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Vite Strozzate
  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • Screentrax / 1998 / 40:30

A Rome-based crime drama from 1996, Ricky Tognazzi’s Vite Strozzate stars Vincent Lindon as a man who desperately needs some money for his business to survive and ends up borrowing it from someone he really shouldn’t.  As director, Tognazzi – son of the famous actor Ugo – has been fortunate enough to get many of his films scored by Ennio Morricone (Canone Inverso inspiring one of the maestro’s most wonderful late-career scores).  This action-packed score is full of the kind of music the composer has written a lot for crime dramas through his career – the choppy strings, brass stings, keyboards – and he pulls it all together nicely here.

The opening two tracks introduce the two main “themes” (I call them that but don’t expect the standard lush melodies!) – “Citta Coloniale” a kind of musical representation of an enveloping urban nightmare; and “Vite Strozzate” an even more intense, slightly discomforting piece dominated by an uneasy electric guitar solo.  Later, “Morte dell’Antiquario” is one of several first-rate action pieces, hugely effective in the way it builds excitement through the ever-more-urgent little string runs that have been such a feature of Morricone’s music for such films over the years.  There’s nothing especially earth-shattering here, and the styler is very familiar from other scores, but the music’s so energetic and so entertaining, it’s very easy to enjoy.  The 13-minute suite of suspense music that closes the album, “Ritratti Contrapposti dell’Immoralita feature has a few portions that don’t make particularly pleasant listening, but otherwise it’s all good stuff.  *** 1/2 |

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