Home > Reviews > ENNIO MORRICONE REVIEWS, Part VIII

ENNIO MORRICONE REVIEWS, Part VIII

October 17, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments

In this eighth installment of my series looking at the early careers of iconic composers, we take a look at the final eight scores written by the legendary Ennio Morricone in 1969, and in the entire 1960s decade. This group of reviews is a typical mixed bag, exploring several pop-psychedelia and jazz scores for a series of romantic dramas, an all-time Morricone concert favorite, an under-represented but excellent spaghetti western, and a sex drama that contains a piece of music that will be VERY familiar to British professional darts fans!

 

QUEIMADA (1969)

Queimada is an Italian war drama starring the legendary Marlon Brando. He plays a British secret government agent named Sir William Walker, who travels to the fictional Caribbean island of Queimada, and manipulates the island’s local slaves into revolting against the colonial Portuguese regime – all so that the British can then come in and take over the island’s lucrative sugar cane industry. However, the British prove to be no less ruthless than the Portuguese were, and so the natives – led by the passionate, idealistic José Dolores (Evaristo Márquez) – organize another rebellion; except that, this time, Walker is on the other side. The film was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, whose previous film was The Battle of Algiers, and is a damning indictment of colonialism , Machiavellian politics, and betrayal, and was a success with critics.

The cornerstone of Morricone’s score is, of course, the astonishing opening cue “Abolição,” a Portuguese word which means something like ‘abolition’ or ‘suppression’. The power of the piece of quite amazing – it begins with a church organ playing a simple repetitive melody, but then over the course of five minutes it gradually picks up a mixed voice choir chanting the word over and over, tribal percussion, electric guitar riffs, and even a flourish from a solo trumpet. By the end of the piece the ensemble has almost worked itself into a frenzy, calling for freedom and deliverance from oppression, that is just astonishing. Morricone performed the piece frequently in concert as an encore and it invariably brought the house down – how could it not?

The rest of the score is made up of half of dozen or so recurring themes, many of which receive variations and recapitulations as the score progresses. The Queimada Theme itself is actually a quite lovely piece in itself, taking both the orchestrations and the chanted word from “Abolição” but making it almost laid-back, tropical, and inviting, especially in the opening “Prima,” and later in “Pezzo Classico,” . Many of the other cues which feature the same stylistics are quite restrained, and sometimes tense, combining sinister strings with tribal percussion and vocals to illustrate the knife-edge political climate in the country; “Anche i Portoghesi Muoiono,” “Libertà,” “La Civiltà dei Bianchi,” the vivid “Seconda,” and “William e José” are excellent examples of this.

The “Verso Il Futuro” motif takes the secondary melody from “Abolição” arranges for electric guitars, and combined it with a somewhat bleak-sounding choral lament, although the choral harmonies in “#4” and “#7” are lovely. The theme for “José Dolores” is a simple, rustic piece for guitar, percussion, and Hammond organ, but the lovely string harmonies as the theme develops are really quite beautiful, and speak to his good heart and desire to lead his people to freedom. Later, “Generalissimmo” combines the José Dolores theme with the main Abolição choral element t excellent effect. The final standout piece is “Osanna,” a rich exploration of religious choral majesty interspersed with calm tribal drumbeats and statements of the “Abolição” motif in juxtaposition – again, the clash between the natives, the Portuguese, and the English. It’s quite brilliant.

Given its popularity, Queimada has been released on CD several times over the years, including a well-liked 1996 multi-score release from Vivi Musica which combines nine highlight cues with music from The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Il Mercenario, and La Resa dei Conti, among others. The release reviewed here is the 500-copy limited edition of the standalone score released in 2012 by GDM/Legend, which expands the running time to over an hour. This is an essential Morricone release, if for no other reason than “Abolição” being an all-time great.

