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Monday, June 02, 2008


Music by Ennio Morricone
Digitmovies CDDM105 (Italy)
17 Tracks 41:37 mins

This is the premiere stereo release of Ennio Morricone's complete score for the 1968 cult movie Escalation. Although previously released on both LP and CD, the score has only been available in mono up until this time.
Morricone's main theme is a pleasant affair, starting delicately on harpsichord, which continues the be the main voice, but enhanced by a male voice from I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni, oboe, celesta, guitar and harp. The theme is first heard as the opening title track, and returns in longer form for the closing track. In between, the theme receives something of a tense and suspenseful variation in track 13.
The composer was given free rein by director Robert Faenza and came up with a largely experimental score for the film, which includes a beat-driven choral Dies Irae. The much-used piece also appears in "Collage N.2," with all kinds of comic interludes pervading it. And there are tracks like "Luca's Sound," which is purely someone "popping" their cheeks; as well as irritating sitar work in "Senza Respiro," "Luca, Casa Londra;" and ritual pieces like "Secondo Rito" and "Primo Rito," the latter calling to mind some of the composer's western work, with its drum beat and choir.
By contrast, there is a classical-based piece "Collage N.1," with its somewhat over-the-top vocals, piano passages, and funeral march feel; and a joyful female choral "Matrimonio," though the track takes a more sinister turn later. "Carillon Erotic" is a pretty music box theme and "Funerale Nero" is an out-and-out Dixieland jazz number, with a second version an old-fashioned New Orleans-styled funeral march, with a honky-tonk piano interlude.
All-in-all a highly varied score, which has its likeable moments, as well as its more difficult ones.
As always, with Digitmovies releases, the disc is accompanied by an attractive, colourful booklet, featuring stills and original artwork from the film, plus introductory notes by Daniel Winkler and Claudio Fuiano. Keep up to date with the all the label's releases by visiting


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