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 Posted:   Mar 20, 2011 - 10:12 AM   
 By:   Patrick B   (Member)

La sconociuta (The unknown woman)
CD RCA Sony BMG 88697027922

The Tornatore film from year 2006 is not a big project, but a genre-film, a “film noir”, for which the music shows darkness and virtuosity. It begins softly with the title track, a slow waltz for strings orchestra. The banal melody is not important here, but much more the atmosphere created by the orchestra's colour. This theme have many variations (the CD runs 71 minutes !) : Giocchi infantili derived from this main theme has a more rhythmical treatment, with the harp, featuring a very different appearance, a sadness but with movement.

By soft strings and a singable melody, we enter the “noir” genre, much more present in the second track Entrata, a sort of overture. This quasi-melody as he knows to make shows a fog, his delicious little melodic track but not so, which envelops us without constraint. This form of quasi-melody has numerous examples : Chiaro-scuro by his sweet fog of strings, Quella ninna nanna, a more unquiet continuum of strings, Un violino e un pianoforte insinuati, and Le scale della casa, Il dopo, Cromatismi diatonici and his contradiction between 2 ways apparently not able to be conciliate, and finally Andare e tornare.
The other themes :
Con scioltezza and his syncopated motives, I cannot describe, as it contains numerous and diverse elements : electronic, strings interventions, violin 'scansions (tzigane 'style, disseminated sparsely elsewhere...)
Un arpa per lei : the harp plays a new motive, as it tells a story With the strings background, the whole is delicate and sensitive.
Insopportabile ansia : An alert track with rhythms brought by violins, an ostinato, almost joyful…
Some violent tracks are finally not numerous :
-The famous track 7 Flauto, violino e orchestra , with his “rock metal” 'sound. I am not convinced by this exceptionnal entering in a very different field...
? Primo tempo : the rhythm repeated as a gimmick remains to us La Posada from ...il West ! Recycled in a different way, this piece gives an unquiet atmosphere.
? Esercizio di stile : with virtuosity and variety, expressionist, this tour-de-force is a sort of travel in Bernard Herrmann's field. I particularly like the passage when the theme from Insopportabile… is reprised, giving another dynamism to the piece. You could enjoy it if you like the early 20° century music.
? I forbici is in the similar vein, maybe more haunting and violent, specially in his intro.
The best for the end ? The most astonishing and moving piece is for me Rapido. Why ? Because despite his tzigane flavor, it sound totally new and exciting. A rhythm given by pizzicati, scansions and numerous lines of string, it show and assume a virtuosity, both in the writing and the performance. The brief and numerous violins lines take the audience, in at the same time menacing and alert way.
As an epilogue, the track Una vita serena seems to play another theme, large and majestic with his foggy strings ensemble. More than half of this long CD takes and don't leave us.

Patrick B

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2011 - 7:36 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

I'm really surprised that there has been virtually no discussion of this Morricone score to a Tornatore film. Maybe the film is too obscure or has seen little interest? This is the team that gave us CINEMA PARADISO, MALENA, and BAARIA, after all.

Anyway, I just now saw the film on DVD and was blown away. Amazing film with a fearless performance by Ksenia Rappoport (yeah, I know. Who?). I hope she gets more work.

But the score is wonderful. Morricone continues to amaze even though his bravura barn-busting scores seem to be behind him. When it comes to poignant, beautiful music though, he has no equal. Not to say there isn't some exciting stuff here. I don't agree with all of the previous posters review, but he is mostly on target. I think I liked it more than he did, but I haven't heard the CD yet.

I just ordered it from Amazon at $19.95 even though it is an import (oddly, SAE didn't have it).
I'll be anxious to hear how it plays away from the movie, but I'm fairly confident.

 
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