Natale che quasi non fu, Il (Italy)
"The Christmas that almost wasn't" (Italian title: "Il Natale che quasi non fu") is a Christmas comedy from 1966 directed and starred Rossano Brazzi presented in America by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Since it is a story about an evil-minded who wants to destroy the most beautiful feast of the year kidnapping no other than Santa Claus (Alberto Rabagliati, the famous Italian singer during the '30s and the '40s) and her lovely wife, Mrs. Santa (Lydia Brazzi) the movie can be considered as a historical precursor of "The Grinch" (an American movie from the Christmas period of 2000 starring Jim Carrey and scored by James Horner). In the opening credits of "The Christmas that almost wasn't" appears the following note: "music orchestrations and musical direction by Bruno Nicolai". But strangely, the "soundtrack" LP release of that time (Rca Camden CAS 1086) contained songs performed by Ray Carter only, while not a single note from M° Nicolai's orchestral score was included. Now, 40 years after the first theatrical release of the movie (available also on DVD) Digitmovies is glad to present for the absolute first time on CD the original and complete orchestral score (in full stereo) composed and conducted by Bruno Nicolai. The stereophonic mastertapes were found in perfect condition in the archives of Edipan. The main theme M° Nicolai composed (Tr.1 and Tr.29) is a funny march played by muted brass in a shake-like arrangement accompanied by lyric strings. The whole musical comment is characterized by number of comical "pantomimic" themes (Tr.4, Tr.8, Tr.11, Tr.14), sweet and melancholiac themes (Tr.2, Tr.6, Tr.7, Tr.9, Tr.15, Tr.17, Tr.18, Tr.20) and dramatic and mysterious ones (Tr.12, Tr.13, Tr.24). Another deserved recovery of the "Silver Age" movie soundtracks.