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 Posted:   Oct 20, 2013 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Simply curious about how many FSM members there are who are Miklos Rozsa completists & also collect Italian soundtrack albums by Carlo Savina?

What are your thoughts/input?

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 2:22 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

Apparently, the answer is: No. wink

But I understand the question. I think Rózsa fans could like some of Savina's scores for Italian mini-epics, even if it's not on the same level.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 5:11 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

I collect Savina though more through the western connection than any other

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 5:46 AM   
 By:   Angelillo   (Member)

I've always been a great fan of the rerecording of BEN HUR by Savina and even when the OST got released for the first time I'd use to listen to the Savina's from time to time (I even gave it a spin this very same summer).

Very fond of this rerecording ! smile

Now your question is very relevant because it makes me realize I have no other album by Savina...

I guess I simply have not came across other recordings by this composer and it's maybe time to fill the gap.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 3:43 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Now your question is very relevant because it makes me realize I have no other album by Savina...


eek

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

I guess I simply have not came across other recordings by this composer and it's maybe time to fill the gap.

Hi, Angellilo.

Within FSM threads, I've written about 2 Carlo Savina soundtrack from Digitmovies.

One is inside my "Christopher Lee in Italy" article, while the other has its own thread which I created only last week.

These would be for starters ... and I trust there's pleny more to investigate on other sites.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 3:59 PM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

I've always been a great fan of the rerecording of BEN HUR by Savina and even when the OST got released for the first time I'd use to listen to the Savina's from time to time (I even gave it a spin this very same summer).

Very fond of this rerecording ! smile

Now your question is very relevant because it makes me realize I have no other album by Savina...

I guess I simply have not came across other recordings by this composer and it's maybe time to fill the gap.



Well, this CAM collection is a good starting point:

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 5:02 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

For most Rozsa fans Carlo Savina is an name which has lived in infamy on account of his association with the unfortunate first BEN-HUR album. Of course the blame was misplaced. It wasn't Savina's fault that M-G-M reneged on its initial soundtrack album plans or that the American Federation of Musicians got into a snit over the matter. Savina didn't choose or edit the selections, and he was not responsible for the dreadful hollow acoustic of the studio. He was simply a young assistant to Rozsa who got (thanks to Rozsa?) a big opportunity to conduct a magnum opus. In some of the grand moments he did a decent job, though there is elsewhere not much subtlety to the performance.

Over the years reports would drift in that Savina had composed film music of his own, but even living in New York City, I cannot recall encountering any of the films. But who knows? I'm open to recommendations if any of those Italian flicks are accessible today.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 7:59 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

"Infamy"? 'Unfortunate?" "Hollow?" I'm confused. I thought the first album was just fine, sonically as well, and I certainly never knew that Savina's name was living in infamy. Maybe I need to get out more.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

I think the Rozsa BH first album isn't at all bad.

An echoey reverb works very well for the Prelude: we're talking Sistene Chapel and heavenly post-nativity and it works. It's possibly the ONLY recording that gets the horn descent between the Judah theme and the love theme sensuously just right, precisely BECAUSE of the exquisite echo.

His performance of 'The Burning Desert' is wonderful, far better than the flat-footed stomp that is the 'Kloss' version. The galley music may not evoke the film, but it evokes a wooden ship acoustic, full of fatigued slaves. The 'Naval Battle' is downright exciting, and the 'Mother's Love' and Love Theme and 'Return to Judaea' are just exquisite, and the cavernous feel adds to that 'exotic nocturne' feel, as though the music fades off into some Middle Eastern night sky. It's one of the paradoxes (which Rozsa was wrong about in terms of the Quo Vadis? Borehamwood outdoor takes ...) that an 'outdoor' dry acoustic does not evoke the spaces of the outdoors in the same way that a spacious echo DOES! The echo turns 'Friendship' into an ecstasy of Eden complete with tinkling breezes in palm-fronds, which the Kloss version simply does not, I don't care who conducted it. Only the 'Roman March' is brisker and better in the Kloss because of serendipity. The other Volume 2 Kloss album is better conducted by far, but Svina does a fine job.

And the choral work on the Savina album is sublime, far better than on the OST. Remember too that F. DeWald's research shows that 'Arrius' Party' on the Volume 2 album was part of the Savina recording left off, and it's just beautiful.


Savina apparently re-used Rozsa's 'El Cid' leitmotives for the silly 'sequel' 'The 100 Horsemen' by Cottafavi.