Track Listing: 1. Abolição (5:06), 2. Queimada Prima (1:28), 3. Anche i Portoghesi Muoiono (1:19), 4. Pezzo Classico #1 (0:44), 5. Libertà (1:42), 6. Verso Il Futuro (4:36), 7. Jose Dolores (1:27), 8. La Civiltà dei Bianchi (2:22), 9. Jose Dolores #2 (0:43), 10. Una Nuove Nazione (0:41), 11. Verso Il Futuro #2 (0:58), 12. Queimada Seconda (4:03), 13. Preparazione (1:45), 14. Generalissimo (1:27), 15. Pattuglia (2:31), 16. Osanna (4:18), 17. Verso Il Futuro #3 (1:14), 18. Canna da Zucchero (1:11), 19. Verso Il Futuro #4 (1:59), 20. William e José (1:45), 21. Jose Dolores #3 (1:27), 22. Verso Il Futuro #5 (1:58), 23. Pezzo Classico #2 (0:48), 24. Studi Per Un Finale (3:26), 25. Preparazione #2 (3:15), 26. Marcia (1:11), 27. Verso Il Futuro #6 (1:56), 28. Queimada Seconda #2 (0:42), 29. William e José #2 (1:13), 30. Verso Il Futuro #7 (4:53), 31. Studi Per Un Finale #2 (1:55). GDM/Legend 4219, 64 minutes 03 seconds.

 

SAI COSA FACEVA STALIN ALLE DONNE? (1969)

Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne? – which roughly translates as What Did Stalin Do To Women – is an Italian comedy drama with a political undertone, written and directed by Maurizio Liverani. The story focus on Aldo and Benedetto (Helmut Berger and Benedetto Benedetti), two young and idealistic Communist intellectuals who come to Rome under the patronage of an important left-wing politician. Benedetto is serious, and involves himself in political activities, but Aldo becomes quickly disillusioned with his new life, and exploits his coincidental physical resemblance to Stalin as a means to woo women.

Morricone’s score for the film is basically a series of variations on two central main theme, one unsurprisingly called “Lo Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne?” and the other called “Lo Sai Che Cosa Facevano Le Donne a Stalin?”. “Lo Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne?” has a slightly comedic air, with quirky vocals and a peculiar tuba melody that eventually picks up a spiky, glittery arrangement that includes strings, harpsichord, piano, electric bass guitar, accordion, and tapped wooden percussion. The whole thing has an idiosyncratic, caper-like feel that is amusing and fun, that I like quite a great deal. Later, there is a more groovy lounge music arrangement (#2), a Europop/rock version (#5), and a truly bizarre version that breaks down the theme entirely and surrounds it with breathing and noises and the sound of someone scraping a wet finger down a window (#4).

On the other hand, “Lo Sai Che Cosa Facevano Le Donne a Stalin?” is grittier, dirtier, and jazzier, with a terrific muted trumpet solo (#1), a tango variation (#2), a variation with wordless vocals (#3), and even a liturgical chant that sounds like medieval plainsong (#4)! Meanwhile, the “Scherzo da Guerra” is a piece of frothy renaissance-inflected dance fluff with a prominent organ, lively strings, and a soft rock beat, while “Filastrocca Per Cretini” is a near-indescribable piece which moves from something approximating a medieval jester’s march to a fun bossa nova beat, before ending with more of those ‘fingers-on-windows’ noises, kisses, and orgasm noises. Only Morricone!

There had been a couple of releases of the score for Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne by Italian label CAM, which usually paired it with music from the 1980 film Stark System. It was finally released as a standalone album in 2013 by Beat Records, and this is the one I’ve reviewed here. It’s a fun score, offbeat and creative, but of its more out-there moments might strike some people are being just too peculiar for words.

