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 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Savina was a competent and fine composer, but there's no reason why he should be thought of as a Rozsa-fan magnet.

I agree it's about the music.

Carlo Savina is not a hot prospect amongst FSMers, obviously. Followers of Rozsa should be at least acquainted with Savina's name, though.
Why do so few of the Rozsa fans go exploring into "blind buy" territory?

The thrust of this thread is not to discuss Rozsa's music but to learn which members could count labels such as Digitmovies, Beat, GSM/Legend, etc. amongst their collections.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 4:26 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Does George Komar own any Italian soundtracks by Savina?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 5:11 AM   
 By:   Angelillo   (Member)

Many thanks for the tips, ToneRow and JohnnyG.

I've just realized I have LA CRIPTA E L'INCUBO but I need to listen to it again.

And yes, his rendering of Friendship from BEN HUR is awesome and used to give me goosebumps ! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

I certainly don't want to turn a thread celebrating Carlo Savina into one of those ugly bashings. As I've said, the problems of MGM 1E1 were mostly not of Savina's making. I didn't realize that so many people liked the album. I agree that the big passages like "Burning Desert" and "Procession to Calvary" were executed with real power and impact. But it is a fact that almost everyone I knew in the sixties and seventies was deeply unhappy with this disc. And remember that for most of those years this was the only B-H album available. The others went quickly out of print. Of course no single album could capture the ebb and flow of the full B-H score. But you have to admit that the 1974 Decca did a much better job.

I remember the day I bought the album, together with EL CID, in 1963. They were my very first record purchases. That very evening I became puzzled, for while B-H had had a far greater impact on me in the theater, EL CID was more impressive on record. It was my first lesson in the differences between cinematic and purely musical presentation.

As for the audio, Paul, we tend to give the MGM album a pass because it stems from the early days of stereo. But when you consider that the landmark Decca Rheingold stems from a year earlier, you have to admit that the bar for MGM should have been set a lot higher.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 7:57 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

My question is, though (and this is the genesis of my initial post) - why do most FSM members (many of whom are die-hard collectors of Hollywood soundtracks) own small amounts of Italian soundtracks ... or none ... or else they DO but don't discuss this aspect of collecting in conversations?

Since I'm not a "diehard collector," I suppose this question isn't really directed at me. My personal explanation is that I rarely buy a soundtrack album until I've seen the film. If the music sounds interesting in the film, I may explore it further. Also, I like to let the visual and dramatic elements contextualize my first impression. When, I hear the music beforehand, I form my own mental impressions, which are usually superior to the actual film and wind up making the music seem "wrong" for its intended context.

I've learned from forums like this one that mine is a minority practice. So be it. In any case, since I've never encountered a Savina movie on screen, I've not been tempted to buy any of his records. Now, however, the magic of YouTube, to the despair of the music industry, makes sampling free and easy. I shall do so at once.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 8:54 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

My question is, though (and this is the genesis of my initial post) - why do most FSM members (many of whom are die-hard collectors of Hollywood soundtracks) own small amounts of Italian soundtracks ... or none ... or else they DO but don't discuss this aspect of collecting in conversations?

Since I'm not a "diehard collector," I suppose this question isn't really directed at me. My personal explanation is that I rarely buy a soundtrack album until I've seen the film. If the music sounds interesting in the film, I then try to explore it further. Also, I like to let the visual and dramatic elements contextualize my first impression. When, I hear the music beforehand, I form my own mental impressions, which are often superior to the actual film and wind up making the music seem "wrong" for its intended context.

I've learned from forums like this one that mine is a minority practice. So be it. In any case, since I've never encountered a Savina movie on screen, I've not been tempted to buy any of his records. Now, however, the magic of YouTube, to the despair of the music industry, makes sampling free and easy. I shall do so at once.


Rozsaphile has spoken for me as well. With few exceptions (Rozsa obviously) I hardly ever buy soundtracks for films which I haven't seen. I find that film music rarely makes for ideal listening outside an awareness of the dramatic context.

In that connection, the majority of these Italian action films were not widely shown in the UK - and I suspect that most of them would not be on my "must see" list anyway!

 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 11:54 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

I have the following Savina peplum scores from Digitmovies:

Massacre in the Black Forest
Seven from Thebes
In the Shadow of the Eagles
Ursus in the Land of Fire.

I like everything I've heard from Savina.

 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 12:40 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

Does George Komar own any Italian soundtracks by Savina?

George Komar does not own any soundtracks by Carlo Savina (nor any by Erich Kloss, Muir Mathieson, Marcus Dods, Ray Heindorf, Leo Forbstein or Tim Simonec for that matter). wink

Aside from the reasons that Rozsaphile and Mr Raynes have provided, Mr Komar doesn't understand why Savina's assignment as conductor on one Rozsa album from the late 1950s automatically obliges those who admire Rozsa's scores to run and seek out scores by said conductor. Having said that, throughout the years Mr Komar has made many purchases of recordings by Italian composers from labels like CAM, Digitmovies and others. Most of these were purchased out of curiosity, but honestly none really resonate with Mr Komar, for various reasons. Italian films often have a radically different musical syntax or symbiosis with their scores that somehow Mr Komar finds unappealing. It's a matter of personal taste, of course, and there may well be musical gems out there, but at this time, Mr Komar has little inclination to further explore such soundtracks or gamble more money on them .

