Swept Away

Piero Piccioni

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Swept Away Review

by Bruce Eder

Piero Piccioni may not have had the name recognition of his contemporary and countryman Ennio Morricone, but he wrote his share of notable film scores, of which this one -- for Lina Wertmuller's Swept Away (not that abysmal remake starring Madonna) -- is one of the choicest. An almost dream-like, surreal quality pervades this score, with its long, languid melodic lines and lush orchestral passages -- interspersed with gorgeous acoustic guitar sections and organ cadenzas -- that flow off of this soundtrack. The music manages to encompass jazz, samba and classical material with astonishing effectiveness, haunting and moody throughout. The resulting album, which has been largely unheard and unavailable during the CD era, is almost as substantial a listening experience as the movie was to watch. It was a keeper in 1975 and an instant classic, which it remains more than three decades on. Track it down on CD if you can, or on vinyl if you have to.