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 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

'TIS A PITY SHE'S A WHORE
Addio, fratello crudele
Elizabethan Morricone
#27



This series is inspired by a controversy thread where someone posited the idea that besides THE MISSION and some Sergio Leone westerns Ennio Morricone hasn't written anything great. Rather than making my usual comment that most of Morricone's great scores are from Italy and trying to get Americans to listen to them is like getting them to see movies with subtitles, I decided to take another tact. Since I am at an age where I will only be able to make my case a finite number of times I decided to turn this into a series presenting each great score one at a time, sort of like recordman.

This time Morricone ventures into Delerue territory with elegant results. He joins with distiguished Italian playwright, screenwriter and newly a director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi for the second time. Morricone would write a third score and arrange songs written by Casare Bixio for Griffi's THE DIVINE NYMPH. And for good measure Ennio wrote the score to FOR LOVE ONE DIES based on a Griffi play.I have no doubt Griffi chose to do this piece by Elizabethan playwright John Ford because his fellow countryman Franco Zeffirelli had such success a couple years back with ROMEO AND JULIET. This gave Morricone the opportunity to write as memorable a melody as any could imagine:



Morricone writes Elizabethan folk tunes, idyllic pastorals, religious pieces but most of all romantic interludes. And when the plot turns murderous towards the end we get Elizabethan dissonance. You get a sense if this film had been even half as successful as ROMEO AND JULIET this music would have been famous.
My first encounter with this score was in 1979 when CAM the Italian soundtrack label decided to do limited editions on LP of unreleased scores. It was a great idea that flopped because the two releases they did were double LPs (no discount) that had one unreleased score (IL BIDONE, ADDIO FRATEELLO CRUDELE) plus a re-release that was kinda readily available (JULIET OF THE SPIRITS, INCONTRO). Sound familiar?
The Digitmovies release is chockful of delights, all conducted by Bruno Nicolai with choral work by I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni.



I would like to also dedicate this series to Mr. Marshal whose comment on the Barry obituary thread warmed the cockles of my heart:
like Morricone's work on westerns JB was a genius in a specific genre.
Of course they both did some very fine work in other areas, but there greatness resides in these unique areas
hey, who cares aboout Wagner's music outside of his opera's?
bruce


#1 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74811&forumID=1&archive=0
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 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 6:15 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Wow! The first entry to get no response at all.
For this score I am surprised. Is it because of the questionable youtube sound or is interest waning.

 
 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 8:33 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Delicious. Gorgeous. Sold. Gonna git it. Thank you. smile

 
 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 9:53 PM   
 By:   Michael_McMahan   (Member)

It is gorgeous, but you may have missed your window for the time being, David. It's one of the harder to aquire Digitmovies releases.

But yes. Somber and beautiful.

 
 Posted:   Feb 2, 2011 - 11:56 PM   
 By:   wayoutwest   (Member)

Wow! The first entry to get no response at all.
For this score I am surprised. Is it because of the questionable youtube sound or is interest waning.


No keep her lit Henry keep on going wink
I like this score very much.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 12:28 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Wow! The first entry to get no response at all.
For this score I am surprised. Is it because of the questionable youtube sound or is interest waning.


Hi, I missed the thread amongst all the others and am happy to rectify that. It is a fine score which for one reason only doesn't get enough play here ... I dip into my collection haphazardly and this score just doesn't get picked.

I shall rectify that today.

There is a certain darkness about the score which may fit the material (another film I have not seen) but does make it less inviting than, say, Maestro Rota's score to Romeo and Juliet (to which you refer).

Edit: Having played it whilst doing some work this morning I did enjoy it a lot and hope I don't leave it off the play list for too long again. Stand-out track (in that it made me check what track was playing) - enjoyably so - was Il Mio Mondo Con Lei Era Perfetto ... absolutely gorgeous.

 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 12:56 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

The melancholic themes for this picture, about incest and slaughter, speaks to me beyond the period trappings.
While 'Morricone' describes this Morricone opus as Elizabethan, this is one soundtrack which resonates dramatically while using 17th century models of musical form - ADDIO, FRATELLO CRUDELE is no mere collection of Renaissance dance music sources (which sometimes occurs on soundtracks for historical films).

