Film scores

Soundtrack review: Cavalli si nasce (Eugenio Bennato – 1989)

cavalli

“Cavalli si nasce” (“Horse are born”) is an Italian movie set in 1832 about two Tuscan gentlemen who leave from Napoli to Sicilia on the traces of Goethe who had just died that year. A misfortune brings them as guests of a prince who wants to marry his daughter with one of them. The score was written by Eugenio Bennato and benefited from a release 26 years after the original movie.

The main theme of the movie “Noi tra le stelle” appears in two versions, once sung by Pietra Montecorvino and once again at the end, with a mail choir. Now I usually don’t include vocal themes in my reviews but I couldn’t pass this one since this girl’s voice brings back a lot of childhood memories because it’s as rugged and raspy as the one of Gianna Nannini.

The music of “Cavalli si nasce” is unusual. The composer really tried to capture the sound of the period and of the area and we get a beautiful cue like “Sud di Napoli”. The cue is very interesting because of has African influences as well; the male vocal inserts might be using the local dialect but they could have very well sung this tune in an African desert. This score has a very powerful ethnic identity.

The purely instrumental tracks are playful and sound as if they were being interpreted at the court of a prince. They have that unmistakable sound I always associate with stories about kings and queens or from the renaissance period. My favorite piece is the theme “Jacques e il principe” which makes me dream from the first second. It’s gentle and it’s as if taken from a fairytale.

Even if it’s a very short score “Cavalli si nasce” ends up as one of the more interesting and varied I’ve heard this year. From those melodic themes to the ethnic sounds to the strange and fun “Sogno di Goethe” which in turn makes me feel as if I am watching an absurd play in a theater, each piece of music is quite intriguing. This is not a score I will return to in the future but I don’t regret having listened to it. I must admit I am actually curious how it sounds in the context of the movie. I will also remember the sweet perfume of Italian melancholia that Eugenio Bennato’s music has gently sprayed me with.

Cue rating: 80 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 3 / 19

Album excellence: 17%

Highlights:

Jacques e il principe

Pazzo pazzo

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).

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment