Il Pianeta D'Acqua (documentary series)

Ennio Morricone

" The water theme ┬┤Acqua Viva┬┤ is remarkably characteristic by the use of an ever going flow of notes "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the limited release

Il Pianeta D'Acqua (1980) was a 5 part documentary series produced by Rai and directed by Carlo Alberto Pinelli. It concerns itself in showing the importance of water around the globe. Ennio Morricone wrote the score, surpassed by the similar documentary L'Italia Vista dal Cielo´s episode Sardegna and Oceano.

When scoring a series that involves water, it is perfectly natural to mimic or allude to the sense of water musically, just like he did with these musical illustrations for the ocean, a mystical forest, an island, birds and the wind in the aforementioned projects. Besides a variety of scores that somehow pay homage to its natural surroundings, the most accomplished non-film piece is the minimal VIDI AQUAM id est benacum, which is a tribute to lake Garda.

Il Pianeta D'acqua Morricone uses two beautiful themes, one for the water and another for the overarching Planet’s water. The water theme ´Acqua Viva´ is remarkably characteristic by the use of an ever going flow of notes, representing the water stream, and a memorable melody, calmly and beautifully. It goes through no less than eight variations, all of them equally evocative. The Planet’s water theme is an overarching piece of music, a sparkling orchestral theme, appropriately extensive in scope and very beautiful. Furthermore, Morricone wrote the impressively dissonant ´Violentemente verso il mare´, performed by frenetic strings.

The release also includes ´Ouverture del mattino´, a familiar and very sympathetic baroque filled cue. Its history goes back to Morricone arranging music by Muzio Clementi for TV show Musica da Sera in 1967, a piece named ´Pianoforte, clavicembalo e orchestra´. It was exceeded by more elaborate retouches into the track Ouverture del mattino in the 1968 Mamma du Cuore, this was then consequently reused for the following titles Copkiller , Questa specie d'amore, Il Pianeta D'acqua and Le Louvre. Even now, I'm thinking I have heard Ouverture del mattino in other films and series. Unfortunately, I can't remember which ones.

In the only episode of series that I have seen there is, unsurprisingly, even more Morricone music tracked in, while there's a lot of other music likely not all by Morricone, and various short pieces of traditional music for designated parts of the world. From what I remember is the use of the organ, distinctive voices and percussion from Maddalena. Unless there is an authoritative figure who can provide a definite summarisation of all recycled scores in the projects he was attached to, I urge everyone to continue their own personal trivial quiz.

Based on my impressions in one episode, I'm guessing the score as released by Cometa is severely edited and shortened throughout all episodes, like the short edited pieces of other existing music. As an album, it's a wonderful experience.

1. Acqua viva 3:02
2. Acque materne e d'amore 3:45
3. Pianeta d'acqua 1:46
4. Acqua viva #2 3:03
5. Ouverture del mattino 5:21
6. Acqua viva #3 3:03
7. Pianeta d'acqua #2 1:45
8. Acqua viva #5 3:09
9. Violentemente verso il mare 7:06
10. Acqua viva #4 3:04
11. Pianeta d'acqua #3 1:46
12. Acqua viva #6 3:17
13. Acqua viva #7 3:23
14. Acqua viva #8 3:24

Total duration: 46:54

(click to rate this score)  
(total of 4 votes - average 2.13/5)

Released by

Cometa Edizioni Musicali (limited release 2011)