Perhaps it's this 'dark' quality which keeps me coming back to this Morricone album more times than any other Morricone title (notwithstanding some of his giallos)

Thanks for spotlighting this score in this Morricone series; my initial suggestion from the outset was to cover 2 of Morricone's soundtracks to films directed by Patroni Griffi - and now both of these have been discussed so far... smile

 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 1:00 AM   
 By:   Loren   (Member)

Wow! The first entry to get no response at all.
For this score I am surprised. Is it because of the questionable youtube sound or is interest waning.


just read this thread today.

Sorry to say that, but it's one of the worst Italian movie ever smile Awfully bad bloody finale!
Here we have the most striking contrast between the low quality of the movie and the top quality of Morricone's music.

 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 1:11 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Sorry to say that, but it's one of the worst Italian movie ever smile Awfully bad bloody finale!

That's Lorenz - wearing his heart on his sword! smile

Here we have the most striking contrast between the low quality of the movie and the top quality of Morricone's music.

Patroni Griffi seems to get dumped on by a lot of people. His movie with Elizabeth Taylor - THE DRIVER'S SEAT - always appears labeled "bad".
I'm very interested in seeing Patroni Griffi's early IL MARE from 1962, but can never locate a copy of this film anywhere. IL MARE reportedly has only 3 nameless characters on a beach setting, and this seems like a very Kafkaesque or existential or Ingmar Bergman-like work.

Has anybody seen a good Patroni Griffi film?

 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 2:15 AM   
 By:   Loren   (Member)

Has anybody seen a good Patroni Griffi film?

Metti una sera a cena is not that bad.

Here he was well known as Opera and Theatre director. He also wrote a very interesting novel like La morte della bellezza (Beauty's death) about a homosexual relationship between a teacher and a teenager somehow resembling the mood of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 1:19 PM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

Morricone would write one more score and conduct another for his friend, composer Cesare A. Bixio for Griffi's THE DIVINE NYMPH. Because his friend was ill there is a small bit of this that Morricone wrote himself.

Sorry, Morricone, but I don't know where you got this very strange info from. Cesare Andrea Bixio, born in 1896, was one of the most famous Italian songwriters active during the 20s, 30s and 40s. He was the founder of the Bixio music publishing group during the 20s and later on also founded the well-known Cinevox Records company in 1960. But he was no longer active as a musician at all during the 60s and even less the 70s.
All those Bixio songs which were only arranged by Morricone as instrumental versions for DIVINA CREATURA in 1975 had already been composed by Bixio decades ago during the 20s and 30s and were incredibly popular in pre-World War II times in Italy. So what Morricone did was he just took these very old songs belonging to that period of the 20s/30s and made new arrangements of them for this film score. I don't think that Bixio himself had anything to do with this. And I also doubt if songwriter Bixio was such a dear friend of Morricone himself.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 1:36 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

Just my opinion, but I find the film quite powerful -- and one of the most beautifully photographed of all time. The cinematography is simply breathtaking -- using only natural light -- utterly ravishing. I also don't mind the melodramatic and confounding finale -- after all it is based on a blood and guts Jacobean tragedy, not a genre known for restraint and common sense. I love the overall design of the film with wooden interiors that are almost futuristic, but still totally natural.

The cast is quite good -- and also quite beautiful. The score, well what can I say -- it is one of my all time favorites. Thank you for your attention to this, Morricone!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2011 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   John Bender   (Member)

"...a controversy thread where someone posited the idea that besides THE MISSION and some Sergio Leone westerns Ennio Morricone hasn't written anything great" - That is not a controversy, it is a popped balloon lying in the gutter - who should stoop to paying such a thing any regard?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Morricone would write one more score and conduct another for his friend, composer Cesare A. Bixio for Griffi's THE DIVINE NYMPH. Because his friend was ill there is a small bit of this that Morricone wrote himself.

