Ciao, Maestro Alessandroni! (1925-2017)

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Spaghetti Western’s main voice, Roman Maestro Alessandro Alessandroni, died Sunday. He was 92.

A gifted guitar player, Alessandroni is the famous whistling man heard on numerous Ennio Morricone scores, including those by the Sergio Leone-Clint Eastwood tandem. Beside playing various instruments he  founded (and directed) I Cantori Moderni, the insane ensemble choir  who provided for composer Ennio Morricone the hyenas sound and other thrilling voices to, as the best known example, The Good the Bad and the ugly, but also provided its fair share of gracious moments by featuring, among others, the voices of  Edda d’ell Orso (Once upon a time in the West) and Alessandroni’s  wife, Giulia De Mutiis.

Alessandro Alessandroni is a soundtrack hero who’s sound helped shape the soundtracks to come without ever being fully acknowledged for his valuable output.

I’ll cite soundtrack specialist Claudio Fuiano, about the death of the Maestro:

Ciao Alessandro!
Your guitar, your whistle, your choir are part of our existence of Cinema and Film Music lovers.

Well said. Ciao, Maestro!

One excerpt of a late Live performance – 2012:

Planet of the Apes OST – Jerry Goldsmith

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Mondo Records edited a 2x LP version of Jerry Goldsmith seminal score to 1968 Sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes.

The first installment of the Arthur P. Jacobs franchise, based on the source novel by Pierre Boule, was to be helm by J. Lee Thompson who stepped down because of a schedule conflict (It was also, at one point,  a Blake Edwards project). Star Charlton Heston suggested Franklin J. Schaffner should direct relying on the work they did together with the under rated The Warlord (1965). Schaffner, who only directed the first film, provided strong and efficient direction in creating an overall ambiance for a strange new world that lifted the picture to critical and box office success spanning several sequels.

To achieve the full experience, a substantial supplement was needed. Enter Jerry Goldsmith. Already a rising voice in film and TV music, Continue reading

Twisted Nerve OST – Bernard Herrmann

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It was worth the wait.

Stylotone, The Bernard Herrmann Estate, and Quentin Tarantino teamed up for the Release of ‘Twisted Nerve OST’

And it looks and sounds great!

After Tarantino revived Bernard Herrmann’s iconic whistled theme (used for his 2002 film ‘Kill Bill: Vol. 1’) after taken it from the obscure 60’s Brit Psycho thriller Twisted Nerve, it was exposed to a new audience.

All Herrmann’s sense for chilling and powerful evocation is at work. The score Continue reading

10 Film Themes – 10 covers

 

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It is always fascinating how film scores helped shape modern music. Through the years many rock musicians paid tribute to film composers. Here’s a little sample:

 

1) Django – Italian version (L. Bacalov) performed by Joe Preston

Bassist to such cult acts of Doom metal as Sunn O)), The Melvins and Earth, Joe Preston (a decade before Quentin Tarantino)  paid hommage to Luis Bacalov opening song to Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 classic using the Italian version which wasn’t retain in the final cut of the film but made it on releases of the score. Preston (under the name The Thrones) is a one man band, his bass activating the midi equipment surrounding him.

 

2) Cape Fear (B. Herrmann) performed by Fantomas

The Supergroup Fantomas (made of members of Mr Bungle, Slayers and The Melvins) released an album of film music covers titled Director’s Cut. This is their rendition of Bernard Herrmann’s music to British 1960 cult classic Cape Fear as well as Continue reading

Altered States OST (John Corigliano)

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A new deluxe Re-mastered-for-vinyl 180 Gram LP re-issue of the soundtrack to Ken Russel 1980’sci-fi extravaganza, Altered states, about a scientist conducting research in an isolation tank under the influence of psychoactive drugs, was just released by Waxwork Records.

The original RCA Red Seal labelled Oscar nominated score by former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, John Corigliano ( Christopher Keene is conducting) gets the Wax Work treatment under license by Sony Masterworks. The audio has been sourced from the original masters. The New mastering (by Thomas DiMuzio) with great sound is composer approved.

After a tiring day working on Altered States, in 1979, director Russell was out for Continue reading