Track Listing: 1. Lo Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne? (2:23), 2. Lo Sai Che Cosa Facevano Le Donne a Stalin? (1:54), 3. Scherzo da Guerra (2:08), 4. Lo Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne? #2 (0:55), 5. Lo Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne? #3 (1:48), 6. Scherzo da Guerra #2 (1:07), 7. Lo Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne? #4 (4:25), 8. Scherzo da Baffone (1:18), 9. Lo Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne? #5 (1:18), 10. Lo Sai Cosa Faceva Stalin Alle Donne? #6 (4:36), 11. Filastrocca Per Cretini (2:43), 12. Scherzo da Guerra #3 (3:05), 13. Lo Sai Che Cosa Facevano Le Donne a Stalin? #2 (0:34), 14. Lo Sai Che Cosa Facevano Le Donne a Stalin? #3 (2:36), 15. Filastrocca Per Cretini #2 (1:19), 16. Lo Sai Che Cosa Facevano Le Donne a Stalin? #4 (0:57), 17. Lo Sai Che Cosa Facevano Le Donne a Stalin? #5 (2:24). Beat Records BCM-9524, 35 minutes 30 seconds

 

SENZA SAPERE NIENTE DI LEI (1969)

Senza Sapere Niente di Lei – also known as Unknown Woman – is an Italian giallo thriller, directed by Luigi Comencini, starring Philippe Leroy and Paola Pitagora. Leroy plays Nanni, an insurance lawyer who launches an investigation into the mysterious death of an elderly lady who died two hours before her life insurance expired. As he digs deeper into the circumstances of her death, Nanni meets and quickly becomes the lover of the old lady’s beautiful daughter Cinzia (Pitagora). Of course, as is always the case, things quickly turn dangerous for Nanni, as there is clearly more to Cinzia than meets the eye.

The opening cue, “Senza Sapere Niente di Lei (Titoli),” is a nice piece of laid back jazz – conventional, but pretty – and this style of writing continues through subsequent cues such as “Una Strana Ragazza,” “L’Avvocato e la Ragazza,” all of which combine keyboards and subtle guitars with strings, pianos and brushed snares, charming and appealing. “Frammenti d’Estasi” and “Sospetti e Tenerezze” are lush and dream-like, with cascading chimes and harp glissandi, and occasional interpolations of the main theme. Meanwhile, cues like “Identikit di un Delitto” and “Ricordo” are a little more sinister and introspective, capturing the film noir aspects of the score with darkly-hued writing for string, piano, and harpsichord, which allows the duplicitous nature of Cinzia to come to the fore.

Interestingly, “Stato Confusionale,” “In Un Ricordo,” “In Un Ricordo #2,” “Lui Per Lei,” were originally written for a film called Lui Per Lei, which was shot but never released, and so Morricone re-purposed some of the music he wrote for it in this score. These cues are much more abstract and challenging than the rest of the score – the almost 9-minute “Stato Confusionale” being a prime example of this as it blends an off-kilter music box idea with haunting vocals, frenzied pianos, and electronic white noise, in a manner that is actually quite unpleasant – although “Lui Per Lei,” is a little hipper and funkier, with a toe-tapping rhythmic core, wah-wah electric guitars, and prototypical choral vocals.

Overall Senza Sapere Niente di Lei is a fairly minor Morricone work, notable only for its breezy and jazzy main theme. The only release of the full score is the one from Digitmovies, released in 2006, but frankly I would invest in other more iconic titles before venturing down this road.

Track Listing: 1. Senza Sapere Niente di Lei (Titoli) (2:03), 2. Una Strana Ragazza (2:59), 3. Identikit di un Delitto (2:56), 4. Stato Confusionale (8:53), 5. Senza Sapere Niente di Lei (3:26), 6. Frammenti d’Estasi (3:06), 7. In Un Ricordo (3:25), 8. L’Avvocato e la Ragazza (4:10), 9. Identikit di un Delitto #2 (2:26), 10. In Un Ricordo #2 (3:26), 11. Sospetti e Tenerezze (4:24), 12. Ricordo (3:00), 13. Lui Per Lei (3:08), 14. Senza Sapere Niente di Lei (Finale) (2:55). Digitmovies CDDM-050, 50 minutes 17 seconds.

