I Magi Randagi

Ennio Morricone

" The music is a rather burlesque Morricone "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the regular release

I Magi Randagi is a 1996 comedy, directed by Sergio Citti, based on an idea by Piero Passolini. The film follows three travelling circus artists that are failing in their normal routine, but do become successful as they star in a version of the nativity story. They are so successful in playing their roles, it convinces their audiences to give birth to new children. Through a small miracle they are convinced to begin the search for the new baby Jesus.

The music is a rather burlesque Morricone for a comedy that is both comical, mystical, profound and emotional in tone.

In supporting the travelling circus act Morricone chose a Neapolitan dance ( saltarello), which is great concept piece that re-occurs in different variations, such as Dopo 30 anni and La storia dei magi randagi and Nasco Bimbo. The fractional pick-up technique is the essential ingredient to give these pieces, performed by traditional Italian woodwinds, strings, drums and voices, a burlesque feel. Each dance is slightly different in colour, but the very best of them all include the wonderful distinctive voices.

The Napeleon musical influences are alos heard in many non-saltarello cues. Most notable is the one time only appearance of the ciamerella, an Italian woodwind instrument and another notable instrument of the period, in the composition Nato. The composer initially proposed the instrument while working on Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, which was declined by Giuseppe Tornatore. In retrospective, it's hard to imagine a different signature sound for such a score, but the I suspect the rather peculiar and 'harsh' sound it produces was the reason the director deemed it unfit. The instrument can also be heard in Il Quarto Re and Baarìa.

Nation is the first clue that introduces the sweet theme that will be revisited in different disguises as the album progresses. The ciamerella and woodwinds interplay makes one of the best variations of the main theme, and wish Morricone would have developed this further. Other takes stretch from violin solo´s (Eterna favola), to a variation with Edda Dell'Orso and solo violin (...e l'altra stella) solo violin with, a string section and woodwinds (Le luci si spengono) and others. Una Cometa is basically the same as Nato, merely replacing the ciamerella with more woodwinds. Another interesting component is found in the thematic cue Mille Sosprit; the soft whispering, breathing and little wailing of a female vocal provides a slightly unsynchronised, but emotional touch to the thematic progression.

In context with film Morricone adapted the appropriate christmas carol (Tu scendi dalle stelle (P.D.), originally composed by Alphonsus Maria de Liguori with text sung by a children´s choir.

I Magi Randagia is a very engaging score filled lovely, burlesque Napeleon (dance) influences and sweet melodies. The slightly more expanded GDM releases has two more cues than the original CAM release, but it does not offer much more, unless you like the score very much, like me.

1. La Storia Dei Magi Randagi (03:57)
2. E' Nato (04:20)
3. Dopo 30 Anni (05:46)
4. Un Paese Di No So Dove (03:18)
5. Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle (P.D) (02:07)
6. L'harem Dei Poveri (02:02)
7. Una Cometa (04:20)
8. Nascano Bimbi (03:54)
9. ...E L'altra stella (04:22)
10. Mille Sospiri (04:22)
11. eterna Favola (02:59)
12. Saltarello Gioioso (03:51)
13. Le Luci Si Spengono (04:22)
14. Serena Allegrezza (05:47)

Total Duration: 55:27

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(total of 1 votes - average 4/5)

Released by

CAM (regular release 1996)