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Soundtrack review: Salvatore, questa e la vita (Paolo Vivaldi – 2006)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Salvatore, questa e la vita (Paolo Vivaldi – 2006)

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Salvatore is a young orphan, living in Sicily with his little sister and his grandmother; after loosing his father in a tragic way he quits school and starts working as a fisherman and a farmer in order to support his little family. The Social Services soon discover the situation and resolve to put Salvatore in an orphanage, parting him from his family. Only a young, idealistic teacher (Enrico Lo Verso) tries to help him, going everyday after school to his house, to teach him the lessons he misses in the morning and to work with him in his greenhouse or on his fishing boat. Paolo Vivaldi wrote the score.

I am the biggest fan of the Italian film music school; the melodic romantic sound is in the Italian composer’s blood and no matter if a score is written by a legend like Morricone or De Masi or Donaggio or by a new comer like Vivaldi, I am in because I know I can’t go wrong with an Italian score. “Salvatore, questa e la vita” is the first time I am hearing of Paolo Vivaldi. First off, I need to mention how much I like these Italian movie titles that are actually sentences; there have been a lot of Westerns with titles like these, some even with exclamation or question marks in the actual title and I find if quite funny.

Naturally the score opens with a romantic solo piano piece; “Questa È La Vita” is nothing more and nothing less than I expected from a score by an Italian composer; I just adore the passion, the romance and the unique melodic qualities of the music, it’s like it grows wings and invites me on a carefree trip. The story takes place in a small place in Sicily let’s have fun with a flute and brass fanfare like cue “L’apetta” which once again tickles my nostalgia bone; if you like Italian film music and are familiar with its subtleties you will just giggle at this one. The sound returns with harmonica as well in “La multa” and I remember the countless Italian comedies I used to watch.

“Salvatore, questa e la vita” is a delightful Italian vacation where fun and romance go hand in hand and make for a very enjoyable standalone listen; the music is sunny and positive and I feel the atmosphere of “somewhere in Sicily” with all the tribulations, reflections and happenings. This score doesn’t pretend to be more than it is and Paolo Vivaldi is yet another Italian composer who is here to bring joy and charm his listeners.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 16 / 34

Album excellence: 48%

Highlights:
Questa È La Vita
La Notte Delle Lumache
Ritorno a Casa
La Morte Del Padre
La Multa
La Barca
Ci Rifletta Maestro
L’agguato
La Rissa a Scuola
Torno a Roma
Devi Fidarti Di Me
Lassù Nel Cielo

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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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