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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

CD REVIEW - Yeti - Il Gigante del 20 (degrees) Secolo

Yeti - Il Gigante del 20(degrees) Secolo
Music by Sante Maria Romitelli
Beat Records CDCR 71 (Italy)
9 Tracks 31:42 mins

Beat Records are celebrating their 40th year, although it's been a while since I had the pleasure of reviewing a new release from them, and it's great to renew our acquiantance with this interesting release of Santa Maria Romitelli's score for Gianfranco Parolini's (aka Frank Kramer's) 1977 film, which rode on the back of the remake of King Kong to tell another story of a monster (this time a Yeti thawed out of a block of ice) on the rampage in an American city. And, as with Kong, there is another impossible love interest.
Romitelli is best known for his western scores Spara Gringo Spara (see my recent review on this site) and Gods Gun, but this score, previously issued on LP at the time of the film's release, and here released on CD for the first time, is also worthy of your attention. It's quite a brief album, but sometimes less is more, and this is certainly the case here. It gets underway with three quite lengthy symphonic tracks, with the theme for "The Giant" very much grounded in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, but it's nevertheless an exciting and entertaining cue. "Idyllic Largo" follows and commences with a delicate harp/oboe duet, before the orchestra come in and expand upon the theme, before strings and harp again bring it to a close. The third cue is a somewhat melancholy mover, powerful at times, but with an underlying tragedy.
Released as a single at the time, "Yeti" by the Yetians (a one-off band of session players) is basically a disco-pop version of "The Giant" with English lyrics. The next four tracks also owe something to the disco sound of the time, especially "Funky Disco Soul," an out-and-out dance cue. The "Idyllic Largo" cue gets three poppy treatments in "Dreaming of an Impossible Love," "Celestial Reverie" and "Magic in the Air," and although I cannot find a credit for her in the packaging, it sounds like the voice of Edda drifting in and out of these cues. The album returns to a more classical sound with the closing "Fugue in A Minor" for strings.
Accompanying the disc is a colourful 16-page booklet, featuring stills and artwork from the film, together with Fabio Babini's notes on both film and score, in Italian and English


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