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Soundtrack Review

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Shadow of the Wolf
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Sandro Di Stefano
Performed by: Dnipro Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 29 January 2021

Plaza Mayor releases the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to L’ombre del Lupo (Shadow of the Wolf). In the 2018 movie, directed by Alberto Gelpi, mutilated corpses are discovered in an Italian town. Police believe it to be the work of a wolf, but it is not a wolf like any other. The music is composed by Sandro Di Stephano (The Man With the Magic Box (2017), The Executioners (2018), etc.), and performed by Dnipro Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Stephano). The composer worked closely with the director, both who saw the music as a separate character – albeit invisible – who participates in dialogue and anticipates emotions. They aimed for an old style influenced by Bernard Herrmann. The score is available for download and streaming...

In 'Hidden Truth' we begin with the innocence of a music box, before low tones take over, the high pitches of the child’s toy becoming strings. A purposefully stilted sound gives the impression of impending doom. Remaining with the emphasis on a rumbling bass, but all the while tuneful and with direction. 'Chilling Discoveries' continues where the last track left off; however, there is a sense of expanse and something waiting in the darkness. This one goes more for atmosphere than melody. It does return to the music box briefly, and leaves us with a heavy menace. 'Escape into the Woods' is a simple piano melody, rudely interrupted by what is almost certainly a chase sequence with a progressive chugging pace. It soon returns to those sinister tones and a fading high pitch.

A piano intro for 'I Am a Wolf' evolves into a string and keys piece. Melancholia is the appropriate emotion. It becomes more thematic towards the end. 'Metamorphosis' is dramatic but returns to the simpler tunes of earlier in the score. 'Now I Am Alone' picks-up the piano and strings again, with surrounding suspense. 'Nico and Alba' is slow and plaintive. But the sadness is mixed with a certain verve and underlying atmospherics. 'I Know My Life' carries a Pagan feel, with a blend of instruments and an open-minded finality – if that isn’t a contradiction in terms.

One thing I love about this soundtrack is that it only has eight tracks. That means each is of reasonable length and so allowed to breathe. So many scores these days boast 30-plus tracks of 20 to 30 seconds at best – no overall sense or pattern. On the downside, repeatedly returning to character themes produces diminishing returns, dulling the sense of progression. On the whole though, this is a solid little score.


Ty Power

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