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Soundtrack Review

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Gli Occhiali D’oro
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Ennio Morricone
Label: Caldera Records
Release Date: 14 November 2021

Caldera Records present Ennio Morricone’s score for the motion picture Gli Occhiali D’oro, directed by Giuliano Montaldo. This adaptation of Giorgio Bassani’s novel tells several stories at once. The title – “Gli occhiali d’oro” (“The Gold Rimmed Glasses”) – was carefully and intelligently chosen. The over-arching subject is, after all, blindness. Or seeing, depending on how one chooses to look at it. The film was revered by critics when it came out in 1987. It also won the David di Donatello Award for Best Music...

One of my all time favourite scores by Ennio Morricone is Cinema Paradiso (1988). His work on that film is touching, sweet and houses themes that stay with you. His work here on Gli Occhiali D’oro (1987), released the year before Cinema Paradiso manages to capture the same magic. It's probably no surprise, considering the fact the films are just a year apart that they share many common thematic styles.

Gli Occhiali D’oro is comprised of several themes: the main theme, which plays over the opening credits; the love theme for David and Nora; the comparatively upbeat 'A Cena Con I Ragazzi', the forlorn and trepidatious 'Persecuzione Storica'; and the yearning and desolate 'Ricordo Del Ghetto'.

Caldera's reissue uses the same programme as the original release by ScreenTrax, but remastered by Richard Moore. The score is not complete, as since the '90s the original, tapes seem to have been lost. However, what we have is sufficient to champion this as another Morricone masterpiece.

There's a theme here for every emotional twist and turn. If you've never heard this before, but enjoyed his work on Cinema Paradiso, then you'll get a huge kick out of what the composer weaves here. Morricone has always had a knack for getting under your skin and tugging at the heartstrings. Here he fine tunes that masterful ability.

Thank you Caldera Records for bringing this long out of print score back to life.


Darren Rea

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