 

METTI UNA SERA A CENA (1969)

Metti Una Sera a Cena is an Italian drama film about sexual experimentation and relationships, directed by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, from a screenplay by Dario Argento, who adapted Griffi’s original stage play for the screen. The film stars Jean-Louis Trintignant, Florinda Bolkan, and Tony Musante as three friends – a playwright, his wife, and their actor colleague – who meet regularly for dinner where they indulge in bored, amoral conversation, and engage in passionless sex. Things change when the actor suggests they add a fourth player to their bedroom games – an insouciant bisexual poet – whose presence in their lives brings a new level of excitement, but also danger, into their world.

The score is mostly a series of tropical, cool-jazz, and light rock rhythms overlaid with do-be-do-be-do vocals, breathlessly vocalizing over melodic ideas for keyboards, guitars, percussion, and lush string backings. The opening “Metti, Una Sera a Cena,” the smoother and more relaxed “Sauna,” are just lovely; elsewhere, “Terrazza Voita” uses more urgent vocals and a prominent Hammond organ to add a bity of 1960s psychedelia, while “Alla Luce del Giorno” is a groovy dance beat that’s so catchy it’s almost impossible not to boogie along to the beat.

“Croce d’Amore” and “Nina” are much more traditionally jazzy, smoky and seductive, with a terrific noir brass theme that emerges in the second half of each piece and gives them a real sense of power and gravitas. Both “Uno Che Grida Amore” and “Ti Prego Amami” have a hint of Morricone’s spaghetti western love themes, combining oboes with vocals, strings, and his quintessential undulating staccato pianos. “Ric Happening” uses a sitar and offbeat percussion, because why not? The song “Hurry to Me” is based on the main “Metti Una Sera a Cena” theme, has lyrics by Giuseppe Patroni-Griffi and Jack Fishman, and was originally performed by The Sandpipers, but has since gone on to be one of Morricone’s more popular songs, enjoying covers by artists as varied as Amii Stewart and Hayley Westenra.

Trivia note: the score for Metti Una Sera a Cena has become quite popular to British sports fans recently, even though they probably don’t know it – “Alla Luce del Giorno” was used as the melodic core of the song “Chase the Sun” released by EDM group Planet Funk in 2001, which was subsequently used as the theme music for Sky Sports’s coverage of World Darts events. Darts fans drunkenly sing the song whenever there is a break in play, and I bet less than 1% of them know it originally came from a 1969 Italian sex drama. The more you know.

Metti Una Sera a Cena is one of Morricone’s most famous and popular lounge jazz scores, so naturally there are 287 different albums out there. The one I have reviewed is the one released by Italian label Cinevox in 1997, which gives a nice 40-minute summation of the best stuff, but there are literally dozens of others which provide longer running times, alternate cues, bonus tracks and so much more.

Track Listing: 1. Metti, Una Sera a Cena (4:30), 2. Sauna (4:51), 3. Terrazza Vuota (3:06), 4. Alla Luce del Giorno (2:01), 5. Croce d’Amore (2:27), 6. Uno Che Grida Amore (4:40), 7. Ric Happening (2:10), 8. Ti Prego, Amami (2:04), 9. Nina (4:43), 10. Metti, Una Sera a Cena (Main Titles – Alternate Version) (1:55), 11. Nina (Alternate Version) (4:45), 12. Hurry to Me (The Main Theme Song) (4:05). Cinevox MDF-309, 41 minutes 17 seconds.

 

UNA BREVE STAGIONE [BRIEF SEASON] (1969)

Una Breve Stagione is an Italian romantic drama written and directed by Renato Castellani. The film stars Christopher Jones as Johnny, a young American who lives in Rome and works as a stockbroker. Johnny meets and quickly falls for a pretty young Swedish girl named Luisa (Pia Degermark), who works as a translator, and they embark on a passionate love affair. However, Johnny is doing some risky and potentially dangerous financial things at work on behalf of some important clients, the fallout of which threatens the new relationship almost before it as begun.