Sorry, Morricone, but I don't know where you got this very strange info from. Cesare Andrea Bixio, born in 1896, was one of the most famous Italian songwriters active during the 20s, 30s and 40s. He was the founder of the Bixio music publishing group during the 20s and later on also founded the well-known Cinevox Records company in 1960. But he was no longer active as a musician at all during the 60s and even less the 70s.
All those Bixio songs which were only arranged by Morricone as instrumental versions for DIVINA CREATURA in 1975 had already been composed by Bixio decades ago during the 20s and 30s and were incredibly popular in pre-World War II times in Italy. So what Morricone did was he just took these very old songs belonging to that period of the 20s/30s and made new arrangements of them for this film score. I don't think that Bixio himself had anything to do with this. And I also doubt if songwriter Bixio was such a dear friend of Morricone himself.


Thanks, Stefan. I have misquoted Morricone on Petri, got Oscar info wrong and now you got me on out and out gaffe. You also provided an answer to someone who asked why I didn't write a book about Morricone. If I did this for a living I would be sued by now. Looking into what was going on in my brain (not much) I did find an old letter in MSV the Morricone newsletter, but not about Bixio, but Mario. Except Mario Nascimbene was not just Morricone's friend, Ennio worked for him. And how I transcribed that to Bixio and THE DIVINE NYMPH a film made 15 years later than the one discussed UN MORTE DI AMICO I'll never know.

Best thing that happened I learned more about Bixio than I ever knew and have corrected the post so no one else gets mis-informed.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 10:05 AM   
 By:   Jon Lewis   (Member)

'TIS A PITY is one of my favorite Morriconi (can I be allowed that pluralisation)? If I were to force myself into the nerve-racking act of formulating an EM Top 10 this would stand a very good chance of making it in.

I always hear more of Baroque musical practice in Morricone than in just about any other composer (and in his crime, western and horror scores no less than historicals) and this is a score where that Baroque streak really gets to loom up in your face. So much painful beauty in this music. Thank god it survives in as decent sound quality as it does.

(On reflection, I would say the only other film composer to exhibit as strong a Baroque inheritance is, perhaps, Nyman.)

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 6:46 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Holy Mackeral! I swear I just think of the most varied special selection I can come up with and pull the title off the shelf.
Did a search for this Digitmovies CD that came out in 2006 and only came up one copy on Ebay for $130! Would you believe it!
Well it reminds me of when I was young. I'd either wait for a rare bargain of those rare expensive LPs that would come my way or save up for it. The anticpation used to be cool.
Downloads are available.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 2:16 PM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Indeed I had to go down the download road (think I'll keep that phrase!), never ideal but needs must. Beautiful and melodic Morricone, the type I love and just cant get enough of. This and 'Luz Prodigiosa' (another download) I have been playing a lot recently. Must say Henry, I thought I was doing pretty well with Morricone's European scores, but keeping an eye on your thread series makes me realise there is much, much more. But you have made me aware of some of his stuff I dont think I would ever have got round to hearing, good man!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 3:18 PM   
 By:   Jon Lewis   (Member)

I have an eMusic membership, which is where I bought this excellent, excellent score in download form. It's the CAM edition-- is this identical to the Digitmovies, pretty much?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2011 - 11:57 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Indeed I had to go down the download road (think I'll keep that phrase!), never ideal but needs must. Beautiful and melodic Morricone, the type I love and just cant get enough of. This and 'Luz Prodigiosa' (another download) I have been playing a lot recently. Must say Henry, I thought I was doing pretty well with Morricone's European scores, but keeping an eye on your thread series makes me realise there is much, much more. But you have made me aware of some of his stuff I dont think I would ever have got round to hearing, good man!

Thank You! Thank you! Thank You!
That is my goal. Primarliy to get those who don't know about a lot of this music to listen to it at least once. But also for those who know about him to be aware of how far and wide this guy's talents go.
I'm hoping I'm doing that.

 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2011 - 11:10 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Not familiar with this one but wonderful stuff. Must pick it up.

 
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