La Monaca Di Monza

Ennio Morricone

" The music to La Monaca Di Monza is a short, but a fulfilling work of beauty. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the limited release

Directed by Eriprando Visconti (the nephew of the great Luchino), La Monaca di Monza (1969) is a film based on a chapter of the famous book I Promessi Sposi, by Alessandro Manzoni. Set in the 17th century, it tells the story of a forbidden love between a nun and Italian nobleman. Ennio Morricone wrote the music and would do the score for miniseries based on the complete book of I Promessi Sposi in 1989.

The complete score Morricone wrote was brief, containing three themes and a short choral piece. The main theme is a beautiful and yet tragic love theme, which is heard in cues like Ttotilo and Falsa tranquillita’. It's such an acute string adagio with the ever present viola solo, both conveying a romantic and distressing feeling for the forbidden love between the two main characters. Falsa tranquillita is the cue that allows the theme to rise to its full potental; really a work of art. The very same cue also introduces the theme of the child that comes out of the forbidden relationship, heard right after the tremolo guitar, on which the cue opens. Unlike the main love theme theme, which is spread throughout the score, this secondary theme is heard in Falsa tranquillita’ and Canone per quattro .

Both the main theme and the child's theme have been re-used in other works by the maestro. The Falsa tranquillita’ cue is tracked into his work on the miniseries I Promessi Sposi, under the name La Monaca Di Monza . Very few times in the maestro´s career has the re-use been more appropriate as with this case, given the same source material for both the film and miniseries. On a personal note, I find it rather disappointing that I Promessi Sposi and Il Segreti di Sahara, both appearing on top of my Morricone list, harking back to previously written material. The child´s theme from La Monaca di Monza resurfaced on the composer´s score to the silent film Richard III.

The third is a pursuing theme for the Spaniards, basically some baroque-tension that is hardly distinguishable, but becomes quite effective within the progression of the story. I would like to think that all the undercurrent musical tension in the score is somehow related to both the tension that comes out of the complicated relationship of the two lovers, while hinting at the Spaniards´ threat.

The music to La Monaca Di Monza is a short, but a fulfilling work of beauty. It was previously paired with Un Bellissimo Novembre and Bluebird for cd releases. The new Quartet release similarly paired it with a different score ( La Califfa). The new release offers a few minutes of new, previously unreleased as heard in the film, and unused music, sometimes assembled for individual tracks. On top of that, issues of previously released music are corrected, and wonderfully remastered for enjoying the score at its fullest.

1. La Monaca di Monza (Titoli) (02:35)
2. La Monaca di Monza (Gloria in Excelsis Deo) (00:58)
3. Svegliarsi pensando (00:56)
4. Falsa tranquillita’ (03:04)
5. Notte non notte (01:27)
6. Quel giorno (02:00)
7. Dopo la notte (01:34)
8. La Monaca di Monza (# 2) (00:43)
9. La Monaca di Monza (# 3) (02:13)
10. Dopo la notte (# 2) (01:10)
11. Svegliarsi pensando (# 2) (01:42)
12. Canone per quattro (00:57)
13. Titoli di coda (02:27)
total time 21'46

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(total of 1 votes - average 4.5/5)

Released by

Quartet Records (limited release 2019)