4 out of 5
Label: Waxwork Records
Produced by: Thomas Dimuzio (remaster)
A beautiful, enduring score, with its few flaws – that it’s more of a repeated theme than a fully cinematic score; that it’s non-thematic moments don’t necessarily feel of the same movie – blamable on this being Pino Donaggio’s first movie music, and also impressively minor flaws, given how strong that main theme is.
Without stepping through the movie’s plot, the song titles tell a tale, which is moodily carried through the music: of children’s themes; of love and loss; of wandering. A recognizable, light-hearted melody is twisted and turned across the A- and B-sides of this album into something playful, and haunting, and contemplative, all in turn. But because some of the linking moments – while excellent on their own, making memorable use of discordant strings or floating flute lines – don’t quite sync with that main tune, Donaggio can’t quite dig deep enough, emotionally; that is, the throughline is severed here and there. However, that’s where the relative short runtime of the album is a plus: it’s easy to listen to again and again, allowing one to dig out that emotion through repetition.
Waxwork’s mastering of the release leaves the more minimalist moments very quiet, which is something I’ve often found with their reissues / remasters. It could definitely be my cheapie system, but it makes me think this is probably a better, more intimate listen on headphones.
Despite my grousing, such is the strength of the core musical ideas and mood that Donaggio brings to the album that it is something you want to keep flipping over and starting again, meaning the flaws very easily sink to the background as you’re swept up by that wonderful theme…