Savina was a competent and fine composer, but there's no reason why he should be thought of as a Rozsa-fan magnet. It's all about the music, not the genres.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   Ed Lachmann   (Member)

"SETTE A TEBE / ALL'OMBRA DELLE AQUILE" by Savina are two wonderful scores I've picked up from Screen Archives and really come to appreciate. Both have a very Rozsa-like feel (a la BEN-HUR). I remember the first film as a fun-filled colorful peplum which I saw years ago as SEVEN FOR THEBES. Check out the samples and see if you like it, too. The CD is still in stock as of this post.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

Savina apparently re-used Rozsa's 'El Cid' leitmotives for the silly 'sequel' 'The 100 Horsemen' by Cottafavi.

There is a lot of misinformation here.
The EL CID sequel was not at all directed by Vittorio Cottafavi and it was certainly not his I CENTO CAVALIERI from 1964 which had music by the Spanish film composer Antonio Perez Olea (owned also by Sugar/CAM, by the way).
Savina scored the CID-sequel LA SPADA DEL CID (THE SWORD OF CID) in 1962 and this B movie which was shot in just a few days was directed by Manuel Iglesias. I don't hear any big Rozsa influences in this competent, but not really special score. I think that Savina did some better peplum scores than this one. Savina does also not quote the Rozsa themes from EL CID at all. You can listen to it for yourself here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGV8wKeN26I

For me one of the most beautiful, but underrated Savina scores is for the melodrama AMORE MIO from 1964. I think that this score would appeal very much to Golden Age fans also in the US: It is a melodically very inspired, passionate score, in a fully symphonic style which is more typical of the 50s than of the mid-60s when it was in fact composed.
The score was released on a rare CAM LP in 1964 which probably only a few collectors here will have.
It is interesting to note that on two occasions on this LP Savina pays homage to Rozsa's SPELLBOUND music. It is obvious that he quotes some snippets from there for maybe 20-30 seconds, but you have to listen for it carefully. It is really nice in the way how he does it.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 12:10 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

DP

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 12:18 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

There is a lot of misinformation here.
The EL CID sequel was not at all directed by Vittorio Cottafavi and it was certainly not his I CENTO CAVALIERI from 1964 which had music by the Spanish film composer Antonio Perez Olea (owned also by Sugar/CAM, by the way).
Savina scored the CID-sequel LA SPADA DEL CID (THE SWORD OF CID) in 1962 and this B movie which was shot in just a few days was directed by Manuel Iglesias. I don't hear any big Rozsa influences in this competent, but not really special score. I think that Savina did some better peplum scores than this one. Savina does also not quote the Rozsa themes from EL CID at all.



I stand corrected, Stefan.

I was basing my info on some postings (which I can't now find ...!!!) either here or over on the Rozsa board, which claimed that (a) the two films were one and the same, and (b) Savina had re-used some Rozsa motifs. The moral is, don't take anything for granted until you've checked yourself! I've seen neither film, though I've heard the '100 Horsemen' movie praised in some circles, so I thought it odd at the time.

I would say though, that Savina, in the clip's title sequence has stayed well within the previous Rozsa influence: listen to the opening fanfare and the general lines of strings-enhanced-by-brass-harmonic-lines, and you can hear that he used something LIKE 20th-place removed variations on Rozsa's general main Rodrigo theme. It's not variation, comes out pure Italian really, but it shows MR's score's influence in the phrasings, even through no real Hispanicisims are there.

Savina was friendly with Rozsa. Over on the Rozsa chat boards there are a few bits and pieces here and there regarding Rozsa and the Italian composers if you try out the search function. Nascimbene's name appeared for contractual reasons on some Italian, 'El Cid' prints and there was a claim by Nascimbene that he was asked to wriote on-scene music for stuff like the beach scenes. The Moorish drum ostinato may well be his:

http://miklosrozsa.yuku.com/reply/19031/Mario-Nascimbene-Redux

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 12:38 PM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

Thanks for your additional notes, William.
I understand what you mean, but I still think the Main Title from Savina's SPADE DEL CID score does not differentiate itself too much from the standard Italian peplum style of that time and does not have too many of those characteristic Rozsa phrasings which you can spot at once. On the other hand, I would invite you to have a listen to Savina's Main Title for L'IRA DI ACHILLE from the same year 1962 - particularly from 0:40 onwards, where in my opinion you can hear a lot more Rozsa touches (the melodic contours and harmonies), especially taken from BEN HUR:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po_i1rl6zEk

