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TUTTE LE DONNE DELLA MIA VITA
Lovely light comedy score full of melodic charm
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
* * * 1/2
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2007 EMI Music Publishing Italia; review copyright (c) 2007 James Southall
Ennio Morricone has been going through a rather heavy phase lately, scoring a variety of very serious-minded projects (mostly for Italian television) - many of these scores are fantastic, but it is nice all the same that Tutte le Donne della mia Vita, his latest score to be released, is the most lighthearted thing he's done in years. A romantic comedy directed by Simona Izzo (who co-wrote the Morricone-scored Il Papa Buono), it got savage reviews upon its release in Italy, but as with many projects scored by the maestro, I daresay most of the world outside Italy is destined to never see it.
Fortunately, its music will live on. The theme which opens the score, "Zucchero Filato", is almost unbelievably light and disposable, coming across as a pop instrumental - but a quite lovely one, with a lovely tune - think of something like "The Girl from Ipanema", I guess. While the rest of the score is not quite this light, it remains blessedly airy throughout. "Il Riccio" is a lovely theme - the pop feel continues, but it's a little more sophisticated pop, with a gorgeous viola solo and charming harpsichord accompaniment. The oddly-titled "Red Jungle 25" is a slightly darker-hued version of the theme in "Zucchero Filato" - it's a catchy theme!
In the titular fourth track, Morricone interrupts the light pop with one of his killer love themes, and it's a real beauty with the trademark swooping strings and heartmelting melody. How he does it I've no idea, but he continues to throw these themes out which for other composers would be a once-in-a-lifetime effort, seemingly with each new score. "Stromboli" is slightly more serious, a slightly tragic theme which is another fine effort. Things return to normal (for this score) in "Oblo'", another piece of light music, but again it's highly pleasant. "Pizzicati e Altro" will bring a smile to the face - only Morricone would insert such complex string harmonies into what is essentially a piece of throwaway easy listening music, and get away with it.
There's a bit of a surprise with the inclusion of the song "Se Telefonando" which Morricone wrote over forty years ago and which was made famous by the Italian singer Mina. It's a new recording - the vocalist, bizarrely, is uncredited - and a very fine version of the song. It's a brilliant bit of Europop, cheesy for sure, but it conjures up images of sundrenched young couples walking arm-in-arm down a beautiful Sicilian beach, or something - great stuff. There's another arrangement, a slower, dreamlike (and very different-sounding) one in "Camera Iperbarica".
This is a delightful score - it's so insubstantial, it would be easy to dismiss it, but even in this Morricone manages to provide such colour and repeated listens reveal unexpected depth. Even though three or four of the tracks are repeated with no discernable variation later in the album, at just under 40 minutes it never becomes repetitive and is, in fact, just the kind of score that one could easily listen to, two or three times in a row. It's very much recommended to fans of his pop-based 60s and 70s scores.