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Classic FM Drive with John Brunning 5pm - 7pm
While the film itself is something of a forgotten masterpiece, Morricone's iconic score lives on.
A woman desperate to find love, a priest struggling with his vows of celibacy, an atmosphere of romantic intensity - Jerzy Kawalerowicz's neglected film is the perfect vehicle for Morricone's jazzy soundtrack.
It's quite a shift from the composer’s saccharine-sweet Gabriel's Oboe-style melodies. Kicking off with a sultry drum improvisation, the music gives way to modest organ tune (a reference to our priest, perhaps?), and the catchy main theme to the title track is born from this most unusual musical partnership. It's evocative, it's thrilling, it's unexpected; who knew a few simple organ chords could provide so much tension?
Unfortunately for film fanatics, the soundtrack has somewhat eclipsed the success of the movie itself. The best-known movement, Chi Mai, was even recycled for a number of other films and TV programmes, including Le Professionel (1981), An Englishman's Castle (1978), and The Life and Times of David Lloyd George (1981). It even climbed to No. 2 on the UK singles chart, and is now one of Morricone's most famous pieces.