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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Ci Risiamo, Vero Provvidenza?
Music by Ennio Morricone & Bruno Nicolai
GDM Hillside Series GDM 4136
15 Tracks 40:44 mins

You probably know now by now that I am a big fan of the Italian Western genre and its music. I am not however a fan of the more comedic entries. In fact, I would go so far as to say that those I have had the misfortune to sit through must number among the worst films ever made. I haven't seen Ci Risiamo, Vero Provvidenza? but, judging by the artwork and stills accompanying this limited release of just 750 copies, with its Chaplinesque hero, played by Tomas Milian, I am quite sure I would hate it.
The music however is courtesy of the great Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai and as such is worth checking out. Some of it has been made available on recordings before, but the majority of the music presented here was prepared for an unreleased promotional RCA LP.
The main theme is an easy-going, jaunty little melody, enhanced by I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni's voicings of "Provvidenza," featured in both the opening ancd closing tracks, and also as an instrumental scherzo in track 7, and as a harpsichord solo on track 13.
The secondary theme is a charming love theme, "Bocca a Bocca," for airy flute, harpsichord and strings that features three times on the album.
Other tracks include a fiddle-lead hoe-down; an infectious vocal number, voiced in Italian by the film's star, again supported by I Cantori Moderni; a fast-flowing piano theme, straight out of the Chaplin era; something of a Native American dance, complete with guttural vocalisations; a semi-comedic military march; a Russian-styled performance dance number, with expressive violin lead; an Oriental styled theme; and a French Can-Can. All-in-all, an infectious and fun little listen.
I don't know how many copies of the album are left but, if you want one, you'd best hurry along to, who of course specialise in Italian soundtrack music, which brings me to three other Italian Western scores for films of a more serious nature that are available there, which I'll briefly mention, should you wish to check them out also.
Firstly, we have the Beat Record Company release of Vasco Vassil Kojucharov's music for the films Dio Perdoni La Mia Pistola and Anche Per Django Le Caroone Hanno Un Prezzo (Beat CDCR 109). The first 14 tracks are given over to the former score and include a pretty decent main theme, performed as the song "A Man Called Texas," unfortunately with uncredited English vocal; as an atmospheric harmonica solo, courtesy of Franco De Gemini; as an acoustic guitar solo; a dramatic showdown; and as a couple of fully orchestrated instrumentals.
There's a good helping of dramatic scoring along the way, as well as a brief comedic moment in track 6 (the tracks are all untitled as such).
The remaining 9 (again untitled) tracks are from Anche Per Django and largely features another fine main theme, only presented as a variety of instrumentals, from more straight-ahead to laid-back styles, including the standard showdown and galloping versions. It's all enjoyable stuff.
The CD is enhanced and, if you pop it into your PC, you should be able to access and interview with the composer (in Italian of course, but with English subtitles provided). There is also a very nice foldout included with the disc, featuring notes on the film and its music, both in Italian and English, illustrated with full colour artwork and stills from the films.
Next up is the GDM Music release of Enrico Ciacci and Marcello Marrocchi's score for 1967's Vendo Cara La Pelle. The first 19 tracks make up the body of the score, with a further five bonus tracks, featuring stereo mixes and alternates. I've never come across the duo's names before, let alone their music, but the score features another strong and versatile main theme, introduced in the opening track as a galloping, electric guitar-lead instrumental, but also featured as an easy-going flute theme, in one track introduced by tinkling music box, and there are also church organ/trumpet duets, with English and Italian vocal versions provided by Nico e I Gabbiani. A pretty love theme, voiced by a variety of instruments, features as the secondary motif, and of course, there's also a good helping of dramatic scoring along the way. A very welcome release of an above average genre score.
Accompanying the disc is a colourful booklet, featuring stills and poster artwork,with brief introductory notes (unfortunately in Italian only).
Finally, we have the great Angelo Francesco Lavagnino's score for the 1964 Guy Madison starrer Sfida A Rio Bravo. There are 23 unnamed cues, with a couple of bonus tracks of stereo mixes, presumably for a single release at the time. The versatile main theme is familiar from past collections and is most often presented as a bold, sturdy piece, sometimes with whistler and harmonica, but features in various forms throughout the score, including a romanticised version, and is always welcome. Again, there are plenty of dramatic moments, and some tuneful source music, featuring solo guitar and honky-tonk piano, along the way. Another fine example of the genre.
Again, there are plenty of full colour stills and artwork in the accompanying booklet, with the introduction unfortunately still only in Italian.
Don't forget, is the place for all your Italian soundtrack requirements. Tell Lionel I sent you.


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