Thursday, January 26, 2017

Alessandro Alessandroni - Prisma Sonoro

Composer: Alessandro Alessandroni
Title: Prisma Sonoro
Year: 1974

Those familiar with the work of Ennio Morricone might know Alessandro Alessandroni as the multi-instrumentalist whose Fender guitar and beautiful, clear whistling can be heard on some of Morricone's most iconic work. What they might not know is that Alessandroni was a masterful composer in his own right, scoring over 40 films and releasing countless albums of absolute music. Of those albums, Prisma Sonoro is perhaps the finest and the only non-soundtrack album for which Alessandroni had access to a full orchestra. Regarding the instrumentation, Alessandroni said:

"The editor gave me total freedom, so I composed for a great orchestra with 16 violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos, it was truly fun. It isn't often that a producer leaves you free to compose whatever you want."

As with much of the Italian soundtrack music of the 70's, Alessandroni doesn't limit himself to just a traditional orchestra here: it is often driven by drum set and electric bass and frequently employs electric guitar, harpsichord and wordless female vocals.  As often heard in Morricone's work, Alessandroni makes significant use of doubled melodies on Prisma Sonoro (two instruments playing the same melody in unison), which contributes to the lushness of this impeccably orchestrated work.

Though it has similarities to much of the Italian soundtrack work of the period, Prisma Sonoro enjoys the distinction of having each track be a unique composition with no repetition and variation of themes.  As such it is one of the most pleasurable albums to listen through from start to finish among his work and among the genre at large.

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