Calling all Ennio Morricone fans: The long-lost score of “I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing” is now available on APM Music
Words by KC Orcutt
The late Maestro’s recently unearthed and reissued score is now available for licensing for the first time
Given the late composer Ennio Morricone's spirited reputation for working all day and well into the late night hours—something he once humbly claimed is the only comparison to be made between himself and the likes of a legendary virtuoso such as Bach—it doesn't
come as a shock to say there are plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered in the extremely prolific catalog he left behind. However, what does come as a surprise is how such a curious phenomenon has recently unfolded in the most literal manner possible: a physical master copy of some of Morricone's earliest scoring work, long thought to not have survived the test of time, has been discovered.
Further adding to the magic, the original MONO tapes of his score for I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing were found in great enough condition to be revitalized for today's contemporary music landscape. The stunning recovery effort was made possible thanks to music publisher and producer Lorenzo Fabrizi, who worked in close collaboration with Claudio Fuiano and Daniel Winkler to bring this album back to life from the archival depths. As the head of Sonor Music Editions and co-curator of the Intermezzi Music Library alongside David Hollander, Fabrizi's specialty lies in the golden age of Italian music production and archival music for films, radio and television, while Fuiano and Winkler are both two significant connoisseurs of the maestro Morricone's discography specifically.
With these stars aligning for such an extraordinary discovery to be made by those already approaching Morricone's legacy with great care, his score for I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing has been remastered, with the preservation effort also allowing for two additional bonus tracks from the original sessions to be included as well. The reissued 15-track collection is now officially available through APM Music for licensing, presenting the opportunity for today's filmmakers and music supervisors to give their projects an authentic blessing from the great Morricone himself.
Originally recorded in 1964, a year that proved to be quite the monumental turning point for Morricone's career trajectory, the score for I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing showcases a side of the famed composer's multidimensional artistry that is often overlooked due to his immense notoriety as a pioneer of the spaghetti Western genre. While it is understandably difficult to ignore his groundbreaking contributions to the category, particularly due to his globally renowned collaborations with director Sergio Leone, Morricone's robust vision led him down a very diverse and vibrant path. With this in mind, I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing further showcases how the musical language Morricone expertly spoke translates brilliantly to every project he worked on, regardless of genre.
As exemplified by I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing, Morricone was exceptionally skilled in bringing his signature aesthetic to the comedy genre, and despite this score being crafted during the earlier chapters of his colossal career, he did so with veteran ease. Directed by Lucio Fulci, a legendary Italian cult filmmaker, I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing follows the story of "two sloppy thieves," played by iconic comedy duo Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia. Throughout what can best be described as a hilariously eccentric rollercoaster of a plot, the two characters find themselves imprisoned in New York's infamous Sing Sing prison, where they are faced with the prospect of escape, the temptation of lust and the overall distrust of the government, with some mafia-related drama thrown in for good measure. Naturally, this gave Morricone a plethora of material to work with, resulting in a score that is just as dynamic and compelling as the chaos unfolding on screen.
From both a cinematic and musical perspective, I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing perfectly captures Morricone's bonafide talent as a masterful storyteller, with his ability to adapt his musical style to best enhance certain moments or characters absolutely unrivaled. Throughout the score, he used styles of orchestral jazz and bossa nova as his creative palate, tailoring the music to best fit specific scenes, while also crafting songs that stand on their own without needing visual context. From the sweet and charming themes inspired by actress Gloria Paul's bewitching character ("Bossa Per Gloria") to the suspense-laden instrumentals that add to the menacing drama of a prison break ("Fuga"), the score of I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing is a thrilling adventure in and of itself.
In addition to proudly being able to share the first release of Morricone's I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing score for licensing, the APM team has also recently acquired a historical catalog of an Italian label first founded in 1958, resulting in the opportunity to unearth even more work by the prestigious composer. The archival collection also features work by an array of Morricone's peers, including Piero Piccioni and Mario Nascimbene, among others. While it is bittersweet that Morricone is not alive today to witness the excitement surrounding these long-lost works receiving a highly anticipated second act, his legacy continues to live on through his music – exactly the way he wanted it to.
Check out the official release of Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to the iconic film "I Due Evasi Di Sing Sing" here. Be sure to keep an eye out for more announcements and music to come!