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Invito Allo Sport
  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • Cometa / 2011 / 49:23

A 13-part Italian television series about sport (yes, “Sport” means “Sport”) – according to the liner notes, the first four 95-minute episodes are all about mountaineering, the next one is about swimming with dolphins, the next two are about “a game and nature”, the next is simply a swimming lesson, the next three are about skiing and the final two are tennis lessons.  I can’t believe I missed this riveting-sounding series.  Who else would write the music for such a landmark production but the great Ennio Morricone?  1978 was a relatively quiet year for the Italian – he only worked on nine films released in cinemas, two tv movies and four tv series.  This album from Cometa marks the first full-length release of this music (certain tracks have appeared here and there on compilations over the years).

Even though, curiously, 12 of the 13 tracks are called “Invito Allo Sport”, there are actually several distinct themes here, though they do share similar characteristics.  This is Morricone doing lounge music – synths, percussion, guitars, “la la la” vocalists, one expects the music to accompany shots of gruff men with spectacular moustaches sitting outside sun-drenched cafes surrounded by beautiful women smoking cigarettes (and perhaps mountaineering or giving tennis lessons at the same time).  It’s all melodic and to be honest it’s all rather enjoyable, though I don’t suppose many people would put this down as their favourite style of Morricone.  One might quite rightly say it’s essentially a big piece of fluff, but the tunes are fantastic and there are far worse ways of passing 50 minutes than listening to Invito Allo Sport.  ***

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