The score for Una Breve Stagione sees Morricone embracing his romantic side, no more so than in the opening titular song, a soft, gentle, idyllic piece for voices, guitars, and percussion backed with strings, and which contains a lovely interlude duet for piano and oboe. Subsequent such as “Fregene No.3,” “Postludio,” “Solamente Amore No.1,” and the lovely “Un Bagaglio Alle Spalle” revisit this style to excellent effect, often adopting a charming light renaissance style.

To capture the intensity of Johnny’s descent into the world of financial crimes, Morricone wrote a few darker and more driving action/drama pieces that are much more intense than one might expect. “Inseguimento No.1” is a piece of unexpectedly threatening, urgent writing for a thundering combo featuring strings, harpsichord, and driving percussion that is quite superb; later, cues like “Interludio No.1,” “Preludio A Una Telefonaca,” and “Suoni Per I Ricordi” revisit the same underlying rhythms with different instrumentals, and some them even manage to combine them with some hints of the romantic themes, illustrating the collision between the two worlds. The conclusive “Inseguimento No.3” is a wild rock arrangement of the dramatic rhythms, with an especially vivid choral element, which really ends the score on a high note.

Una Breve Stagione is a fun score which gets plenty of mileage out of its two recurring central ideas, and is certainly worth checking out for Morricone fans who enjoy his more driving, insistent style. The only CD release of the score for Una Breve Stagione is on a 2-for-1 album from Legend Music, coupled with the score for the 1972 film La Violenza Quinto Potere, aka The Sicilian Checkmate; it’s a re-release of the original 1969 vinyl LP release from Sagittario.

Track Listing: 1. Una Breve Stagione (2:35), 2. Inseguimento No.1 (1:24), 3. Fregene No.3 (1:06), 4. Interludio No.1 (1:18), 5. Postludio (1:34), 6. Solamente Amore No.1 (1:02), 7. Interludio No.2 (0:57), 8. Solamente Amore No.1 (3:47), 9. Un Bagaglio Alle Spalle (1:37), 10. Preludio A Una Telefonaca (2:03), 11. Fregene No.2 (1:08), 12. Suoni Per I Ricordi (3:44), 13. Inseguimento No.2 (1:15), 14. Prima Del Suicidio No.1 (0:47), 15. Fregene No.1 (1:43), 16. Prima Del Suicidio No.2 (0:59), 17. Inseguimento No.3 (2:59). Legend CD26, 30 minutes 16 seconds.

 

VERGOGNA SCHIFOSI (1969)

Vergogna Schifosi is an Italian thriller directed by Mauro Severino. The film stars Lino Capolicchio, Marília Branco, and Roberto Bisacco as three friends who accidentally kill a man and leave his body in a public park. Six years later, having never been caught, and with them all having put the tragedy behind them and begun new lives, they receive an anonymous letter with a compromising photograph, accusing them of murder and questioning things they have done in their lives. The blackmailer demands money, and signs the letter “vergogna schifosi” – “disgusting shame”. As the friends decide what to do, circumstances lead them to committing another murder, with tragic results for all.

“Matto, Caldo, Soldi, Morto… Girotondo” is the main theme of the score and is a fascinating construction in which Morricone creates is a light, poppy, almost fluffy melody, but then has his choir intoning the worlds of the cue title, which translates as ‘madness, heat, money, death,’ and then then the Italian equivalent of ‘ring a ring o’ roses’. Considering the nature of the story this juxtaposition is actually quite brilliant, with the ridiculously upbeat nature of the melody clashing with the sinister underpinnings of the lyrics.

