Saimel Records proudly presents on this CD the complete original score by Carlo Rustichelli for the 1967 romantic comedy ASSICURASI VERGINE (INSURANCE ON A VIRGIN) which was directed by Giorgio Bianchi and starred Romina Power, Vittorio Caprioli, Dino Mele, Daniela Rocca, Leopol-do Trieste and Oreste Palella. Romina Po-wer, daughter of Hollywood legend Tyrone Power, who together with Al Bano would form one of Italy´s most popular singing duos during the 1970s and 1980s, was only 16 years old in 1967 and stars in this comedy as the shy daughter of a poor Sicilian father who is forced to marry the richest man in town whom she doesn´t love at all. This man with the name Don Pippo Matara is portrayed by Vittorio Caprioli who excels in his role as a presumptuos and pompous lazybones with an excessive Sicilian slang and who actually provides the funniest moments in the picture.
ASSICURASI VERGINE was produced in the wake of the two enormously successful Pietro Germi comedies DIVORZIO ALL´ITALIANA (1961) and SEDOTTA E ABANDONATA (1964) which satirized the anachronistic Sicilian customs and honour laws in a similar manner. Also some of the same actors re-appear in ASSICURASI VERGINE.
Composer Carlo Rustichelli was a quite natural choice for this film as he had already scored the two Pietro Germi movies during the early 1960s and shown his inimitable skill in musically evo-king all kinds of Mediterranean moods and particularly those of Sicily with themes and rhythms so characteristic of that secluded country. Reminiscences of these two works crop up in ASSICURASI VERGINE, but all the main themes are completely new and original. And although for the main part this is a rustic comedy, Rustichelli has written an unabashedly romantic, richly melodic and colourful score with all his stylistic trademarks fully on display.
He has focused above all on the love relationship of the young couple Lucia and Gaetano so that the Main Title immediately opens with a vocal version of the exuberant love theme as a Sicilian ballad with the title "Ciuri di rosa" ("Rose Flower"). Various instrumental versions of this beautiful melody crop up during the course of the score and later on even a secondary, much more meditative and tragic love theme comes to the fore which gets reprised and elaborated whenever the couple finds themselves in rather hopeless and despairing situations.
There are also two themes which precisely define the Sicilian setting: One is a sad lament with a few woodwind solos and the other one a plaintive and elegant theme for flute, Jew´s harp and strings.
For the character of Don Pippo Rustichelli has written a delicious tango which perfectly captures his conceit and his scuffling movements so that the scenes involving him become even more funnier with the addition of this music.
A few comic interludes with grotesque use of the electric organ and Jew´s harp together with some string pizzicati timed to the rhythm of the steps of the protagonists are reserved for the scenes in which all the different parties try to spy on Lucia during her stay in the convent. And the nightly city life with which Lucia gets confronted after her escape from the convent gets underscored with a jazzy saxophone motif coupled with a swing rhythm.
This delightful and varied score for ASSICURASI VERGINE offers further proof of the superb melodic talent of Carlo Rustichelli and can now finally be fully appreciated on this CD which has been possible thanks to the original master tapes preserved in mono in the Sugar Music archives.
- Saimel Records