So it's here at last - and about time too! After a wait of nearly 30 years, Quincy Jones and Don Black's soundtrack to the quintessential British caper movie doesn't disappoint. From the opening of Matt Monro's sublime vocals in the simply beautiful 'On Days Like These' to the beery finale provided by the cockney chorus in 'Get a Bloomin Move On', the long overdue CD release of 'The Italian Job' will no doubt fill a void in many a collection of cult movie soundtracks.
The English, historical-instrument, Baroque ensemble La Serenissima (the term was a nickname for the city of Venice) has specialized in somewhat scholarly recordings that nevertheless retain considerable general appeal, and the group does it again with this release. The program offers some lesser-known composers, and some lesser-known pieces by famous composers like the tiny and fascinating Concerto alla rustica for two oboes, bassoon, strings, and continuo, RV 151. What ties the program together formally is that it covers a range of Italian cities that were becoming cultural centers as they declined in political power: not only Venice (Vivaldi, Albinoni, Caldara), but also Padua (Tartini), Bologna (Torelli), and Rome (Corelli). There are several works by composers known only for one or two big hits, and these are especially rewarding. Sample the opening movement of Tartini's Violin Concerto E major, DS 51, with its unusual phrase construction and daringly chromatic cadenza passage: it has the exotic quality for which Tartini became famous, but it does not rely on sheer virtuosity. That work is played by leader Adrian Chandler himself, but he also chooses pieces for a large variety of other solo instruments: the Italian Baroque was about more than the violin. Each work on the album has something to recommend it, and collectively the performances may make up the best album of 2017 whose booklet includes footnotes.
This 69 minute documentary on the making of "the Italian Job" can be found on the Special Collecter's Edition of the movie. It's split in 3 parts or you can watch them in a 'play all' option. The first part "The Great Idea" focuses on the fruition of the story for the movie, the second "The Self-Preservation Society" deals with the supporting cast, and the last segment "Get a Bloomin' move on" focusing on the cars and music. All these segments feature informative interviews and learning more about the already great movie.