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Friday, May 01, 2009


La Lama Nel Corpo/Lo Spettro
Music by Francesco De Masi
Digitmovies CDDM122 (Italy)
36 Tracks 73:38 mins

Francesco De Masi is one of my favourite composers in the Italian Western genre, but he of course composed scores for many genres, including "Italian Gothic," as evidenced here by his scores for two films, La Lama Nel Corpo, from 1966, and Lo Spettro, from 1963, starring queen of the genre Barbara Steele.
The former was only previously made available, at the time of the film's release, on a 15-track mono LP, which is very hard to find now. Now, thanks to the great C.A.M. archives, Digitmovies is able to release not only those tracks, but a further 14 from the original session tapes.
As for Lo Spettro, unfortunately only seven stereo tracks survive that were previously available only on a rare Beat library album. These have been carefully restored for this album.
The first 29 tracks then of this 36 track album are devoted to La Lama Nel Corpo, and feature much drama and suspense, with a quite menacingly plodding electric bass guitar figure very prominent at times, and expressive string solos. Furious action and shock moments break out at times, as in "Passaggio Dell'Ombra," "Scoperta a del Mostro," and "Shina Forse Tu (version 2),
It's the turn of woodwinds to shine in "Scoperta del Mostro (version 2), with solo clarinet opening the track in equally expressive mode, before giving way to the love theme.
Solo violin introduces the gorgeous love theme De Masi wrote for the film, which shows its versatility in its very first appearance in "Ricordo di Un'Epoca Felice, played delicately and sweepingly romantic, as well as presented in gay dance mode. The theme makes a number if appearances in subsequent tracks, and makes for a very welcome diversion from all the dark doings.
The ghostly goings on of Lo Spettro are again mostly accompanied by dark, mysterious, suspenseful and dramatic music, as one might reasonably expect, with powerful moments like the dirge in the opening "Preludio ad un Dramma," and the shock conclusion of "Incubo Notturno,"but De Masi also wrote a sweet and innocent love theme, first heard with celesta largely leading the orchestra in "Melanconia Autunnale." The theme is reprised for solo celesta in "La Bambola Melodica," and then blossoms on strings at the end of the final cue "Tragedia Nella Notte."
Of course, accompanying the disc is the usual colourful booklet, with stills, artwork and cast and credits from the films, together with Claudio Fuiano's introductory notes, and a reminiscence from Filippo De Masi. Go to


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