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conducted by
Soprano sax


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Serial number
FRT 412

Album cover copyright (c) 2005 Rai Trade Edizioni Musicali; review copyright (c) 2006 James Southall



Light and breezy but rather insubstantial effort


After a year of writing particularly heavy music for a variety of sombre dramas (including the wonderful Fateless), Ennio Morricone finished 2005 with a considerably lighter project, Lucia.  I'm sorry to say that I have no idea what it's about, except that it's an Italian tv movie directed by Pasquale Pozzessere (try saying that after a few pints of Stella) and starring Sabrina Ferilli in the title role.  (In my research for this review I managed to learn nothing about the film, but I did learn that Sabrina Ferilli is the daughter of a prominent Italian communist who has extreme views in that direction herself.  Calm down, Comrade McCarthy.  A biography I found also says that she is a fan of AS Roma and once advertised a brand of spaghetti.)

Perhaps in addition to this fascinating information about the lead actress in the film, I should write a little about the music.  In some ways it seems to be a throwback to Morricone's very light scores of the 1970s.  The opening cue "Sabrina e Roma" is a very light pop piece, dominated by soprano sax (which is an acquired taste, for sure) and featuring an element which goes on to appear throughout the majority of the score, a drum kit, to be honest sounding untypically out of date for this composer.  The second piece, "Il Dolore della Speranza", is slightly more serious and dramatic, and all the better for it.  "Una Strana Famiglia" returns to the very light, summery style, which is OK for a while but does slightly outstay its welcome.

One of the subthemes is very similar in nature to Morricone's popular "Chi Mai" piece from Maddalena (and many others).  Heard most fully in "Con Tristezza", it does sound quite dated, but is still attractive enough.  "Di Una Strada All'Angolo" is a lively, cosmopolitan piece (there's a cymbalom, an accordion, all sorts) which is perhaps slightly gypsy in nature, and is impressive.  "Lucia a Roma" includes a repeating phrase which is virtually the same as the famous opening couple of bars of the Once Upon a Time in the West theme, which is a little offputting to say the least, but then it develops into a gorgeous string theme so typical of the composer's modern day music.  "Nei Vicoli" is where the 70s stylings come together in the biggest way, with the stabbing strings, drum beat and guitars recalling various sexy, stylish thriller scores from the composer during that period.

After a run of such superb dramatic efforts from Morricone, Lucia makes for a nice change of pace, but is a relatively minor effort by the veteran composer.  It's always nice to hear new music from him and it's wonderful to see that he is still working with such frequency, but to be honest an effort like Lucia is likely to simply be swallowed up in a Morricone fan's collection when considered alongside all of his wonderful, classic works.  It has a lovely sunny, European sound to it that is unlike anything any other composer would come up with, and it's easy to be harsh on Morricone simply because his standards are so high, so I would still say this is one that most fans of the composer's lightest scores will enjoy, but it's not a substantial effort.

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  1. Sabrina e Roma (3:29)
  2. Il Dolore della Speranza (4:07)
  3. Una Stana Famiglia (2:29)
  4. Il Sogno e Il Pianto (2:20)
  5. Nei Vicoli (3:28)
  6. Serena Notte (4:15)
  7. Con Tristezza (3:42)
  8. Di Una Strada All'Angolo (2:13)
  9. Lucia a Roma (3:29)
  10. Il Dolore della Speranza (3:51)
  11. Nei Vicoli (5:16)
  12. Serena Notte (2:17)
  13. Lucia (2:20)
  14. Un Pianino nella Via (2:41)