 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 2:15 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Does George Komar own any Italian soundtracks by Savina?

George Komar does not own any soundtracks by Carlo Savina (nor any by Erich Kloss, Muir Mathieson, Marcus Dods, Ray Heindorf, Leo Forbstein or Tim Simonec for that matter). wink




Can we assume you have some that feature Alfred Newman conducting other people's scores?

Savina composed 170+ scores. But as conductor, a non-soundtrack re-recording of bits of Ben-Hur is hardly his best known conducting legacy. For every person who would today recognize any theme from Ben-Hur, there are probably 1,000,000 who would recognize The Godfather, the original soundtrack of which Savina conducted.

 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 3:31 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Aside from the reasons that Rozsaphile and Mr Raynes have provided, Mr Komar doesn't understand why Savina's assignment as conductor on one Rozsa album from the late 1950s automatically obliges those who admire Rozsa's scores to run and seek out scores by said conductor.

It's not an automatic obligation.

With me, though, it's curiosity - almost an automatic curiosity - to explore the music of anyone attached to music that I like.

If recording engineer Dick Lewzey ever wrote a film score, I'd be interested to hear what it sounds like especially after hearing those superb UK recordings of Jerry Fielding scores he did (such as THE MECHANIC).


But, more to the point, I am curious to see Rozsa fans NOT talk about Rozsa but talk about other composers rather different from Rozsa! smile

 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 6:05 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

I'm a Rozsa fan and I own several Carlo Savina scores. I did not seek them out due to the connection with Rozsa, but simply as part of a general exploration of film composers, especially the Italians.
I don't know how many other FSMers collect or are interested in Italian or other European composers (Rozsa fans or otherwise), but I am interested in film music in general wherever it is to be found. Money is the only thing keeping me from ordering just about every Italian film music CD released. I've rarely been disappointed with anything I've gotten on spec, although I usually stick to genres that appeal to me...westerns, peplums, epic dramas, etc. (with the exception of G&M DeAngelis...can't stand 'em). With unlimited funds I'd order a lot more French, Japanese, Spanish, etc CDs too.

I own all the Digitmovie peplum CDs as well as numerous other label's entries in the genre and I like all of them. I understand how some folks might find these scores not to their liking because of the unusual way Italian composers work. To me, a lot of these scores work better as CDs then as film scores because of the way the themes were usually written (as whole pieces not timed to the film and then just cut-and-pasted into the film by an editor.) This was mostly SOP in Italian films and leads to the music seeming choppy and erratic at times. The album presentations, on the other hand, work really well. I've seen only a few of the films for all the Italian scores I have (except Westerns....seen a high percentage of those), and it probably is better that I haven't.

I agree with a couple of other posters that "Sette a tebe/All O'mbre delle aquile" is one of Savina's best. It's among my faves of all the peplum scores.

 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 6:51 PM   
 By:   ajhfsm   (Member)

I'm exploring Carlo Savina, so far I only have one, 1001 Nights on Verita Note. I would appreciate a list of works to provide a rough overview of Savina.

Hi, ajhfsm.

This should be a very welcome album:

L'UOMO CHE RIDE




It's got a suite of unused Piccioni, too!


That will be in my future. Astonishing a Piccioni rejected for a Savina, Hollywood style.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2013 - 3:09 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

http://youtu.be/B2faN58likc

Here -- I know it's off ToneRow's purpose! -- is some video of Savina discussing his work with Rozsa. Translation, anyone?

Still can't figure out the embedding trick.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2013 - 3:36 PM   
 By:   Angelillo   (Member)

Translation, anyone?

Well, if you want a general idea of the tonality of this intervista, at 0'30' Savina says :

"Rozsa had only one fault that we, the Italian, do not have : he had modesty".

And then at 0'50 Savina says :

"Rozsa spent 6 months in Cinecitta, composing the music for BEN HUR that I conducted". It was a very exhausting exprience and I lost 10 kilos in 3 months !"


So, I guess Rozsa did not have only one fault that the Italian do not have.

Rozsa actually had only fault that Carlo Savina did not have !

wink

 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2013 - 3:56 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

- and I suspect that most of them would not be on my "must see" list anyway!

Mario Bava's LISA AND THE DEVIL is a must-see! big grin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd0HR7cyDkE&feature=player_detailpage

 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2013 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Here -- I know it's off ToneRow's purpose! -- is some video of Savina discussing his work with Rozsa. Translation, anyone?

