One of several major scores done by Ennio Morricone for films starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Le Professionnel is an interesting hybrid of orchestral and contemporary music, combining the elegance of the former with the sinewy muscularity of the latter. Interwoven with vivid string parts are equally vibrant bass and drums in the title theme, and ominous, forbidding underscoring that comes off even more striking when fully exposed, as on this CD. Listeners get the expected moments of full-flowing lyricism from the violins and stings from the piano, mostly evoking desperation, isolation, and resolve, all of which are so prominent that when the reeds, horns, and brass show up, in relatively restrained fashion, it's all the more striking. This album stands well on its own, though it has also been folded into a DRGcompilation of Morricone scores for Belmondo's work, entitled 3 Complete Soundtracks: Le Professionnel/Le Marginal/Le Casse.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder