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Fatti di Gente Perbene
  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • Quartet Records / 2013 / 56m

A 1974 political drama directed by Mauro Bolognini, Fatti di Gente Perbene is set in early 20th century Bologna, delving into attempts by the establishment to rid the city of its socialists.  The film is one of no fewer than fifteen collaborations between the director and the legendary composer Ennio Morricone and while most of the films have faded rather into obscurity, there seem to be frequent reissues of many of the scores.  This one sees the composer perfectly evoking the opulence of high society at the time, particularly through the oft-heard main theme, introduced in “Accadde a Venezia” – it’s beautiful, but there’s a detached air to the love, almost a snootiness.  It’s a ravishing piece.  It’s heard most frequently on strings (including some exquisite solo violin versions) but the real killer for me, the one that tugs my heartstrings and won’t let go, is the piano arrangement in “L’addio tra Linda e Tullio”.

“La casa di Linda” introduces a brilliant device, previously employed famously in For a Few Dollars More – chimes suggesting the passing of time.  Its use in the middle of the dissonant, suspenseful “Il tema per un assassinio” is pure genius.  There’s a very brief action theme of sorts, the martial “Il tema per il procuratore stanzani”, which doesn’t stick around for long, but does leave an impression.  Even the couple of early source cues are excellent – the exquisite vocal of “Al bar” and elegant Mediterranean flavour of “Le chiacchiere confidenziali”.  Fatti di Gente Perbene is a very fine score, highlighted by that exquisite main theme.  Quartet’s new album almost doubles the playing time of the original release, though sensibly retains the original album programme and adds the new material as bonus tracks; Gergely Hubai’s liner notes are informative and entertaining; and the sound quality is perfect.  Great release.

Rating: **** | |

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  1. Jason Farcone (Reply) on Saturday 8 June, 2013 at 12:05

    i notice mr. limey james doesn’t have a review up for the great fatsby. too bad it’s mostly songs.. .but like you’re aware probably, craig armstrong has his hooks wrapped around this one like moulin rouge and romeo&julllllllieto. too bad there’s no score on the cd but still some goodies. y posting on morricone title? cuz I couldn’t find ur damn e-mail.

    f’n aussies

  2. ANDRÉ - CAPE TOWN. (Reply) on Tuesday 11 June, 2013 at 10:40

    The Italian title FATTI DI GENTE PERBENE was familiar, so searched for it among my Morricone vinyl collection > and located 2 LPs. The Italian titled LP was printed in Japan by Polydor and the second LP, printed in the USA by Cerebus has the French title – LA GRANDE BOURGEOISE. And I found two reviews, both referring to the films English title – THE MURRI AFFAIR. Naturally Morricone’s “wonderfully atmospheric” score is certainly included in the critique about the aristocratic family whose demise scandalized Italian society at the turn of the 20th Century. And Catherine Deneuve’s character, “serenely beautiful – a woman of superb elegance and breeding”, surely inspired Morricone to compose music of equal elegance and beauty. The score was conducted by BRUNO NICOLAI. It was around this time that the Morricone/Nicolai partnership of composer/conductor terminated. When quizzed about this in interviews, the reason was always evaded. Does anyone know what caused this brilliant artistic symbiosis to shatter?