The rest of the score has a carefree, summery sound for guitars, rock percussion, Hammond organ, and a light string section; “Guardami Negli Occhi” is a catchy and funky beat, “Ninna Nanna Per Adulti” uses wah-wah vocals and light chimes to add more ethereal sound to the recurring theme, and “Una Spiaggia a Mezzogiorno” uses a more earthy, soulful female vocalist, while “Un Altro Mare” is dreamy and romantic, a lyrical blissful sound with prominent guitars and a differently-textured female vocal. It’s all really lovely, light and happy-go-lucky, and stands in cleverly ironic contrast to the actual story the film is telling.

The score for Vergogna Schifosi has been released several times over the years, each with the same program – on an original standalone LP, on a double-album release from British label Curci with the score for La Stagione dei Sensi, and as part of a three-score compilation released by Fin de Siècle Media in 2008 along with music from La Stagione dei Sensi and Theorem.

Track Listing: 1. Matto, Caldo, Soldi, Morto… Girotondo (3:22), 2. Guardami Negli Occhi (2:12), 3. Ninna Nanna Per Adulti (2:42), 4. Una Spiaggia a Mezzogiorno (3:40), 5. Un Altro Mare (6:35), 6. Matto, Caldo, Soldi, Morto… Girotondo #2 (4:44). Fin de Siècle Media FDS30, 23 minutes 24 seconds.

 

UN BELLISSIMO NOVEMBRE [THAT SPLENDID NOVEMBER] (1969)

Un Bellissimo Novembre is an Italian romantic drama film directed by Mauro Bolognini, based on the novel of the same name by Ercole Patti. It stars Gabriele Ferzetti and Gina Lollobrigida and concerns the various erotic exploits of a large Sicilian family in which the father (Ferzetti) lectures his wife and children about morality and self-control, but pursues extra-curricular lovemaking with reckless abandon, while the rest of his family does the same – only for things to spiral out of control when a teenager (Paolo Turco) falls in love with his beautiful aunt (Lollobrigida) and becomes jealous when she shares her bed with other men.

The available score for Un Bellissimo Novembre comprises four score cues and a song based on the main melody. “Nuddu” is a delicate, intimate piece for guitars, classical strings, and a whistled melody by the great Alessandro Alessandrini, haunting and evocative in the way that only Morricone could be. The second cue “Sensi” is the exact opposite of the lush emotion of the opening cue – in fact, it’s downright bizarre, with jangling percussion, a boinging Jew’s harp, scraped violin harmonics, and pizzicato basses that collide in a wholly weird fashion; then, when the low, keening cellos come in during the second half of the cue, the whole thing takes on a surprising horror movie sensibility that is somehow terrible and brilliant at the same time. Endless creativity.

“Buio Mattino” is a dour little piece for low, gloomy cello and viola textures, that creates a somewhat depressing mood. Thankfully, the conclusive “Ancora Più Dolcemente” is much more upbeat, a tropical bossa-nova rhythm overlaid with a lovely melodic writing for guitars, oboe, strings. Finally, the vocal version of “Nuddu” is a song with lyrics by Franco Pisano, performed by the honey-voiced Fausto Cigliano, and is both charming and warmly romantic.

Overall, the score is a bit of a mixed bag. The “Nuddu” theme is lovely, and the conclusive “Ancora Più Dolcemente” is as sweet as the title suggests, but the rest veers from the dull to the totally dingbats, and will take some effort to appreciate. Considering how short the score for Un Bellissimo Novembre is, it has never been released as a standalone soundtrack album, but the five tracks listed below have been listed as ‘bonus cues’ on the 2014 Beat Records release of Il Grande Silenzio. In addition, the single song “Nuddu” has been included on various Morricone compilations over the years.

Track Listing: 1. Nuddu (2:36), 2. Sensi (2:43), 3. Buio Mattino (3:05), 4. Ancora Più Dolcemente (2:44), 5. Nuddu (Vocal) (2:43). Beat Records CDCR-126, 14 minutes 05 seconds.

