Il Monaco


Digitmovies release for the first time on CD Piero Piccioni's complete original soundtrack for the movie Il Monaco (aka "The Monk") in full stereo. Directed in 1972 by Ado Kyrou and starring Franco Nero, Nathalie Delon, Nicol Williamson, Elisabeth Wiener, Nadja Tiller, and Eliana De Santis. The scenario by Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière is based on the novel The Monk written in 1796 by Matthew Gregory Lewis. In 17th century Madrid Father Ambrosio (Nero), prior of the Capuchins, is noted for the austerity of his costumes, his intransigent faith and his excessive chastity. The monk gives in to carnal temptations by copulating with the very beautiful Mathilde (Delon), a witch sent to earth by Satan and who introduces herself disguised as a male novice. After becoming his lover, she moves to the castle of Duke Calembour (Williamson), a diabolical being who lets little female orphans being kidnapped for the sole purpose of eating them or sacrificing them to the devil. The little girl Antonia enters the scene with whom the monk falls in love, but when he can't take hold of her, he later kills her mother. After remorse and confession of his crimes, Ambrosio falls anew into the dark whirlpool of sin bewitched by the magic arts of Mathilde whom he follows to the castle. There the protagonist finds again the little girl Antonia who commits suicide after being kidnapped by the evil duke. With the intervention of the inquisition the nobleman, Mathilde and the monk are arrested: Calembour suceeds in being declared innocent; due to her powers, the witch sets herself free; father Ambrosio, by selling his soul to the devil, not only escapes his faults, but he will even become pope. In 1993 Cinevox issued nine selections from the score on the CD Fantafestival Vol. 4. For Digitmovies' CD the label has used every note recorded in stereo at that time and preserved on the original master tapes of the Cinevox Record archives. Legendary composer Piero Piccioni has written a short, but very effective symphonic score of a dramatic kind that evokes the whole atmosphere of the plot between sacred and profane, emphasizing above all the diabolical side. The monk theme is introduced in "Main Titles", a sacred, Gregorian chant-like motif for organ and orchestra where strings intrude with macabre dissonances. Satan's presence is often underlined by slow and gloomy music.