Latest reviews of new albums:
  • risoluzione_819Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • Image Music 0195252IMA / 2009 / 65:42

Resolution 819 was one of the UN’s (rather limp) calls for a ceasefire in Bosnia-Herzegovena during the conflict that engulfed the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, and this Italian film is about the most flagrant violation of it, the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.  It focuses in particular on the subsequent investigation of the genocide.As you might imagine, the music isn’t the most cheerful thing you’re likely to hear this year, but given that its composer is Ennio Morricone, it is of course of interest.  The first thing to note is the magnificent opening piece, “Un Canto di Speranza”, a wonderful demonstration of Morricone’s gift at musically depicting pride, determination and hope even amongst the bleakest of backdrops.  I haven’t seen the film, but it’s not hard to imagine this working stunningly well alongside the images.

There is extreme beauty to be found elsewhere in the score, too.  Of course, it’s not Cinema Paradiso-style beauty – it’s beauty borne of dogged determination and superhuman courage.  “Clara” is a stunning piece, Morricone again managing to accentuate both light and dark within the same four minutes.  And, while large parts of the score are more despair than courage (particularly in its second half), it remains – perhaps surprisingly – melodic throughout.  Yes, it’s exceptionally dark, but never unlistenable.  A solo vocalist (Miriam Megnaghi) adds a real human connection to some of the score’s bleakest moments.  This certainly isn’t an album you’re going to stick on all that often, but it’s impossible to listen to this and not be affected by Morricone’s skill in coming up with something so touching without being even vaguely sentimental.  ****

Buy from

Tags: ,

  1. Alex Cope (Reply) on Wednesday 30 September, 2009 at 15:59

    I agree. “Un Canto di Speranza” is great – one of those melodic, building pieces, almost march-like, that Morricone does well, and “Clara” is definitely the highlight: when the strings come in and lift the melody, it’s a sublime Morricone moment. But the album as a whole I feel is just average.

  2. Stephen Ottley (Reply) on Tuesday 1 April, 2014 at 18:49

    Many thanks James, for a nice review of a pretty much unknown score by Ennio Morricone. Of course there are lots of those, but a determined hunt of the Internet does turn them up. While I agree this is a dark and difficult score, it would be given the film’s subject, I don’t agree that it would be rarely played. In my house it gets played quite often. I will concede that I have a great affection for Morricone as a composer, but I think that only makes me determined to find his music, it doesn’t make me listen to it, I do that because I love it, and this score is no exception. I am at odds with Alex Cope, who suggests this is just an average score. If he means average for Morricone, then we may be a little nearer agreeing. If he means average generally then I have to assume he is not really a lover of film music for this is an outstanding score that works both with the film material and stands on its own as tremendously moving and affecting music. Alex, and you for that matter, might like to try a not dissimilar score for ‘Fateless’, another dark and difficult subject for which Morricone provides yet another magnificent score.

  3. ANDRÉ - CAPE TOWN. (Reply) on Wednesday 2 April, 2014 at 01:11

    I’m very blessed to have hundreds of MORRICONE scores in my collection… I’m awed by his creativity and will search for ‘Risoluzione 819′ on various sites. A recent release, however, proved very disappointing > UNA LUCERTOLA CON LA PELLE DI DONNA [ A lizard in a woman’s skin]. The score dates back to 1971, and the 6’.25″ title theme is stunning…a theme of incredible sophistication for trumpet [maybe it’s a saxophone?], the incredible vocalise of EDDA DELL ‘ORSO, electronics [of the early experimental’70s] and a mesmerising, elegant percussive beat. This theme is timeless! The opening track on CD 2, ‘Sole Sulla Pelle’ is just beautiful. The rest is an awful phantasmagoria of crazy music > were MORRICONE & fellow musos tripping on something? The movie’s formulaic slasher narrative, so popular in the ‘ 60s & ’70s Italian Cinema — beautiful women, lesbian eroticism & brutal murders by psychos [sometimes female, other times male] — obviously demanded an underscore that combined chic seduction with violent atonality. MORRICONE’s scores for ‘The Bird with the Crystal Plumage’…’The Cat O’ Nine Tails’…’Four Flies on Grey Velvet’ & ‘Dedicato al Mare Egeo’ etc testify to the composer’s ability to provide accessible disturbing dissonances & intrigueing, experimental twelve tonalities… but LUCERTOLA is just unlistenable. AND, MORRICONE has never again repeated this manic stylization in any of the many CDs & LPs that I possess. For MORRICONE devotees who may just prefer the gorgeous title themes on CDs 1 & 2, theyr’e available on ENNIO MORRICONE ‘MAIN TITLES’ – Volume Three & a General Music LP release > COLORI.