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La Cosa Buffa
  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • Cinevox / 65m

A 1972 romantic drama directed by Aldo Lado, La Cosa Buffa is about two young people who fall in love but who see that love challenged by their different social statuses. Ottavia Piccolo and Gianni Morandi star, and he is eventually offered a fortune by her parents to just go away. According to the liner notes, he also has a sexual liaison with a Hungarian.

Ennio Morricone’s score is blessed with one of his amazing themes (one of thousands). Edda dell’Orso’s sensual vocal is brilliant – somewhat in the style of the way Morricone used her voice sometimes in his giallo scores, although there’s no other similarity. Romantic strings accompany it along with a gentle pop sound – it’s instantly memorable, stylish and you just want to listen to it over and over again. Well, I do. And in the case of this album, that’s a good thing because it’s heard in virtually every track.

Ennio Morricone

The theme takes on a completely different feel in the next track, “Pensando a Maria” – taken up first by “Chi Mai”-style echoing strings, then a secondary theme (for solo piano) alternates with it, along with bass guitar and drums – and finally Edda again.

“Indecisione con Maria” is a more laid-back, jazzier version of the theme; then the echoing strings are back in “Escerizio con Marika” (not a typo), a glassy, really minimalist piece; then “Strani pensieri” gets close to the original arrangement, albeit slightly more uplifting and summery.

“Ritorno a casa” is something different, with an accordion playing a very different version of the now very familiar theme; then in “Come Guilietta e Romeo” Morricone goes to more traditional romantic territory, with swooning strings playing a gorgeous offshoot of the theme (with some genuinely fresh melody). “Gocce di pioggia” returns to more typical ground for this score with another variant on the opening piece, before the ten-minute “Catalogo incompleto” adds I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni to Edda’s vocals – it’s a mellow, soothing way to close things out.

Cinevox’s extended album adds 16 tracks to the original album’s 9 – given it’s an almost completely monothematic score, I’m not sure how many people will sit through all of it. If you don’t like that theme, well, you’re a bit unfortunate if you attempt to listen to any version of the album; since I do, I enjoy hearing the different moods Morricone extracts from it (it is monothematic but not monochromatic) and find the 35-minute length of that original selection of tracks passes like a breeze, even though perhaps just downloading the theme might satisfy most needs.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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  1. Jim (Reply) on Sunday 16 August, 2020 at 19:50

    Great review as always – thanks for opening our eyes to the Morricone nuggets, by all means keep em coming

  2. Andre>>Cape Town (Reply) on Thursday 27 August, 2020 at 03:30

    At long last a CD release of La Cosa Buffa….once a time, during the early 1970s, most people just associated the name MORRICONE with Spaghetti Westerns. I was lucky to connect with a film music distributer in London {Michael Jones} who specialised in Italian and French vinyl LP releases, thus introducing me to TROVAIOLI, NASCIMBENE, ROTA, RUSTICELLI, DELERUE and ENNIO (their scores seldom reached record bars in South Africa). And one of the first MORRICONE scores to initiate my love affair with his music was La Cosa Buffa’ I was entranced, enchanted and excited as the main title introduced me to Edda and a compositional style that was innovative, unique and timeless. Thanks for bringing this release to my attention James.