Two scores from relatively obscure Italian productions made in the late
Il Profeta (AKA: Mr. Kinky/The Prophet) released in 1968 is one of many
'hippy' inspired comedies that littered those uninhibited days of yore and
the main theme 'Titoli' is just what you might expect, a swinging piece of
pop fluff with fashionable (for the time) brass flourishes. Anyone familiar
with this cinematic era will instantly recognise the style. And this theme
gets many work-outs, most notably on the manic ragtime 'Versione
Clavicembalo' and the aptly named 'Rumba-Shake'. Other than this there is
another recurring theme introduced inauspiciously on 'Tema d'amore-Raga
Indiano' in an awkward, unattractive Sitar version and this piece too gets a
whole host of interpretations, including brass band on 'Tema d'amore-Versione
Marcia' and rock n' roll on 'Tema d'amore-versione Shake'.
Interminable variations on one or two themes can become rapidly wearisome and
despite the nostalgic value of the times, I'm sorry to say that this is just
so much inconsequential fluff. While I'm sure there will be those who enjoy
such things, Trovaioli's music just isn't a very good example of the genre.
In complete contrast, at least in musical style, La Matriarca (AKA: The
Libertine/The Matriarch) (1969) is unabashedly romantic and while it may be
an improvement on the previously heard frothy comedy pop, it does have one
fatal flaw. Only one theme, played over and over again.
'Titoli' is slushy romantics in the continental style and to be fair, it's
not too bad, but from here on it is repeated over the course of nine cues
with only mild variation, the low-light being the seven minute plus 'Dream
Version', which at that length is just too much to endure. There's even the
obligatory vocal take with 'L'Amore Dice Ciao'.
I'm baffled to understand why anyone would feel this material was worth
releasing. Although the La Matriarca melody is more appealing that anything
from Il Profeta, your patience soon begins to wear thin as it is repeated ad
nauseam. In fact I defy anyone other than perhaps the composer himself to say
that they would enjoy listening to this right the way through. Okay, select
two or three tracks from the entire CD and it's acceptable, but as it stands
this provides such limited value it's almost shocking.
Even allowing for the fact that I quite liked the La Matriarca theme, I
really can't say very much that's positive about this release. There just
isn't enough different material to justify it. Sadly all we have is a
self-indulgent, at times monotonous affair that will only appeal to
completists or those who crave repetition.