Rome-born film composer Ennio Morricone has more than 350 film scores to
his name. His concert hall music is not as well known. In this disc the two
worlds meet in a surprising and not always totally agreeable way. The
Cadenza for solo flute and magnetic tape sounds decidedly exotic -
a step onwards from Griffes Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan..The
Four Studies (1980s) for solo piano are tougher going and alternate
crepuscular sounds bedecked in atonal colours with rushes and storms which
reminded me of the pianola music of Conlon Nancarrow. The Rag in Frantumi
(piano) (1986) is more of the same although the rushes are potsherds
of ragtime convulsions. Challenging and not at all in Morricones accustomed
style of honeyed romance.
That oxymoronic vein of sorrowing/joyous romance asserts itself in the last
four tracks - arrangements for flute and piano of his film music. These all
link with music he wrote for films between 1969 and 1979. Per le Antiche
Scale muses in Poulencian purity, with hints of Fauré and
Beethovens Moonlight Sonata. LEreditta Ferramoniti
is a perfect little nostalgic reflection, as is the musing
Allonsanfan/Il Prato. Mosè is the song of a rather morose
poet which in the piano voice links across to the peppery concert works which
take up the first 6 tracks on the disc.
The performances seem dedicated, accomplished and fully engaged by the music.
The notes are fine but regrettably are not a complete translation of the
original Italian text. A disc for venturesome Morricone fans although it
yields Dresden fragile charms for others.