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Un Genio, Due Compari, Un Pollo
  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • Hexacord / 2001 / 37:42

A relatively late entry in the spaghetti western genre, the semi-comic Un Genio, Due Compari, Un Pollo (literally “A Genius, Two Partners, A Chicken” but named more mundanely as “The Genius” in the US) starred Terence Hill and is a pseudosequel to My Name Is Nobody.  The wonderfully-named director Damiano Damiani received uncredited assistance from Sergio Leone and, of course, Ennio Morricone was on hand to score. His music is very much in the same vein as My Name Is Nobody, with several pieces being thinly-veiled rewrites of ones the composer wrote for the earlier film.  This is especially true of the comic main title, with its similar arrangement and similarly silly tune, and “Cavalcata… Per Elisa” does for Beethoven’s “Für Elise” what the earlier score’s “Mucchio Selvaggio” did for Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyryies”.  The main theme isn’t nearly as memorable as Nobody‘s, but actually the Beethoven integration is quite brilliant (and gloriously daft).

There is plenty of more serious music here too.  “Il Pollo” is striking and dramatic; “Quando Arriva l’Amore” introduces some more romantic material, pop-based but with the classy vocals of Edda dell’Orso (and more comic tones of a choir) adding a distinctive touch.  I love the gently colourful drama of “Ansia dell’Oro”, fluttering winds and breezy brass providing a picture of bucolic bliss before it gradually gets overwhelmed by more hard-hitting suspense.  My favourite presentation of the main theme comes in “Questa Pazza, Pazza Corsa” with a frankly ludicrous effect running through the track which sounds a bit like a barking dog.  The most beautiful piece is the song “Glory, Glory, Glory” (sung in English by Catherine Howe) and a stunningly beautiful orchestral treatment of it, “Dolore e Gioia”.  The score as a whole certainly isn’t as good as the wonderful My Name Is Nobody, but it’s still very entertaining with several great highlights, though it’s not that easy to find (there’s a very rare Japanese CD and then this Hexacord release from 2001, which added a track from Autostop Rosso Sangue as a bonus).

Rating: *** 1/2

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  1. Antineutrino (Reply) on Sunday 13 January, 2013 at 17:42