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Saturday, January 10, 2009


Ringo Il Texano
Music by Nico Fidenco
GDM Hillside Series GDM 4121
32 Tracks 63:24 mins

Two of the three recent releases in this fine series are from Italian westerns. I'll deal with the third release at a little later date, but in the meantime I'll lead off with this gem of a release of Nico Fidenco's music for the 1966 Audie Murphy starrer Ringo Il Texano.
The original LP has long been a treasured item amongst my ever increasing (thanks a good deal to this series) Italian western score collection, and was presented in stereo, and was probably a special album presentation of the music, as the the complete score, presented here for the first time, is in mono, as were many genre soundtracks of the time.
It's good enough having the original album readily available on CD, with its dramatic opening song, voiced by the composer himself, with the usual reliable support from I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni, and its many and varied instrumental reprises, let alone having the full score, which reveals even more versions of this splendid theme. OK, so the score is principally one-themed, but when the theme is as good and versatile as this, it can be just as effective, if not more so, than one with themes for practically every character and situation.
Of course there are other aspects to the score, including the usual suspenseful scoring, some tragedy, and rousing source music like "Country Sound," but its the theme and variations I always return to.
The accompanying booklet features colour stills from the film, original artwork, and principal cast and credits.

La Belva/Se T'Incontro T'Ammazzo
Music by Stelvio Cipriani
GDM Hillside Series GDM 4122
13 Tracks 39:59 mins

This double-header features two brief scores by Stelvio Cipriani; the first ten tracks being taken from the 1970 Klaus Kinski starrer La Belva (The Beast), with the final three tracks coming from the same year's Se T'Incontro T'Ammazzo (Finders Keepers), with a cast including genre veteran Gordon Mitchell and the beautiful Femi Benussi.
La Belva's title track is a slightly slinky flute and bassoon-lead theme, with an easy beat and brassy bridge. The theme bleeds into "El Mexicano" where it transforms into a flamenco dance. This is followed by another source track, for harpsichord, "Spinetta Polka" The score takes a disturbing u-turn in the jazzy "Inseguimento," which really has no place in a western. Thankfully, the main theme returns in "Crudele E Spietato," followed by an uncredited vocal version of "El Mexicano." The score concludes with two more variations on the main theme.
Two of the three tracks from Se T'Incontro T'Ammazzo are versions of the galloping, yet somewhat initially restrained, "Cavalcata Al West." However, after a surprising organ interlude, the theme really takes flight. The remaining track features a laid-back variation on the same theme, with a slightly jazzy bossa feel, which again seems a little out of place in a western, but is much more acceptable than the track from La Belva, simply because of its seductive rendering of the melody.
Again, the accompanying booklet features colour stills and artwork from the films, as well as principal credits.
Go to for these and all your Italian film music requirements.


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