A treasure trove of work from the great Stelvio Cipriani – three full albums in a single package! First up is Femina Ridens – penned for a 1969 Italian thriller with psycho-sexual overtones, and done with music that has elements of both! At some points, Cipriani has all the erotic touches of his best early 70s work – but at others, he uses late 60s modes that evoke Morricone and Piero Umiliani, especially the latter's playful use of instrumentation in his more outlandish soundtracks! The music grows a bit more tense as the film moves on, but usually has a sense of lightness overall – and a number of tracks feature wordless vocals, sung either by Edda Dell'Orso or I Cantori Moderni. The CD offers up beautiful remastering of the music, and features 7 bonus tracks that weren't on the original release – a total of 19 tunes that include "Week End With Mary", "Love Symbol", "Hot Skin", "Chorus & Brass Fugato", "Redezvous In The Castle", "Femina Ridens", "The Run In The Alley", and "The Shower". Next is La Morte Cammina Con I Tacchi Alti – music set to loads of sweet scoring that includes bossa
-inspired rhythms, bubbling organ lines, and some great female vocals from Nora Orlandi! The record's a fair bit like some of Morricone's best from the period – with a similar mixture of the dark and the light dancing together magically, all in a blend that's sometimes lush, but which often has a stripped-down, nicely compressed feel that gets right to the core elements of the most beautiful tunes. Given the bloody images used on the cover and inside the notes to the booklet, you'd hardly expect the record to be so sweet – but it's filled with dreamy numbers that go way beyond the simple slasher theme of the film! Titles include "Fantasia Tragica", "Night Club Girl", "Shopping", "Felicita", "Dopo Cena", "Hallory Mano Di Legno", "Rivelazioni Di Un Assassino", "Al Pub", and "Il Comandante". Last is L'Iguana Dalla Lingua Di Fuoco – tremendous stuff, and the kind of soundtrack that's putting Stelvio Ciprani at the top of our list of favorite composers these days! The film itself is a dark early 70s Italian horror movie – but Cipriani's music is much lighter, almost dreamy at times – with a blend of slightly erotic themes, and a few slightly darker moments. The lighter tracks dominate, though – and even when supposedly tense, they use a beautifully spare, beautifully timed sort of instrumentation that flows softly and sweetly – not really funky, but with an inherent sense of rhythm, however mellow and slow. Woodwinds are almost watery at times, and titles include "Nuovo Delitto", "Tema D'Amore", "Night Club", "Intrusione", "Scogliere", "Interrogatorio", and "Lotta & Morte Dell'Assassino".