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Thursday, March 20, 2008


Femina Ridens
Music by Stelvio Cipriani
Digitmovies CDDMO103 (Italy)
19 Tracks 47:34 mins

The number of fine vintage Italian soundtrack releases from the enterprising Digitmovies label recently passed the 100 mark, a moment commemorated by the release of a 3 CD box set of previously unreleased Italian cop movie scores. This, amongst seven other releases just received from the label, will be covered here in the days to come, in no particular order, as is the case today, where I start with Stelvio Cipriani's surprisingly melodic score for the 1969 revenge thriller Femina Ridens (The laughing Woman).
The score was originally issued on LP by C.A.M. and is now a very rare item. Digitmovies have utilised these masters, combining them with the original score masters to produce this complete version of the music in fine stereo sound.
The album commences with a flowing pop-styled waltz, with a romantic piano interlude, in "Week-end with Mary," a theme that is reprised as an expressive violin/piano duet in "Rendez-vous in the Castle" and then as a dreamy version, with Edda's vocal in "Mary's Theme."
The second theme, introduced in "Love Symbol," is a somewhat quirky affair, given a harpsichord minuet treatment in "Hot Skin," before developing into an orgasmic Edda vocal.
Time prohibits further detailed analysis, but the rest of the score contines in pretty melodic vein, with some catchy poppy numbers, including a vocal by Olympia, which is also given a couple of very good instrumental treatments for sax and also I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni, who perform throughout; and just a touch of dissonant suspense here and there , and some pacy action music. The variety is continued with a religious organ solo, a waltz and a tango.
All-in-all, a very nice listening experience indeed, which is accompanied by the usual colourful booklet, featuring stills and artwork from the film, together with Claudio Fuiano's introductory notes. Visit


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