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Thursday, August 07, 2008


Vivo Per La Tua Morte/Il Misterioso Signor Van Eyck
Music by Carlo Savina
Digitmovies CDDM115 (Italy)
32 Tracks 69:00 mins

Two quite brief scores by Carlo Savina share this disc. Firstly, we have the premiere of the complete score for the western Vivo Per la Tua Morte (1968), which features strongman Steve Reeves in his only western starring role. Two tracks were previously available on the rare Savina's Western LP, which I have long treasured, including the opening song on this CD, "Go West Young Man," which features the talents of Don Powell and I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni, who himself provides the whistle, a galloping, rousing composition, which gets the score off to a great start. Much of what follows is of the tense, suspenseful variety, with bursts of dramatic action, although the theme crops up here and there in similarly dramatic form, with horns giving it an epic quality; also in a tranquil arrangement for Hammond organ; and there's a good, beefy tavelling version in tracks 6 and 14(there are no track titles).
Track 5 features a somewhat melancholy, fateful harmonica theme, with guitar performing similar duties on track 10; whilst track 11 features agonisingly tragic string work, with track 12 continuing the mood, before a vengeful ending. Harmonica returns to introduce a nostalgic love theme in track 13.
Of course no Italian western score would be complete without the obligatory saloon piano track and this fast and furious piece comes in track 15. Track 17 brings the score to a dramatic end, before resolving peacefully and leading into an instrumental reprise of the opening song, which brings the score to a stasfying close.
Hammond organ was used as a colour in the orchestra in Vivo Per La Tua Morte, but in the 1965 Italian-Spanish co-production Il Misterioso Signor Van Eyck, the instrument is the main voice, featuring in the pastoral main theme, a composition of luminous beauty, suggestive of the tranquil open sea, that leads off the 14 untitled tracks that complete the CD's lineup. The theme is often reprised throughout the score, sometimes achieving a more epic quality on the horns, and is always welcome.
A seductive theme for sax features in track 21; whilst the many scenes of underwater treasure hunting are given an appropriately suspenseful feel, with the composer utilising harp, vibraphone and celesta, along of course with the organ to create an almost otherwordly feel.
The disc is, as always, accompanied by an attractive booklet, featuring colour stills and artwork from the films, as well as introductory notes by Claudio Fuiano. Visit

Music by William Ross
BSX Records BSXCD 8833 (US)
17 Tracks 41:03 mins

This ghost story, set in a young offenders' institution, features William Ross as composer and performer of the score. The "Main Title" opens quite quietly on keyboards, but becomes a quite a forceful, beat-driven mover. The theme receives a mounful reprise in "Finding Jonathan," and a light, flowing variation in "Jonathan's Death." Of course, much of the score that follows is suitably eerie and mysterious, reflecting the film's premise, but there is some exciting, pounding action music in "The Gauntlet," which ends with brief bluesy guitar, and "David in the Hole;" and "Nightwalk #2," "Captain Kills Doc" and "Welcome to my World" offer forceful and dramatic scoring, the latter being particularly intense. By contrast, the brief acoustic guitar solo"David and Myra" offers a moment of sentiment.
"The Wrath of Jonathan" brings the score to its dramatic, beat-driven, climax; leading to a final reprise of the main theme in "Epilogue."
The album is completed by four songs from Immaculate Mess, The Devil Roosevelt and Split Window, all of which deserve a mention, if only because of their imaginitive names.
The accompanying booklet features notes by the film's director Tim Sullivan. Order your copy from


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