Of the seventeen movies that I have directed, I asked Piero Piccioni to score thirteen of them. For my second film, I Magliari (1959) I needed a completely different type of music to the one composed for my prior film, La Sfida (1957) by Roman Vlad, a great classical composer. I required a more tender type of music, jazz which would blend well with more popular types of songs and melodies. Piero was the man I needed. We became friends and immediately understood eachother also thanks to our mutual love for pure jazz and symphonic music, Stravinkij and Shostakovic.
Those essential notes which underline the score for Salvatore Giuliano (1961) pinpoint those rare moments in the film which are evoked in the images as a necessity. They are not just a mere sequence to complement them but they are born from Piero’s unique creativity and also from his intelligence in not trying to hide the true, raw emotions which went into making this film.
Le Mani Sulla Citta’ (1963) was even more difficult to tackle as music had to be applied to concepts as well as actions. Ennio Morricone has written that this is one of the most beautiful soundtracks ever written. I always listen to it with great emotion.
To find Piero at the recording studio and then at the mixdown suite was always a pleasure that I would cherish when making each film, a kind of final gratification.
The process and transition between the visual aspects of a movie to that of music is always a magical moment, once this reaches its final goal of completing a work.
I have been priviledged to have lived these moments with him.