Still can't figure out the embedding trick.


Thanks for the clip. I hadn't heard Carlo Savina's voice before! smile

 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2013 - 4:31 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)



Something remains puzzling. Why are the Rome and Nuremberg recordings of "Roman March" so vastly different in acoustics, while the Rome "Parade of the Charioteers" and the Nuremberg "Bread and Circus March" recordings dovetail acoustically so well on the second LP?



I reckon we shouldn't usurp the thread away from matters Savina, but I wondered about that myself. The 'Bread and Circuses' March sounds like the same echoey acoustic as the Parade's. I'd wondered if in fact the BaCM was a Rome recording too. I'd even wondered if several bits and pieces of the score had been done in Rome as well, given that the 'Great Movie Themes' album (now in the FSM box) claims to be the Rome group, though we know the 'El Cid' Overture is the Munich version. That's probably going too far really.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2013 - 1:33 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

I've been sampling the multi-titled move indicated near the top. Battle in the Teutoburg Forest would seem to be the most logical name. The picture seems to concern the famous battle in northern Germany (not the Black Forest!) that halted Roman expansion in A.D. 9. (Though I suppose historical accuracy is beside the point here!)

Awful sound at first. Unfair to judge by YouTube clip, of course. Played better at low volume. Early theme for strings is attractive but lacking in harmonic interest. Does this go anywhere in the full score? Bit of Tiomkin feeling. Then a procession of drums and brass. Simple but I can see it working for armies on the march. Electric organ with rumbling drums to build suspense. Rather crude and cheap-sounding. Then rolling drums that are surely channeling ROMAN EMPIRE. Sudden ending is inexplicable. I can see some of this material working for the kind of picture I'm imagining, but it doesn't really hang together here. Interesting to explore this one.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2013 - 6:02 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

I remember the day I bought the album, together with EL CID, in 1963. They were my very first record purchases. That very evening I became puzzled, for while B-H had had a far greater impact on me in the theater, EL CID was more impressive on record. It was my first lesson in the differences between cinematic and purely musical presentation.

As for the audio, Paul, we tend to give the MGM album a pass because it stems from the early days of stereo. But when you consider that the landmark Decca Rheingold stems from a year earlier, you have to admit that the bar for MGM should have been set a lot higher.


Possibly, but the day they expend the same money and resources on a soundtrack album as on an opera recording is the day we'll all know we've slipped into a parallel universe. Most of the soundtracks of the period were woeful; B-H at least had the full-bodied, timbral sound of a real orchestra rather than the usual screeching strings and nails-down-a-blackboard trumpets. My problems with that album were twofold: the absence of Parade of the Charioteers, surely mandatory on a B-H album, and MGM's horrible pressings, which so submerged the music in pops and crackle as to often render actual sound quality considerations moot. (I was also none too pleased that my single favourite Rozsa action piece, the 9 minute Sea Battle, had been reduced to 2 minutes). As for Savina, I thought he captured the spirit of the film well, and the album was a frequent visitor to my turntable. No, it somehow didn't have the impact of El Cid, but I think that was due to two things: El Cid's music tends to be more brassily exciting and emphatic and the selections were very good (and certainly well played and conducted), plus the sound was much brighter, giving the music more edge and impact (and probably providing the foundation for my later complaints about the sound quality on the Tadlow album, which struck me as altogether too warm and soft for a such a brassy, percussive score).

All told I'd give SE1E more than a pass. It was actually the Kloss album that gave me doubts, especially when it began with music I'd never heard before(!). The playing and conducting seemed pretty scrappy too, and there were weird balance problems like the over-loud percussion in Gratus Enters Jerusalem. But that's all for another thread.....

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2013 - 8:24 PM   
 By:   TomD   (Member)

I probably bought Ben-Hur around 1965. At that time, I doubt that there was an easy way for an American to discover that Savina also composed, outside of an Italian language film encyclopedia.
Even Stefan Jania's index of Soundtrack! magazine (through 1998) mentions Savina's name only one time (for Simon Bolivar). So, I did not know that he was a busy composer until recently.
His films are obscure, except to those who dig deep into Italian films.

I did know that he conducted many Italian scores, particularly after Franco Ferrara slowed down. He has conducted many of Nino Rota's scores and some for Philippe Sarde, which are well-known internationally. These titles that he conducted are much more distinguished than the titles of the 38 scores released I know (now) that he composed. Most of these are recent releases.

I think the first and perhaps only instance I have seen his name as composer on a film I was watching was Lisa and the Devil. And, I did notice the warmth of main title accompanying the playing cards, and that it was an unexpectedly attractive piece for a horror film. I can't say anything about the actual score.

Savina simply had/has no one championing his music, outside of those fans deep into Italian soundtracks. I do have curiosity and a large soundtrack collection, but I rarely buy music by an unfamiliar composer which I haven't heard on record or in a film or which has not been heartily recommended.

 
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