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Friday, May 11, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Western Film Music of Bruno Nicolai Vol.3

The Western Film Music of Bruno Nicolai Vol.3
Music by Bruno Nicolai
Saimel 3998010 (Spain)
31 Tracks 53:06 mins

The main score featured on this disc is for the 1970 western Arizona Si Scateno...e Li Fece Fuori Tutti! and starts off with a maddeningly irritating song "Arizona Gun," performed by I Cantori Moderni di Alessandro Alessandroni. If I say it is akin to the infamous "Birdy Dance," you'' know what I mean. The lyrics are plain childish. Thankfully, the song, though undoubtedly a catchy tune, is only heard three times on the disc. Instead, we have much more acceptable versions, with Alessandroni whistling and Franco De Gemini playing harmonica, sprinkled throughout the score.
With such notable forces, one might expect this to be a classic of the genre, but it is unlikely to set your world alight. In addition to the main theme, there are some nice little melodies on show, but usually only briefly and not sticking around long enough to make a huge impression, though the sunny, Mexican-styled tune, first heard in track 12, makes a few more appearances. Much of the score is given over to a tense, staggered theme and also to a somewhat reserved showdown theme. There's some nice travelling music here and there, some of it based on the tension theme, which adapts quite well. My favourite moment in the score is actually a purposeful travelling variation, heard in track 24.
As a very nice bonus, the disc includes three tracks from 1971's I Corvi Ti Scaveranno La Possa and two from 1972's Uomi Avvisato, Mezzo Ammazzato... Parola Di Spirito Santo. Track one from the former starts eerily and then becomes increasingly inspirational. Track two is a gentle, Mexican-styled tune; whilst track three features the organ-lead main theme, giving way to a sad violin. Track one of the latter is a jaunty, whistled theme (Alessandroni again), with a choral bridge; whilst the second track is the galloping, Mexican-styled "Liberated," performed in Italian by I Cantori Moderni.
Unfortunately, the accompanying booklet, whilst featuring colourful poster artwork, is in Spanish only. Perhaps Saimel should take a leaf out of some of the Italian labels' books, and cater for an international audience, especially as music for this genre is so popular. This is a minor quibble though, for having the music available is what matters the most.


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