If The Red Violin was a little bit sombre for your tastes, then Morricone's beautiful and romantic score for Canone Inverso, (translated as Making Love), might just be what you were looking for. It too takes the violin as the centrepiece for the music, but Morricone writes in a much more late romantic style that is both stylish and instantly attractive. While American romance tends to stick mainly around the romantic comedy formula where the romance is very sentimental, European cinema still revels in hot and passionate affairs and these invariably come with equally passionate scores and this is no exception.
The violin solos take the form of technically accomplished, Paganini style motifs that, while beautifully wrought, are some way from the more refined and modern solos favoured by Corigliano. The violin solos are played by various (as listed above and credited track by track in the liner notes), evidently extremely accomplished musicians and the violin weaves its way in and out of the orchestra, sometimes appearing alone. The highlight of the score is undoubtedly the finale for 'Concerto Romantico Interrotto' which, apart from anything, functions as a superb concert suite containing the major themes of the score. The cue starts with violin and piano, but gradually incorporates the orchestra. Of course it is a pastiche, but an extremely good and complex one and almost cries out to be fleshed out into a lengthier Spellbound style concerto based on music from the score.
Morricone's choral writing is always very striking and the few appearances here, while seemingly strange in the midst of a romantic score such as this, are typically effective. The first occurs during Canone Inverso Primo, with the choir sounding as though they are singing quite a different piece to the rest of the orchestra, with a slightly dischordant result. I am curiously reminded of Marc Shaiman's similarly strange choral opening to his score for The Addams Family. The choir appears sparingly elsewhere, but most notably during the lovely Nel Campo. The latter half of the score is less gloriously robust than the first, with darker shades entering the mixture. The violin tends to appear without orchestral backing more often; solos range in style from the intense Piccoli Studi to the energetic Corsa.
The recording is noticeably good, the violin solos very much in the foreground, but still well balanced with the orchestra where appropriate. As mentioned, the playing is often spectacular, at least from a technical sense, even if it might lack the subtlety of Joshua Bell. While Canone Inverso is more of a pastiche than Morricone's usually highly idiosyncratic style, almost all film music tends toward a pastiche of something in the classical repatoire. However, unlike some of those that merely stick to rehashing other music, Morricone's writing is diverse, yet cohesive, technically challenging, yet accesible and most of all, replete with drama and emotion, which are probably the two most ingredients to any score. For that reason, Canone Inverso comes as very highly recommended and unlikely to disappoint anyone with a passion for romance.