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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Strings In Stereo - Domenico Savino

Stranger In The City
Strings In Stereo
Domenico Savino and His Symphonic Strings
Recorded in Europe
RCA Camden CAS-487

From the back cover: Domenico Savino was born in Taranto, Italy, in 1881. He attended the Royal Conservatory of Naples, majoring in composition and piano. Arriving in the United States at an early age, he soon began making a name for himself – as a matter of fact, he began making two names for himself. Some of his works were published under the nom de plume of D. Onivas.

A growing reputation earned him an offer from one of the leading record companies. Savino became musical director for Pathe Phonograph. He functioned as a conductor, and also as a supervisor of recording sessions. He guided some of the best-known singers of the day through the intricacies of recording techniques. Among them were grand opera's famed Claudia Muzio; Tito Schipa with his modest tenor voice and memorable artistry; and the exceptionally beautiful Lina Cavalieri.

Ever alert to the promise that new technical developments held, Domenico Savino was one of first to realize that motion pictures offered a fertile field for musical expression. He penned many effective orchestral background music scores for the "silent" films. Both M-G-M and Twentieth Century-Fox utilized his talents. He did the music for the film "The Patriot," which starred one of filmdom's all-time greats, Emil Jannings.

Savino retained a deep interest of the music business, and is reputedly the first musician to arrange a popular song in symphonic style.

It would be difficult to find a phrase of the music business in which Savino was not active at one time or another. For a while, he was chief editor of one of the most prominent music publishing houses in this country, the Robbins Music Corporation. He was also an important stockholder; and when M-G-M purchased the Robbins Music Corporation, Savino was compensated in an amount that gave rise to some fantastic rumors in Tin Pan Alley. Savino admitted that the payment ran well into six figures, but declined to be too specific.

Long-time music lovers will recall Domenico Savino's work on such radio programs as the Paramount Hour, the La Paling Cigar program, and the American Telephone and Telegraph Hour. Savino also spent some time as musical director of one of the major radio networks.

The financial problem, which has proved a stumbling block for many a talented musician, was no great obstacle for Savino. After earning an excellent living for a number of years in the popular music field, he found himself in an economic position which permitted him to retire to concentrate on composing classical music. With over 900 compositions to his credit, Savino could count on a steady income from his membership in the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers – popularly known as ASCAP.

When he left the popular music field to write in a more serious view, Savino also decided to pursue the art of painting. He plunged into this new field with typical enthusiasm. Before too long, every wall in his eight-room Manhattan apartment was covered with pictures. Then he rented another eight-room apartment in the same building, and repeated his feat. And while all this was going on, Savino was busy producing piano works, choral music, cantatas, and band music. Among his better known serious compositions are Four Impressions and the Overture Fantasy. – Notes by Leonard Raphael

To A Water Lily
In The Orient
Stranger In The City
Humoresque Miniature
June Barcaolle
To Spring
Norwegian Dane No. 2
Autumn Intermezzo
Waltz From "Serenade For Strings"

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