Released on Kronos Records June 2015.

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Born in Turin Italy on August 29th 1919, Carlo Savina was one of the busiest and best known composers of film and television music in his country of birth, as a composer he worked on numerous movies and was able to easily adapt his style and creative thoughts to cater for any genre of film, scoring romantic comedies, adventure tales, westerns and historical dramas as well as thrillers and Roman epics, bringing to each assignment a certain lushness and melodic perfection that was his own individual musical fingerprint. Savina was also well known as a conductor and arranger and during his career collaborated with many composers of film music, Philippe Sarde (TESS THE TENANT and THE BEAR), Nino Rota (THE GODFATHER,AMACORD,FELLINI ROMA,THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and numerous others), Manuel De Sica (THE GARDEN OF FINZI CONTINI) and most notably Miklos Rozsa. Savina conducted a number of Rozsa’s epic soundtracks for Hollywood Biblically slanted blockbusters that were filmed at Cinecitta and was even credited as the composer of the EL CID score on prints that were released in Italy, this was due to contractual and legal situations at the time in the country. Savina’s contribution to the world of cinema is immense and it is at times hard to come to terms with the composers output and the consistent quality of his soundtracks. Savina came from a musical family background, his Father played first clarinet in the orchestra of EIAR which was the Italian public radio broadcaster at the time. The young Savina was always surrounded by music and at an early age began to take lessons on the violin. He went on to study music at the Music Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi in Turin from where he graduated with diplomas in Violin, Composition, Piano and conducting. In 1945 Savina began to write music for radio and would score plays and other programmes, he then formed his own orchestra and became well known and much in demand. In 1950 the composer began to write music for the cinema and during the next thirty years became one of the most prolific composer conductors involved in movie music. I suppose one could say that Carlo Savina was to Nino Rota what Bruno Nicolai was to Ennio Morricone, often arranging and conducting Rota’s scores and at times writing additional cues for him when he had moved onto another assignment and the films producers felt the need for an extra section of film to be scored. Savina also worked with Ennio Morricone, Armando Trovaioli, Stanley Myers, Stephen Sondheim and Mario Nascimbene as arranger or musical director but he was a gifted composer in his own right and during his career worked on over 200 film scores. In 1981 Savina wrote a haunting score for the first 3-D spaghetti western COMIN AT YA which which was a vehicle for the second rate actor filmmaker Tony Anthony with Savina’s beautifully written score outshining the images and storyline it was intended to enhance, in 1985 he won the David Di Donatello best music award for his score to PIZZA CONNECTION. He passed away on June 23rd 2002.

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LA ARAUCANA was released in on the 25th February 1972 in Italy, it is a historical drama/war movie that is set in Chile during the summer of 1540. Also known as CONQUEST OF CHILE the film follows the progress of Pedro de Valdivia who leaves Cuzco with a handful of heroic men to fight against the Araucana guerillas. The movie which was a co production between, Italy, Spain, Chile and Peru was directed by Julio Coll who also collaborated on the screenplay of the film which was based upon the famous epic poem ALONSO DE ERCILLA. Set in a time when Spain dominates half the known world and has sent its conquistadors to spread its influences throughout the Americas, amongst these are men of good heart and soul that are idealists and a missionary but also among them are mercenaries and soldiers of fortune who are adventurers and care little how they carry out their duties and care even less for the lives of themselves and others. After an ill fated expedition into the South of the country which results in the loss of many of his soldiers Don Pedro De Valdivia returns to Cuzco which is the Capital of the vice-royalty of Peru with a number of badly wounded men from his company. Valdivia himself has been wounded and after recovering from an operation to save his leg decides to return to the South with just a handful of soldiers and a woman Inez de Suarez who’s husband was killed in the previous expedition. The film is entertaining enough with Carlo Savina’s epic sounding score aiding the action greatly, the composer contributing one of his most lush and romantic sounding themes to the proceedings with definite nods of acknowledgement to composer Miklos Rozsa throughout via the fanfares that Savina utilises within his score. The film itself is I suppose the story about the birth of a nation as in CHILE, it is romantic, passionate and filled with action and excitement, which is underlined and punctuated perfectly by the music of Savina.

John Mansell (Movie music International) (IFMCA).

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