Though by no means an essential matter - let's say I'm rather launching a light topic for the week-end! - I've been wondering repeatedly who's hiding under the rather hazy name of "Solisti e Orchestre del Cinema Italiano". Indeed their albums usually supply a biography of the Maestro and liner notes courtesy of Anna Fissi but nothing at all about the actual performers. I searched in vain for some information relative to this enigmatic ensemble on the web and just ended up on websites selling or referencing their albums. I also reread Didier Thunus's excellent contribution in MSV 114 p. 26/27, as part of his article "Re-recordings - a note for a note" but Didier either didn't know who this amorphous gathering of musicians is made of save for the fact they used to call themselves "The A to Z Orchestra" before. It seems their career started with covering up the Dollar trilogy and Morricone's themes elected by Tarantino for his movies as well as some stuff by Nino Rota including a very disappointing 2 CD set "34 rare and unavailable soundtracks - film music 1933-79". I own so far only the following EM re-recordings: THE BOSSA NOVA AND SAMBA SOUNDTRACKS (2010), EROTIC SOUNDTRACKS (2011) and the 5CD box COMPLETE MAFIA GANGSTER MOVIES. What strikes at once the listener is the uneven level of their sound: although their interpretations are always following faithfully the exact framework and duration of the original pieces (I'd even say they have no creativity whatsoever due to their obsession to duplicate the tracks literaly), the resources at hand seem to vary. In some cases such as Scherzo un po triste from INCONTRO, you indeed at first have the feeling to listen to real musicians and in other cases like IL PENTITO it's clear you're just facing 100% synth renditions. Regarding soloists, I also think for instance of the ugly sound of synth emulating the trumpet in Come un miracolo from FORZA G or the similarly weak fake oboe sound in Gabriel's oboe. Very bad taste, one could say! As a whole, the more I listen to their recordings the more I feel most of it if not all of it is obtained through sampling, sometimes achieved in a very convincing manner. They are indeed trying to reproduce painstakingly very specific sounds from the original orchestrations such as the frequency generator in LE CASSE's main theme or the organ in BIANCO, ROSSO E VERDONE. However when you are giving a close listen to the strings and brass sections, it's blatant there's no orchestra. Their true merit rather resides in unearthing pieces unknown from the audience at large, a.o. a lot of 60's/70's easy listening material like MENAGE ALL'ITALIANA's main theme, Filastrocca per cretini from SAI COSA FACEVA STALIN ALLE DONNE?, Belinda May from L'ALIBI, LA CUGINA's main theme, etc as well rare stuff from LA PIOVRA including incidental tracks as Concentrazione (!), or Disegni oltre from SENSO 45 up to more daunting compositions such as COMANDAMENTI PER UN GANGSTER's main theme. I incidentally wonder whether their last production dedicated to religious soundtracks (MOSE, KAROL et altri) has been handled with enough care.
Any clues about who they are and who's caring for the selection of the pieces, for their "arrangement" and interpretation, etc?
Trivial remark to end with: it seems the label Record Arts AG encountered troubles filling the 5th CD of the aforementioned MAFIA GANGSTER box since it contains the definitely out of place Samba in tribunale and Terrazza from IL GATTO! And yet the CD is reaching a total duration of merely 33' including these two tracks!