Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


Pino DONNAGIO Music From The Cinema (Vol II) PACIFIC TIME PTE-8502-2 [73:07]


Crotchet (UK)

Amazon (USA)

For anyone making the immediate Brian DePalma connection and little else, this is an essential listen. Like the Piovani collection, this is a nice cross range of stylistic moods and a terrific promo ! There are 6 films represented, and a 73 minute running time allows generous opportunity to showcase them.

Il Carniere is a broad beginning. The titular cue mournfully merges strings with guitar, while "La radura dei palchi" surprises in contrast by pan pipes and a wailing female voice. They’re followed by a relentless hurtling string passage in "Fucili pronti", a variety of ethnic instruments in "Alba Slovena", and a sweet harmonica backing strings for the gentle finale to the suite. All this in just the one score too.

There are several cues for electronics elsewhere on the album. If I’m honest I have to admit they sound dated. Sometimes that endears you even more; they’ll sound quaint perhaps. To my ear there’s something about keyboard sounds from the 70’s and 80’s that often sounds very chintzy - and not in a good way.

It’s time to note that the packaging of these two releases is rather different. The covers are striking if a little abstract, but the booklets leave a little to be desired. We’ve come across the empty pages before, but the pain in these cases are that soloists go uncredited. In the case of the female voice in "La Comunione" from La Monaca Di Monza that’s an absolute crime. The operatics of this suite, complete with church organ are quite extraordinary.

The final score is Squillo which presents the most dramatic change in styles of one cue I’ve heard in a while. "Poland’s Fields" starts with a jig for piano and fiddle, then suddenly bursts into a synth drum beat with guitars and keyboards. The melody is continued, but it’s quite a shock. Thankfully it all ends with "Love, passion, and death" which soothes the shock away with a lovely saxophone line.

It’s not as easy a listen as the Piovani collection, but still as much of an education.


Paul Tonks


Ian Lace

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