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 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 7:23 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

FIVE MAN ARMY
Un esercito di cinque uomini
Classical Western Morricone
#26


It has been days since I've been able to do anything. When someone like John Barry, Jerry Goldsmith or Elmer Bernstein passes away a piece of me dies. A piece of me I can never get back. But this morning it has strengthened my resolve about what I am doing here. Number one is to treasure the likes of John Williams and Ennio Morricone because we still have them here with us today. In particular Morricone who is 82. Do you know how many composers even make it to that age, let alone continue working? Here is Morricone at Albert Hall last year doing CINEMA PARADISO:



But for you Barry fans what if someone said "Outside of THE LION IN WINTER and some James Bond scores John Barry never wrote anything great"? I’m sure there would be an outcry like no other heard from all corners of this board. Well, no one would ever say that. Why? Because Barry lived and worked here in America on big American films like MIDNIGHT COWBOY, OUT OF AFRICA and DANCES WITH WOLVES so the evidence of his superiority is at hand. But if Barry fans can feel just the bristle of outrage, injustice and maybe depression that such a statement evokes they can get a clue about my world regarding Morricone.. But rather than come back with epithets and insults (which is standard operating procedure on this board) I have decided to build a house of bricks as evidence of Morricone’s greatness that no one can blow over. This is brick #26 and when I am finished the house that I show you will have the elegance of John Barry's house, the eclecticism of Jerry Goldsmith's estate, the traditional lines of John Williams's abode and it will have been bulit on a solid foundation like Elmer Bernstein's old place.



Don't ask me why but of all Morricone's westerns this one's main theme reminds me of a classical piece, despite part of it's orchestrations sounding like someone is stepping on a frog. I always imagined if someone did some sedate chamber version of this it would fit right into the repertoire:



Like HORNET’S NEST this film has an American director but the rest of the crew and most of the cast seems to be Italian. But the sound is actual recorded-on-set dialogue rather than the traditional Italian dubbing. So this soundtrack seems more synched-to-picture cues rather than the cut and paste ones that usually accompany spaghetti westerns. As a result there are more themes. A gentle revolutionary theme called “I Bambini e i Fiori” (Flowers and Food), a theme of camaraderie among “The Five” called “Cinque Amici, Cinque Eroi”, a heroic theme that is a precursor to themes like THE TREASURE OF FOUR CROWNS and the most traditionally Morricone sounding piece “Muerte Donde Vas” although the one vocal of it sounds unique and tragic. A very full score!
I also am delighted to defer the glossy 20 page booklet FSM for lots of information, pictures, backstories and analysis. If only all these releases had what FSM furnishes regularly. Thanks FSM. Again Bruno Nicolai is conducting and I have no doubt that is Alessandro Alessandrini stepping on that frog.
According to those notes there is a question as to how much director Don Taylor did and how much the producer Italo Zingarelli (who has also directed) was responsible for. Morricone did work with that producer again on STAGIONI DEI SENSI while never again with Don Taylor. This was also one of the last screenplays Dario Argento did before he began his career in horror the next year with THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE...scored by Ennio Morricone.
This unique bridge between Morricone’s comedy westerns and his intense serious ones is on my top 5.






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 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

I've had the combo CD of FIVE MAN ARMY and THE LINK for a long time (and of course upgraded to the FSM release), and I have played that main title from FIVE countless times. I think it's one of Il Maestro's strongest western themes. I find it infinitely memorable and hummable (even more fun if you can do the sound effects with it). The aspects of the main theme that resonate the most with me are those ominous, sustained strings in the background that remain through most of the cue. Morricone is brilliant at providing musical landscapes like that, a backbone of sustained strings (or other instruments for other themes) that support the piece and distinguish it (the main theme to WOLF is another good example).

Wonderful selection, Henry!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I have decided to build a house of bricks as evidence of Morricone’s greatness that no one can blow over. This is brick #26 and when I am finished the house that I show you will have the elegance of John Barry's house, the eclecticism of Jerry Goldsmith's estate, the traditional lines of John Williams's abode and it will have been bulit on a solid foundation like Elmer Bernstein's old place.


I wanted to repeat this because it's so damn good.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

I've had the combo CD of FIVE MAN ARMY and THE LINK for a long time (and of course upgraded to the FSM release), and I have played that main title from FIVE countless times. I think it's one of Il Maestro's strongest western themes. I find it infinitely memorable and hummable (even more fun if you can do the sound effects with it). The aspects of the main theme that resonate the most with me are those ominous, sustained strings in the background that remain through most of the cue. Morricone is brilliant at providing musical landscapes like that, a backbone of sustained strings (or other instruments for other themes) that support the piece and distinguish it (the main theme to WOLF is another good example).

Wonderful selection, Henry!


Thanks, David. And thanks for the new button, it might help more people to participate if they know they have a self-defense mechanism for those out-of-control posts.
Then it can be about the music which is what I'm trying to do here.

 
 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   Chris Rimmer   (Member)

Great score, written by one of the most inventive composers ever to write for the screen.

One of my favourite scores and now thanks to F.S.M, we have it in all it's glory.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 12:39 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I have, as yet, failed to get the FSM release and I think this is partly due to indifference. I'm sure I should enjoy the score more with the better sound, etc. and, had this been a few years ago, that CD would be in my collection (as I used to buy all releases I could get hold of).

I find the Beat album pairing with Extrasensorial (Blood Link) divides my attention ... I much prefer the second score which I play a lot. In the title score I love the very melodic track but find the main themes less interesting.

Again, it is overdue a visit so maybe a little later today ...

Edit: now played - and enjoyed - though I can't rate it as highly as others apparantly do. Whilst I thoroughly enjoy the softer melodic themes, the tracks Una Corsa Disperata and, to a lesser extent, Contro Il Tempo were less enjoyable. I'm pretty sure that the former track seems to crop up on my random play more than its fair share of times and this has clouded my feelings a little towards the score!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 11:59 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

I have decided to build a house of bricks as evidence of Morricone’s greatness that no one can blow over. This is brick #26 and when I am finished the house that I show you will have the elegance of John Barry's house, the eclecticism of Jerry Goldsmith's estate, the traditional lines of John Williams's abode and it will have been bulit on a solid foundation like Elmer Bernstein's old place.


I wanted to repeat this because it's so damn good.


Wow! I actually like that myself. Here's hoping I can live up to it.

 
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