I myself have the Italian autobiography by Nascimbene "Malgrè Moi, Musicista". Contrary to what you write above, he did not compose any music at all for EL CID. I don't know where these rumours have come from, but Nascimbene himself states in his autobiography that he did not write any note at all for EL CID.
His story is the following one: He was contacted by the Italian co-producer Robert Haggiag, with whom he had made some films before, to increase the quota of the Italian crew who participated on the movie. However, without Haggiag's knowledge, Samuel Bronston had already contacted Rozsa and told him to write the score. Then Nascimbene was invited to Malaga by Bronston who told him that he did not need his services anymore, because he had already found the right music for the film. Then Bronston personally showed Nascimbene a disc with Massenet's opera "Le Cid" and said in French "Ca c'est la musique de mon film!" ("This is the music for my movie!"). Nascimbene was enraged and immediately went back to Rome.
Funny story, but according to Nascimbene this was the real story of which Rozsa did not know about when he wrote his own autobiography "A Double Life".

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 1:42 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

Remember too that F. DeWald's research shows that 'Arrius' Party' on the Volume 2 album was part of the Savina recording left off, and it's just beautiful.

Savina also recorded the "Parade of the Charioteers" and a Vatican Choir concert version of "The Christ Theme from BEN-HUR" on March 18, 1960 in Rome under Rozsa's supervision. This was intended for an interim 45-rpm single in anticipation of a "More Music from BEN-HUR" LP to be completed and released later that year, but MGM's single (which lists the Symphony Orchestra of Rome with Carlo Savina as conductor) substituted the Savina LP's "Love Theme" in places of "Parade," for reasons undisclosed. "Parade" did appear on the "More Music" LP (presumably, but read on).

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?

Frank DeWald's research points to an October 28, 1959 note from Rozsa to Jesse Kaye stating: “I think that they played the Roman March (No. 3) better in Nuremberg than in Rome (the Germans know better how to march) so, if Arnold [Maxin, head of MGM Records] wants to exchange these two tracks, it would be OK with me.” If so, why would Rozsa go along with recording yet another march, the "Parade of the Charioteers," in Rome under Savina, rather in Nuremberg? Or was he, perhaps, unsatisfied with Savina's recording of "Parade" (which may explain its absence from the 45-rpm single) and proceeded to re-record it in Nuremberg. Remember that the only other march on the Savina LP, the "Victory Parade," was not recorded by Savina; it was, as I suspected long ago, conducted by Rozsa himself for the film's soundtrack several months earlier using the brass section of the same ensemble that Savina used, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (Fernando Previtali was its music director at that time), which would not allow the use of its name, so it was identified as the “Symphony Orchestra of Rome” on the Savina LP.

Savina's "Roman March" may well be the only Rozsa march that has survived on LP.

An intriguing thought: were the Rome and Nuremberg recordings of "Roman March" exchanged, as per Rozsa’s suggestion? Somehow I doubt it. Unlike William and Rozsa, I actually prefer the Savina recording of the “Roman March.” It has an inexorable power and a relentless potency befitting Roman might, and it matches the muscle that Rozsa’s version exerts in the film as Messala finally arrives within the Fortess Antonia to be hailed by the legion’s trumpeters.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 3:59 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Over the years reports would drift in that Savina had composed film music of his own, but even living in New York City, I cannot recall encountering any of the films. But who knows? I'm open to recommendations if any of those Italian flicks are accessible today.

Hi, Rozsaphile.

Stefan Schlegel has mentioned that there's more than 80 UNRELEASED master tapes of music by Carlo Savina within the C.A.M. archives.

Add this to the Italian soundtrack albums which have already released some of Savina's scores and we get greater than 100.

A not insignificant number, I'd say. smile

True, most of these Euro-productions had never been distributed into English-speaking territories. The availability of assorted Italian soundtrack albums, though, should be known to SAE customers even if one does not purchase them.

Simply look at SAE's home page and within their new release section a body could see pre-order announcements for quite a number titles on various labels, such as Digitmovies and Beat.

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?

As for suggestions, here's but a few.

URSUS NELLA TERRA DI FUOCO




OMBRE ROVENTI




LA CRIPTA E L'INCUBO




&


L'UOMO CHE RIDE

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   Ag^Janus   (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.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

"Infamy"? 'Unfortunate?" "Hollow?" I'm confused. I thought the first album was just fine, sonically as well, and I certainly never knew that Savina's name was living in infamy. Maybe I need to get out more.

Yeah. Get out & go into the crypt of the vampire! big grin

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 4:14 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (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!

 
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