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Monday, November 13, 2006

CD REVIEW - Guns for San Sebastian

Guns for San Sebastian
Music by Ennio Morricone
Film Score Monthly Vol.9 No.14 (U.S.)
24 Tracks 59:56 mins

At last we have a proper representation of one of Ennio Morricone's classic western scores, expanded from the original 33 minute album release, and re-mastered for superior sound, which was the main gripe with the original.
The score abounds with fine Morricone themes, crowned of course by the heavenly love theme, often introduced by Edda Dell'Orso's haunting vocals and then taken up by orchestra and choir. But besides this, there is a versatile theme for the Mexican peasant villagers, often downtrodden and mournful, but occasionally triumphant with choir; a very spiritual religious theme, first off accompanying the ill-fated priest, whose mantle Anthony Quinn's likeable rogue takes on, and then accompanying the latter as he increasingly accepts responisbility for the villagers' cause; and a muscular, percussive action theme, sometimes enhanced by Gianna Spagnulo's distinctive vocals, for the bandits and Indians, lead by Charles Bronson, who at the time (1968) was still playing villains as well as his more familiar heroes.
Along the way there are typical Morricone suspense cues, some ethnic styled, percussive music for the Yaqui Indians, a few source cues and a quite brief, but inspirational accompaniment for "The White Stallion," featuring Edda and the orchestra, which is a real highlight.
It's great to have this score in its entirety, complete with a couple of bonus tracks, featuring an alternate version of the action theme and the album version of the initial full appearance of the love theme; together with the always well-produced accompanying booklet, featuring new notes and cue-by-cue guide by Lukas Kendall, as well as the original album notes, all enhanced by full colour stills and splendid artwork.
For samples and further details, go to, where you can also order your copy.


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