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  • investigation_citizenComposed by Ennio Morricone
  • Cinevox Records CD MDF 311 / 1998 / 31:41

Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is about a police chief who commits a murder, leaving clues behind, just to see whether his position means he’s “above suspicion” or not.  This was director Elio Petri’s second of seven collaborations with Ennio Morricone, and probably the most famous.The score is essentially built around just two themes.  The first is part of Morricone’s standard concert repertoire and has also appeared on numerous compilations over the years, so is probably familiar to most of his fans.  It’s like a macabre carnival tune in many ways, and its frequent appearances make it into a kind of incessant, obsessive accompaniment to the investigation.

The other theme (“Miraggio”) also appears a few times, in various different guises.  It’s not quite so memorable, but really achieves much the same thing, perhaps just put in by Morricone to avoid repeating the same theme too many times.  It’s stylish and creative and doesn’t take anything away from the obsessive nature of the main theme’s repetition.  This is a wonderful score – deliberately repetitive, but the album is short enough (27 minutes if you take away the alternate takes) that it’s not a problem.  There was actually an extended release after this one, but I’m struggling to believe it would be of much interest to anyone but Morricone completists (every additional track has “alternate version” or “second alternate version” at the end).  Highly recommended!  ****

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