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Il Lungo Silenzio
  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • CAM / 1993 / 46:23

Il Lungo Silenzio is a 1993 film starring Carla Gravina as a woman bravely taking on the Mafia as a result of her and her family living in constant fear for their lives (her husband is a High Court judge).  German director Margarethe von Trotta’s film won plaudits, but has not been seen outside Germany, Italy and France.  Ennio Morricone was the natural choice to provide the score and it opens with a fabulously dynamic theme.  With a rhythm section and electric guitar added to the orchestra, it’s a dark but very enjoyable piece, the composer finding yet another way to employ a female vocalist.  It’s Mariella Devia rather than Edda dell’Orso here, but the effect is similarly electrifying, her vocal adding a gripping, desperate quality.

The rest of the score is mostly suspense music, with occasional action and – earlier on – some surprisingly lighter moments.  In “In Morte de un Magistrato”, all the elements are there within the same cue, some beautiful music from a violin solo and choir contrasting with darker elements, primarily a piano effect familiar from other Morricone thrillers (heard most prominently in Wolf amongst his American scores).  The theme which dominates the score first appears in “Addio alla Mzdre”, the piano again backing an ominous oboe melody with highly effective organ accompaniment.  Again it’s a familiar technique, but it works very well.  Suspense it may be, but it remains melodic and listenable and is really rather captivating.  Where it loses marks is that, after the fantastic opening title and the early variety, the album becomes very repetitive, and a few of the tracks could easily have been trimmed to make it stronger overall.  *** |

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  1. Nifoccer (Reply) on Friday 10 August, 2012 at 00:49

    The title theme still blows me away, very powerful. Some people (no names, no names!) remarked that they hate the voice of Devia, hm, she’s a very classical singer. Maybe EM could have opted for an unorthodox voice, someone more Sicilian, more primal? I like Mariella though, she’s certainly not wasted.

    Comprising cues? It’s a too short soundtrack already, James. Putting a repeat of track 1 at the end, ha! The real Morricone fan won’t be tricked that easily!

    Track 4, Felicita Sorvegliata is one of these micro-gems, and as it goes with gems, it’s WAY too short. The repeat is a bit duller.
    The oddest track is the repetitive Una sera a danzare, and yet it’s very catching.

    Excellent filmmusic all in all, rich in atmosphere. If ever an extended edition with surprises arises, I’ll be most happy.