Enzo Masetti

Hercules/Hercules Unchained

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The limited-edition two-CD set Hercules/Hercules Unchained is priced high but worth the expense. Disc one contains 45 minutes of Enzo Masetti's music for Hercules, the vehicle that turned Steve Reeves into a star -- the score is filled with lush passages for strings and female choir, bold, martial-style writing for the horns, and dramatic writing for the brass, in addition to the sailing song that the members of Jason's crew (including Orpheus) sing in their rowing across the ocean on their quest for the Golden Fleece. The second disc runs only 42 minutes and contains a lot of the same music used in the earlier film, with additional dance and battle music as well as the darkly passionate music associated with the character of Queen Omphale of Lydia. This double-disc set is not a transcription of the 1980s vintage soundtrack LPs for the two movies. The two discs are comprised of four extended suites each, running between nine and 12 minutes, assembling different portions of the respective scores together as a coherent whole. The audio quality is excellent although there is no annotation to speak of.