A contemporary of Nino Rota, Alessandro Cicognini is a classical-trained composer who scored about 150 movies in his native Italy and also worked on some American coproductions like the two films featured here. This is a CD premiere for these vintage original soundtracks albums.
Terminal Station (1953) focuses on the last encounter at Rome's central train station of a remorseful married woman and her Italian lover. From a script by Cesare Zavattini and with dialog by writer Truman Capote, Vittorio De Sica directed this English language melodrama starring Montgomery Clift and Jennifer Jones, the wife of executive producer David O. Selznick. Unsatisfied of the result, Selznick cut nearly one third of the movie’s running time for the American market, newly retitled Indiscretion of an American Wife.
De Sica called here on maestro Alessandro Cicognini, as he did a few years earlier for his typical neorealism movies that have become classics of Italian cinema : Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves and Umberto D. The composer provided all the sweeping lyricism required to highlight this intimate and rather static duet. The beautiful melodies that blossom in every selection are mainly carried by the violins, whose fervor nearly makes us forget the age of the recording.
Martin Ritt’s drama The Black Orchid (1958) tells of the efforts of a widow and a widower to start a new life together with the approbation of their troublesome children. The title refers to the stern charm of the main character Rose (Sophia Loren) at the beginning of the story, as well as her work in an artificial flowers factory. The happy ending fits within the scope of Hollywood pattern but Sophia Loren proves once again that she can offer much more than just her exceptional beauty, while Anthony Quinn delivers a flawless performance as the widower, playing a down to earth man with an infectious joy of living.
The music by Cicognini recalls Rose's Italian origins. It takes the form of suites that were obviously rerecorded or at least remixed for the original stereophonic album. Besides a few dramatic passages spiced with occasional jazz elements, the 30 minutes soundtrack notably offers a recurrent delightful love theme arranged for flute, clarinet and strings, complemented with a lighter Hurdy Gurdy Song, which is actually played on the piano organ and then the accordion with full orchestral accompaniment. 12-page color booklet.
INDISCRETION OF AN AMERICAN WIFE (1953) mono
1. Terminal Station 4:07
2. The Meeting 4:19
3. Rendez-vous 3:41
4. Search and Near Accident 3:21
5. Deserted Car 2:37
6. Decision 3:56
7. Parting 2:49
THE BLACK ORCHID (1958) stereo
8. Prologue 2:27
9. Hurdy Gurdy Song 2:05
10. First Meeting / State Farm 5:27
11. Love Theme / Rhumba / Reprise Love Theme 5:19
12. Deep Thought / Rose Consents 1:52
13. Ralphie blames Roses 2:17
14. Hurdy Gurdy Song 2:53
15. Ralphie Returns 4:43
16. Love Theme and Hurdy Gurdy Song Finale 3:09
Total Time 55:20