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Jona che visse nella balena

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Jona che visse nella balena

Artist: Ennio Morricone
Genre: Soundtrack
Release Date: 1998
Note(s): Title translates to "Jonah who Lived in the Whale"

Review by DjBatman
3½ stars out of 4

Before Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful" (the story of a Jewish kid saved by his father during World War II) there was "Jonah who lived in the whale", not a big production but still a good film that showed a similar story. The difference is that Jona Oberski's story is true. The score to this movie, directed by Roberto Faenza was composed, orchestrated and conducted by Ennio Morricone, who used Forum Studios (a Roman studio typically used for soundtrack production) for the recordings. Morricone choosed to comment the story of young Jona mostly with calm orchestrations, with two recurrent  themes that appear in "Una allegrezza semplice" and "Canoni per Jonah" and later return (together or separately) in various moments, especially in the scenes in which Jona's parents are showed ("La madre", "La casa"). In track 9 the atmospheres change to a sort of funeral lament accompaining the prisoners to the camp ("Un treno di disperati"); the most dramatic moments are also represented by another dark, sad piece: "Tensioni nel campo". There are vocals in two other tracks only, the title track sung by Susie Lion (with a piano that seems reminiscent of Nino Rota's "Godfather" theme) and the popular "Gam Gam" (composed by Elie Bothol) sung by a kid's choir (in Italy this track has even been rearranged into a dance track). It's probably one of the lesser known Morricone scores, but I once have found myself crying while listening to "La madre"; and this doesn't happen so often to me.



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