Evoking a creeping menace that is at times difficult to endure, it's a testament to Ennio Morricone's unique abilities as a composer that An Ennio Morricone - Dario Argento Trilogy also possesses an eerie beauty that's difficult to resist. Beginning with the a few choice picks from the soundtrack to The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, the fleeting vocals and pensive melodies of "Piume di Cristallo" carry nicely over the following tracks until the immensely discomforting "L'Uccello Dalle Piume di Cristallo" strikes the listener with a horrific blend of a muffled heartbeat and the sounds of a struggling woman gasping for air in her final moments. Followed by the hypnotic "Silenzio Nel Caos," the selections from Bird With the Crystal Plumage draw to a close with the nightmarish, half-conscious lullaby of "Violenza Inattesa." The opening theme to Cat o' Nine Tails, entitled "Ninna Nanna in Blu," will no doubt strike a familiar chord with aficionados of Morricone's spaghetti Western scores, and the dark, almost experimental tracks that follow sustain a mood of eerie tension with their mix of grinding strings and airy wind instruments. Following up by cutting loose with the theme for Four Flies on Grey Velvet, Morricone commences a dizzying psychedelic ditty punctuated by an infectious rolling bass accompanied by muffled vocal yelps that lend the track a carefree sense of humor before launching into the relaxed suite that follows. Rounding out the tracks from Four Flies on Grey Velvet with "Come un Madrigale," the tune again evokes the allure of a lullaby, though this time sounding a bit more hopeful and nicely balanced with choral accompaniment. An interview with director Dario Argento (in Italian and translated into English in the liner notes) rounds out this collection nicely as the director fondly discusses his longtime working relationship with the composer.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Buchanan