Movies about sport or sporting personalities more often than not contain a musical score that is inspiring, romantic, highly thematic and above all emotional. Just cast your mind back to ROCKY, HOOSIERS, RUDY, and their like. IL GRANDE FAUSTO (1995) is no exception to the rule. The screenplay for this movie is based upon the life of Fausto Coppi, born in 1919, Coppi went on to be a champion class cyclist and took part in over 600 races all over the world out of this number he won 118. He competed in tours of France and Italy, and won these in the years 1940, 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953.Composer Franco Piersanti fashioned an excellent score for the movie, the work being packed with some truly haunting and emotive tone poems as well as the numerous action led cues. The music for me evoked memories of Ennio Morricone, the way in which Piersanti orchestrates and builds themes is very similar to that of Maestro Morricone. This style or approach is evident more prominently within track number 8, GRANDE VITTORIA-GIRO D,ITALIA 1949. Urgent and racing strings open the track but these soon melt away and segue into a softer and far more gentle piece which is performed by solo piano and then solo whistler, these are then supported by use of subdued choir and underlying strings which add poignancy and fragility. The composer utilises solo piano a great deal within the score which for me personally makes the work more appealing and entertaining. It is rich with vibrant and highly emotive themes and awash with romantic undertones, where the composer fuses both piano strings and choir to evoke the richness and lushness of vintage scores from Hollywood. Tracks such as STORY OF A SECRET LOVE are simply stunning, this is a score that could easily be overlooked as I do not think the movie was released outside of Italy, the compact disc which was issued on CAM back in 1995, is one that I would recommend.
Carlo Siliotto is a composer whose name has made regular appearances on many film and TV credits since he began to write for the cinema in 1984 with his debut score CHI MI AIUTA? It was probably his score for FLIGHT OF THE INNOCENTS that threw him into the collecting fraternity’s and since then the composer has attained quite a following. Going back a few years now well more than a few to 1995, to an intimate and rather pleasing work for a comedy entitled PALLA DI NEVE or SNOWBALL as it was titled outside of Italy. The film focuses upon an entertainer who works on board a cruise ship and his relationship with a young boy and a rather cute Beluga whale. This is as one can imagine a tale filled with many emotional and heartrending scenarios and situations plus there are also as many comic and madcap occurrences as the story unfolds. Siliotto provided the movie with a varied and vibrant soundtrack, his score elevating and underling each moment. It is a score that is filled with melodic and poignant pieces which stand alongside and combine with as many lighter and more comedic thematic material. Throughout the work the composer attaining just the correct balance of each. The compact disc opens with THE MAIN TITLE THEME which begins with Whale song, or the sound of the Beluga, this is fleeting and short live with the composer bringing into play an introduction on solo piano, this is soon joined by the string section which take on the central theme and develop it into a rich and romantic sounding piece that eventually is performed by full orchestra, wind and brass sections melt away and give the stage to the string section as it performs a waltz like arrangement of the scores main theme. The cue then slows in tempo and strings gradually make way for lilting woods which bring the piece to its conclusion. The composer makes effective and positive use of solo piano throughout the score and it is this instrument that features in track number two with a particularly pleasant rendition of Siliotto’s core theme, it is a motif that is repeated throughout but is indeed kept fresh by the composer’s inventive orchestrations and arrangements. There is also a secondary theme heard at times, again performed in the main on piano, which is mirrored by a chiming effect giving the music an almost childlike sound. I am not going to say that this is the greatest score ever, but it is however an entertaining and highly melodic one. The composer acquitted himself admirably on this assignment and incorporated many styles into his score, which include, Jazz, and a scattering of dramatic and action cues. Released originally on the CAM label this is a score that will be a nice addition to any collection.