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  • sostiene_pereiraComposed by Ennio Morricone
  • Epic EPC 480383 2 / 1995 / 48:22

A political film set in Portugal in 1938, Sostiene Pereira stars Marcello Mastroianni as a newspaper editor who makes a stand against the oppressive forces at work in his country.  It was the eighth collaboration of nine between director Roberto Faenza and composer Ennio Morricone, and also the start of another important collaboration for Morricone. This was the first time he worked with Portuguese Fado singer Dulce Pontes, whose powerful vocals are lent to the song “A Brisa do Coracao”, which opens and closes the album (and is probably its strongest feature).  They have since worked together on a full album (the wonderful “Focus”, in which she sings 15 Morricone songs) and on another film score (La Luz Prodigiosa); and she has been a regular performer at his concerts.  The song here is a stunner, a beautiful melody which perfectly showcases Pontes’s voice.

The score is not quite so easy to enjoy, impressive though it is.  Much of it is laden with suspense, with low-end piano, brass and percussion dominating.  It’s very effective, and somewhat reminiscent of the composer’s work on the various classical “social films” he scored in the late 1960s and early 70s, but I wouldn’t listen if you have a nervous disposition!  There’s a gorgeous classical guitar piece in the middle which seems rather out of place, but it’s a beauty so I don’t care.  Otherwise, the highlights are where Morricone extracts the melody from the song and has the orchestra play it – it doesn’t quite have the power of the vocal version, but is still impressive, particularly when guitars join in.  This is the sort of Morricone score that almost gets lost and forgotten about because of the greatness of what is elsewhere in his body of work, but it’s certainly worth seeking out – especially for that song!  ***

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