Film scores

Soundtrack review: Don Giovanni in Sicilia (Bruno Nicolai – 1977, 2015)

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“Don Giovanni in Sicilia” is a 1977 Italian TV show. There was also a movie in 1969 of the same title on which this miniseries is based on and there’s a connection in the musical department between the two: Maestro Bruno Nicolai, who conducted Armando Troviaoli’s score for the movie returned to write the score himself for the TV show. The series is comedic and it’s about a guy who moves to Sicily with his three sisters and he thinks he’s an expert in women. Of course he knows nothing until he meets a woman who will change him… or not. sI’m expecting a pure Italian holyday score with this one. Bruno Nicolai is one of the most famous Italian composers and he was a great friend and frequent collaborator of Ennio Morricone. This release is part of the “Gold collection” from Kronos Records.

And there it is… The opening and main theme “In Sicilia” brings the haunting and piercing whistle (thank you, Alessandro Alessandroni) and mandolin sound of Italian Westerns to Sicily, before the instrumentation becomes melodic and cheerful and I recognize the sweet and dear melancholy this sound always brings inside me. Italian romance music with its accordion and light strings always makes me think of the most beautiful of summers. Don’t worry, the whistling will return later in the score. There’s something about this unmistakable sounds that never fails to charm me and make me dream and remember. Just close your eyes and tell me you don’t imagine a gondola ride in Venice or a bicycle ride down some narrow streets somewhere in Sicily. I don’t remember when or how this sound got imprinted so deep inside me but it surely comes from my earliest memories of film and music. I love Italian film music, it’s unique, light and emotional at the same time and you can see Bruno Nicolai worked closely with Morricone.

The instrumentation of this score is as authentic as it gets. You can smell the Mediterranean air when you listen to “Don Giovanni in Sicilia” and the music will send you on an eternal holiday. The harpsichord comes every now and then like a seagull flying above the water and coming to sit near you. There richness and variety of strings make this one of the most perfectly seaside Italian music compositions I have ever heard. The harp … the accordion… the mandolin all bring that mix of nostalgia and relaxation you can’t find anywhere. The appeal and the magic of Italy is all right here. I am enchanted by this score, I want to go sailing with it, I want to jump into the water with it and I want to serve a fresh fish dinner with it by my side.

It’s not all light and dreamy. The music gets haunting in the different variations of the “Le sorelle” theme. I discover more and more goodness in this score and I want to have this “Gold collection” from Kronos. I am happy that someone like them treats Italian composers with the respect and reverence they deserve. I could never get enough of this music. You want playful and romantic? You got it. You want melodic and nostalgic? Yep, “Don Giovanni in Sicilia” has got you covered. Oh wait, you want a tango? You guessed, Bruno Nicolai wrote a couple of those as well, one of them as the “Don Giovanni” theme. You want a celebration of life and joy? Or maybe just good old fashioned whacky comedy music that will put a smile on your face?

Yes, you want this score. I don’t have anything else to say because you’ll get a romantic vacation in a box. Sweet dreams!

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 45 / 73

Album excellence: 62%

Highlights:

In Sicilia

A Letto

Mediterranea

Don Procopio

Le Sorelle

Le Sorelle

Dal Meridione

Don Giovanni

Don Procopio

Sposalizio

Ninetta

Le Sorelle

In Sicilia

La Giostra

A Casa Mia

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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