Film scores

Soundtrack review: Questione di cuore (Battista Lena – 2009)

questione

“Questione di cuore” (“A thing of the heart”) is an Italian movie from 2009 about two men who strike up a close friendship after suffering a heart attack. Sounds a bit like “The bucket list”. I am reviewing the score by Battista Lena. I’m always happy to discover a new Italian composer, because that school is one of my favorites.

Even if this is written by an Italian composer it will be a challenge for me because it’s a comedy score and this is sort of my least favorite film music genre. I usually have a very had time connecting with a comedy score. Fortunately Battista Lena seems to choose a light melancholic tone for his score and this I can work with. “Al Iago” doesn’t need more than half a minute to take me by the hand and transport me in a small Italian city which must have a body of water passing through it because this evening has a salty and refreshing smell in the air.

Then the sweet piano comes to say hi. “Alberto scrive” is just the most wonderful little cue, with the solo piano accompanying what I can imagine is a lonely guy in poorly lit room writing a love letter. This probably has nothing to do with the story at hand but who cares. The music has a life of its own and it creates something else inside me. The cue slowly turns jazzy with a mellow sax insert and I still love the mood.

I clearly misjudged this score before even listening to it. I am constantly delighted by the dialogue between the solo piano and the cello. “Funerale” is about as far away from a comedy score as it can get. It is just a piece of music that respectfully mourns a loss. And this isn’t all… A magnificent solo flute motif opens the next cue “Notti titoli” and I am mesmerized. Italian romance and emotion are unmatched and even an obscure movie like this scored by a composer I didn’t know about can provide some unforgettable moments. Nobody can do romance like the Italians.

Somewhere along the way “Questione di cuore” takes off its mask and reveals its true heart. It is a wonderful heart, bruised but still capable of love and it beats to the sound of piano keys. What a nice surprise this score was, I had absolutely no expectations and instead stumbled upon a gem I will keep close.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 26

Album excellence: 45%

Highlights:

Alberto scrive (From “Questione di cuore”)

Notti titoli (From “Questione di cuore”)

Alberto spia Perla (From “Questione di cuore”)

Carla se ne va (From “Questione di cuore”)

In paradiso (From “Questione di cuore”)

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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