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Thursday, December 28, 2006

CD REVIEW - I Giorni Dell'Ira (Day of Anger)

I Giorni Dell'Ira
Music by Riz Ortolani
GDM 2076 (Italy)
27 Tracks 58:49 mins

Riz Ortolani composed one of my favourite Italian Western scores for 1967's Day of Anger (to use its English-language title), which starred my favourite non-American western lead, Giuliano Gemma, together with genre legend Lee Van Cleef.
At the time of the film's release, RCA put out an 11-track album in mono sound. This expanded CD release repeats the album content, but then premieres the film score proper - in fine stereo sound.
At the heart of Ortolani's score are two themes, the first and title track gets the CD off to a brilliant start with its big brassy opening and then propulsive electric-guitar and brass-lead theme. This theme appears in variations over four more of the album tracks, including the dramatic, electric guitar-lead "Violenza, Odio, and the sad strings of "Un Uomo Forte."
The second theme, "Una Notte Serena," first appears as a mournful, trumpet-lead track, and appears again four more times, all of them excellent variations. There are three tracks entitled "Fino All'Ultimo Colpo." The first is a rhythmic, fateful version, with poignant electric guitar solos. The second, is electric guitar-lead, without the solos; and the third is short and dramatic, and closes the album programme. The other version of the theme, again entitled "Una Notte Serena" is harmonica-lead, with some intrusive sound effects at the start. Sound effects also intrude throughout the whole of the dark and threatening "Senza Pieta."
The remaining 16 tracks on the disc feature the score. Many of the tracks are repeated virtually exactly as their album counterparts, though some of the timings vary a little. Those without album counterparts include a slow, electric guitar solo of the main theme, with a big orchestral build at its climax; a suspenseful variation on the same theme, with a peaceful resolution; a dramatic variation of the "Una Notte Serena" theme, with the main theme on sad strings to end; a couple of saloon source cues; an electric guitar solo, followed by another variation on the main theme; a suspenseful, electric guitar variation on the same; and a short, brassy rendition to end.
Attractively packaged, with original artwork and a poster gallery, though no liner notes, admirers of this fine score will I'm sure want to seek this CD out, and if you aren't familiar with it, but are partial to Italian Western music, this is definitely one to add to your collection. Order your copy from www.hillside-cd/


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