Maciste contro il Vampiro
Die nun bereits siebte Alhambra-Edition mit Werken des berühmten italienischen Filmkomponisten Angelo Francesco Lavagnino (1909 – 1987) enthält die auf diesem CD-Album erstmals überhaupt erhältliche komplette Musik zum 1961 entstandenen Fantasyfilm MACISTE CONTRO IL VAMPIRO, der in Deutschland unter dem Titel MACISTES GRÖSSTES ABENTEUER in die Kinos kam. Das mit Horrorelementen gespickte Sandalenepos, in dem Muskelmann Maciste das Fantasiereich Salmanak von der Herrschaft eines Vampirs befreien muß, wurde von Giacomo Gentilomo inszeniert, Maciste wird vom früheren US-Tarzan-Darsteller Gordon Scott verkörpert, in weiteren Rollen sind Gianna Maria Canale, Leonora Ruffo und Jacques Sernas zu sehen.
Lavagninos Filmmusik wird bestimmt von einem mitreißenden heroischen Hauptthema, das in diversen Varianten auf der CD erklingt, von charmanten exotischen Tänzen, aber auch von morbiden und gespenstischen Klangfolgen, die die surreale Fantasiewelt des Films in zum Teil magische Töne fassen. Eine außerordentlich einfallsreiche und stimmungsvolle Filmmusik, die auf dieser CD nun wiederentdeckt werden kann.
Die originalen Mono-Bänder, die hier zur Verwendung kamen, stammen aus den Nachlass des Komponisten und wurden uns freundlicherweise von dessen Töchtern zur Verfügung gestellt.
Alhambra Records is proud to present on this CD the world premiere release of Angelo Francesco Lavagnino’s 1961 peplum score MACISTE CONTRO IL VAMPIRO which may be better known by its US title GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES. This exciting CD project – the seventh CD in our Lavagnino series – has only been possible thanks to the generous support of the three daughters of the composer – Bianca, Iudica and Alessandra Lavagnino -, who still had open reel tape copies of the original master tapes in their personal archive.
Directed by Giacomo Gentilomo and scripted by later regular Italian spaghetti western directors Sergio Corbucci and Duccio Tessari, MACISTE CONTRO IL VAMPIRO is a richly atmospheric, often almost surreal and absurd, but on the other hand visually exciting and stylish fantasy picture which mixes peplum and horror genre motifs and during the last few decades has become a genuine cult classic especially among genre fans in the USA. Gordon Scott, who had already become famous as screen Tarzan in the USA during the 50s, stars as Maciste whose village is raided and plundered. The women are kidnapped, including his fiancé Guja, who is played by Leonora Ruffo. Maciste is off on a quest to find his sweetheart and the evil men behind the raid. The culprits are a league of blue zombie-men controlled by a hideous vampire-leader named Kobrak. Weird magic and various horrors, among them the treacherous Gianna Maria Canale as Astra, the mistress of Kobrak, stand between Goliath and his beloved.
As was common practice during the early 1960s with some of these Italian peplum scores, their English dubbed versions distributed by American International Pictures (AIP) in the USA were often re-scored by AIP’s staff composer Les Baxter. This was also the case with the US version GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES, although Baxter here apparently only re-scored the Main Title, the Finale and a few other sequences, whereas many other tracks by Lavagnino were retained. Our CD, however, contains only the music which had been especially composed and recorded for the movie by Lavagnino himself in Italy in 1961 and which has never before been heard on any sound carrier.
The “Main Title” introduces the stirring and heroic main theme for full orchestra underpinned by steady timpani beats which characterizes the determination of Maciste and the adventurous spirit of the movie. It often recurs throughout the film, several times also in a minor key to underline tragic events with Lavagnino’s characteristic use of the viola backed by harp or soft strings. Lavagnino is fully in his element when dealing with exotic dances in this picture. The graceful and charming dance of the veils in the Sultan’s palace (“Palace Dance”) for mandolins and high strings is one of the most beautiful pieces of this kind from all his peplum scores.
For the apparitions of the vampire himself Lavagnino has created an otherworldly sound palette with weird atonal violin – a kind of devil’s violin –, xylophone trills, eerie electric organ, guitar riffs and low-end piano ostinatos which make those sequences even more unsettling than they already are. Moody and spectral atmospheric music is reserved mainly for the sequence in the cave where Maciste and Guja discover the wax-like bodies of Kobrak’s victims or for the trek to Kobrak’s mountain. Only in the end when Guja is revived solo viola and harp celebrate the love of Maciste and Guja again in a deeply romantic fashion and a joyous variant of the main theme closes the picture.
We hope that many fans of the composer and of classic Italian film music will enjoy this exciting peplum score with its quite peculiar exotic and magical flair. Our CD edition with an 8-page booklet which contains numerous colour stills from the movie will be limited to 500 copies.
01. Main Title – Maciste Rescues the Young Boy Ciro 2:41
02. Maciste and Ciro on the Beach 1:02
03. The Mother Dies – Maciste Swears Revenge 2:19
04. The Pirate Ship – Kidnapped Women – Blood for the Vampire – Guia Gets Saved from Death 4:34
05. Streets of Salmanak 1:36
06. Palace Dance 2:19
07. Secret Passage 1:17
08. Astra Spies on the Sultan and Summons Kobrak 2:24
09. Nocturnal Mysteries – Magda and the Vampire 1:46
10. In the Tavern 2:07
11. Astra Kills the Black Pirate – Kurtik Solaces Ciro 1:13
12. Guja and Astra 1:22
13. Maciste’s Escape from the Dungeon 2:11
14. Maciste and Guja in the Desert – Sandstorm 3:45
15. In the Cave 5:51
16. Maciste and Astra 1:35
17. On the Way to Kobrak‘s Mountain – Kobrak Appears 5:03
18. Maciste Gets Captured by Kobrak 2:29
19. The Boy Dies 1:30
20. Maciste’s Desperation – The Transformation 2:57
21. Kobrak’s New Identity – Astra Gets Killed – Kobrak vs. Maciste 2:12
22. Kobrak’s End – Guja Is Brought Back to Life – Finale 3:26
23. Main Theme (alternate version) 2:32
24. Sandstorm (unused) 3:20