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Monday, May 14, 2007

CD REVIEW - Per un Pugno nell'Occhio

Per un Pugno nell'Occhio
Music by Francesco De Masi
Digitmovies CDDM081 (Italy)
24 Tracks 35:57 mins

It's no secret that I am partial to Italian westerns, but of the serious kind, not the comical, most of which I find just plain irritating. I am sure that, from the mugging featured in this disc's artwork by the film's comic duo, Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia, I should hate this film from 1964 with a vengeance. I do not however hate the music, for one of my favourite Italian western composers Francesco De Masi was in charge and took a largely serious approach to the score, and it carries all the cliched western trademarks (the first track alone just about covers everything from gunfire, trumpet, harmonica, chimes, Jews harp, harpsichord, guitar and organ - they all have their say). However, as this track proceeds a strong main theme emerges, in the finest traditions, and makes frequent appearances throughout the score, sometimes laid back and easy-going, at others bold and galloping, with harmonica maestro Franco De Gemini often taking the lead.
Other key themes and moments in the score include "Consuelo Dolce," a romantic stringed piece, with violin solo; the Spanish bullfight styled music of "Fuoco alle Polveri;" "Tango del Capitano," which needs no explanation; "Gli Eroi alla Riscossa," a dramatic pice, with swirling strings and horn calls; and the great, trumpet-lead showdown music, first heard in "Entrata de los Pistoleros." Variations on some of these pieces crop up in subsequent tracks.
There is a little bit of comedy here and there along the way, and some suspense, but this too often with comic touches.
Sound is in mono, but still pretty good, despite its age, and the accompanying booklet, as always, is filled with colour stills and poster artwork from the film, together with notes by Claudio Fuiano & Luca Di Silverio. I'm very happy indeed to have the opportunity of adding this score to my collection of Italian Western music.
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