 

UN ESERCITO DI 5 UOMINI [THE FIVE MAN ARMY] (1969)

Un Esercito di 5 Uomini – The Five Man Army – is an Italian-made action thriller set in Mexico during the Revolutionary War. A gang of Mexican rebels hire ‘the Dutchman’ and his gang to rob a train carrying $500,000 in gold, which the rebels intend to use to fund their uprising. However, after successfully carrying out the raid (in an impressively staged action set pieces), tensions arise within the gang as they decide whether or not to keep their promise to the revolutionaries, or keep the gold for themselves. The film was directed by Don Taylor – a former character actor who would later go on to make such films as Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Damien: Omen II, and The Final Countdown – was co-written by Dario Argento, and starred Peter Graves, James Daly, Bud Spencer, Nino Castelnuovo, and Tetsuro Tamba as the members of the five-man army itself.

As is usually the case for Morricone spaghetti western scores, the whole thing built around a brilliant but idiosyncratic main theme, and that is certainly the case here. The “Main Title” offers a driving piece that pairs guitars, woodwinds, and thunderous strings, into which are inserted an anarchic, array of bizarre choral outbursts and sound effects. There are prominent restatements of the theme in later cues such as “The Chicken Farm/The Mining Colony,” The Circus/To Morales,” “Maria’s Goodbye/Pursuit,” “Departure/Army in Disguise/Underneath the Train,” and the terrific and joyously rousing “Success”.

A secondary theme called ‘Muerte Donde Vas?’ appears in several cues, and is a much darker and more serious lament on life and death, and has several important statements, notably “The Execution” when it is heard in as a funereal choral lament, and then in “The Journey” where the melody is carried by soulful woodwinds and muted brass. The friendship theme for the men of the Army, called ‘A Cinque Amici, Cinque Eroi,’ is just gorgeous, a florid but slightly bittersweet piece for strings and oboes that first appears in the beautiful “Introductions,” and then receives especially notable statements later in “Interrogation/Captured” and the emotional “Already Dead”.

Elsewhere there are moments of tension and comedy – notably a dissonant suspense motif called ‘Contro il Tempo’ which received its best statement in “Out of Time” – as well as some rich guitar writing in “Flowers and Food”, and finally a heroic theme for brass and sweeping strings which receives a rousing statement in “The Train”. Finally, the score’s spectacular action highlight is “Samurai Runs,” a thrilling and turbulent piece for strings, electric guitars, frantic percussion, xylophones, voices, and howling brasses and woodwinds that rampage through the orchestra like things possessed, fast-paced and anarchic and quite brilliant.

Un Esercito di 5 Uomini is one of Ennio Morricone’s best non-Leone western, and fans of his work in the genre will want to add this title to their playlist without delay. The score has had several releases over the years, but the most comprehensive one is the one released by Film Score Monthly in 2009 as part of their Silver Age Classics series, and includes the complete score re-mastered and in chronological order, plus a number of bonus cues.

Track Listing: 1. Main Title (2:53), 2. The Chicken Farm/The Mining Colony (2:04), 3. The Circus/To Morales (2:42), 4. The Execution) (2:32), 5. Flowers and Food (1:17), 6. Introductions (2:18), 7. The Journey (2:49), 8. Interrogation/Captured (1:46), 9. Escape (3:31), 10. Maria’s Goodbye/Pursuit (2:13), 11. Rebel Aid (1:23), 12. The Train (0:33), 13. Ambushing the Truck (0:12), 14. To the Station House (0:42), 15. Already Dead (2:17), 16. Departure/Army in Disguise/Underneath the Train (1:57), 17. Close Call/The First Move/The Next Move (2:51), 18. Samurai Runs (4:14), 19. Surprise Guests/Mesito Prepares (0:58), 20. Out of Time (4:25), 21. Success (1:02), 22. The Dutchman’s Cause (2:44), 23. New Recruits (4:59), 24. Un Esercito di Cinque Uomini (Main Title) (2:54) BONUS, 25. Muerte Donde Vas? (Album Track) (4:11) BONUS. Film Score Monthly FSMCD-12-16, 59 minutes 27 seconds.

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