is my review of the second score in this fine double disc set of music for the original Italian Peplum genre movies. Known widely as Hercules Unchained, this second outing for Steve Reeves as the mythical hero again features the lovely theme first composed for Le Fatiche di Ercole, the other score in the set. In fact it receives its best version yet in the second track, the title cue, a splendid 2 minutes-plus rendition, complete with female choir.
As for the remainder of the score, well, though it has its moments, and certainly more action cues, it's maybe not quite as engrossing as the original Hercules. I would pick out "La Culla," which starts out delicately, with plucked harp propelling it, before developing into the main theme, though ending abruptly. The following track, "Il Bosco Magico," is appropriately magical in feel, though has a sturdy mid-section. A couple of cues have a slightly exotic feel, with some nice, almost otherworldly flute work; and there is another ballet, delicate with female choir, as in the first score. "Entrata delle Ancelle" is quite carefree. The flutes duet in "In Visita alla Regina," a track with a distinctly romantic feel. "Chiusura delle Porte di Tebe," opens with a sturdy march, before changing to dramatic conflict. "Eteocle e Polinice Duellano" begins with more conflict, but turns mystical with female voices, then to a triumphal march, before threatening at its conclusion. Plenty of action follows, leading into the "Finale," where a solo violin takes up the main theme, before being joined by orchestra and choir to provide a suitably big finish, with a straight rendition of the theme playing out the credits.
Four bonus tracks again present alternate mixes of some of the key tracks without choir and there is an interesting demo of the ballet music, performed by piano, with drum kit accompaniment.
This completes my review of this historically important Italian film music release. If you missed it, check out yesterday's post for the review of Le Fatiche di Ercole and accompanying features of the set.


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