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  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • ScreenTrax / 42m

A 1978 Mafia movie, Corleone is set in the 1950s and follows two friends growing up together in Sicily, with very different destinies awaiting them. Directed by Pasquale Squitieri and starring Giuliano Gemma, Claudia Cardinale and Francisco Rabal, the film was released as Father of the Godfathers internationally.

Ennio Morricone worked in this genre on numerous occasions. Corleone has a certain epic quality to it which makes it a genuinely arresting score, without the typical sound of his “crime” scores – it’s a resolutely melodic work, anchored around some very solid themes.

Ennio Morricone

The first of those, “Addio a Palermo”, is simply stunning. It is so haunting: at first slow-moving, the A-section has such an unmistakable sense of longing for what might have been. It’s very beautiful but also very sad. The B-section is more dramatically urgent, becoming a little kaleidoscopic, the feeling now of things spiralling out of control. That B-section is explored more in “Addio al figlio”; a later variant “Alla donna” gives the A-section a more romantic sound, replacing the strings with winds in the early stages.

The second theme, “Corleone”, has a dirge-like, almost funereal sound: totally compelling, a swirling string phrase repeats over and over and is joined by an organ solo to give its liturgical feel its finishing touch. Then there’s the brief but exquisite “Una voca del carcere” which is full of ironic beauty.

Elsewhere, “Rivolta populare” is a piece of action music with a grand dramatic sweep; “Conspirazione” is a more turgid piece of suspense, a sound continued into the subsequent “In tribunale”. “Cassandra” is very intense, with piercing strings and staccato piano phrases proving rather unsettling.

For its original CD release, Corleone was paired with Il Pentito (a score for a later film by the same director) and they go together well. Later the fairly short LP programme was extended on a 42-minute release from ScreenTrax, which itself got re-released later and is also available as a download. The “Addio a Palermo” theme is a must-have, the rest of it is very solid… great score.

Rating: **** | |

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  1. Addie Smith (Reply) on Tuesday 4 August, 2020 at 02:55

    Thanks for posting this score!!!