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Memorie dal Silenzio Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Music

La settimana scorsa siamo andati a La Spezia a trovare il nostro amico Omar, compagno di squadra del nostro club di Softair. Prima di tornare a casa Omar ci ha prestato il DVD del film American Sniper, che non avevamo ancora visto. Così ieri sera lo abbiamo finalmente guardato. Mentre scorrevano le immagini finali del film, alle prime note suonate dalla tromba solista, tutta una serie di ricordi sono improvvisamente riemersi dalle tenebre della mia infanzia.

Last week we went to La Spezia to visit our friend Omar, a squad mate from our Air Soft club. Before coming back home, Omar lent us his DVD of the movie American Sniper, which we hadn’t yet seen. So yesterday evening we finally watched it. As the final scenes slid by, the first notes played by the solo trumpet caused a whole series of memories to resurface from the murkiness of my childhood.

Nini Rosso Il Silenzio

Quando eravamo bambini mio padre aveva comprato un LP del trombettista italiano Nini Rosso, e il suo brano preferito era proprio Il Silenzio, la musica che suona alla fine di American Sniper. Anche negli ultimi giorni della sua vita, quando era ricoverato in ospedale, mio padre ne parlava: “Serena, te lo ricordi Il Silenzio di Nini Rosso? Com’era bello, e com’era bravo Nini Rosso”. Ma quel disco è andato da tanto tempo, usato infinite volte non solo da mio padre, ma anche dai miei due fratelli più grandi, Gippi e Andrea.

When we were children my father bought a record by the Italian trumpet player Nini Rosso, and his favourite piece was, in fact, Il Silenzio, the music that plays at the end of American Sniper. Even during his final days, when he was in hospital, my father used to talk about it: “Serena, do you remember Il Silenzio by Nini Rosso? It was so beautiful, and he was so good, Nini Rosso.” But that record went a long time ago, played an infinite number of times not only by my father, but also by my two older brothers, Gippi and Andrea.

Il Silenzio infatti è il nome usato nelle caserme per il momento dell’ammaina bandiera alla sera. Pertanto uno dei giochi preferiti dei miei fratelli era di sistemare tutti i loro soldatini di plastica in lunghe file come per una parata militare in sala davanti allo stereo, poi mettevano su il disco di Nini Rosso e suonavano Il Silenzio stando tutti e due sull’attenti con la mano destra sulla fronte in posizione di saluto. Finita la musica l’incanto si rompeva improvvisamente: assestavano un bel calcio ai soldatini facendoli finire tutti per terra e ridendo esclamavano: “Adesso i soldati sono andati a dormire”.

Il Silenzio is, in fact, the name used in the barracks for the moment at which the flag is lowered in the evening. So one of my brothers’ favourite games was to arrange all their little plastic soldiers in long rows, as if for a military parade, in front of the stereo in the living room, then they would put the LP on the record player and play Il Silenzio, both of them standing to attention with their right hand against their forehead in the position of the salute. When the music was over the spell would be suddenly broken: they would give the model soldiers a good kick, throwing them to the floor and laughingly exclaim: “Now the soldiers have gone to sleep.”

N.B. I knew this piece of music from my childhood as Il Silenzio (The Silence) by Nini Rosso. In the movie American Sniper the music is credited to Ennio Morricone as The Funeral. I did a bit of research on the internet and couldn’t come to any final conclusion about its provenance, however, one explanation that I found, and to me it seems the most probable, is this: the music, entitled The Funeral, was composed by Ennio Morricone for the 1965 Spaghetti Western film Il Ritorno di Ringo, and was played by the trumpet player Nini Rosso. Nini Rosso then recorded this same piece in a more jazzy key under the title Il Silenzio, adding a short spoken piece describing the solitude of the soldier. Nini Rosso’s Il Silenzio immediately became a big hit in Italy.

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Comments:

  1. FPC:

    A little further background: About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in “Operation Market Garden” in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall/winter of 1944.
    Every one of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave, decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted. It is even the custom to keep a portrait of “their” American soldier in a place of honor in their home.
    Annually, on “Liberation Day,” memorial services are held for “the
    men who died to liberate Holland.” The day concludes with a concert.
    The final piece is always “Il Silenzio,” a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland’s liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.

    • Serena:

      @FPC Salve! Molto interessante!
      There’s one important piece of information missing in your quote, which I copied and pasted from the following link: https://jhaines6.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/andre-rieu-il-silenzio-maastricht-2008-digital-tv/:

      “This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and was composed by Italian composer Nino Rossi” (Well, the vowels got mixed up, the composer’s name is Nini Rosso).

      In conclusione: either the credits in the movie American Sniper are wrong, or it is possible that this piece was first composed as The Funeral by Ennio Morricone and played by Nini Rosso, who then changed the title to Il Silenzio, which became a worldwide hit, and was used by the Dutch and Dalida, etc, etc,

      In ogni caso: questo brano musicale è ITALIANO!
      Saluti da Serena

  2. June Radicchi:

    Loved today’s story in Italian and English

  3. Jane:

    Hi Serena and Geoff! Come state? I have an irrelevant question and hope you will be able to introduce sometime. I am confused with the difference between “avere bisogno di” and “avere voglia di”. There are explanations but I can’t find one in English. Are they differ in ways as “I need to/I have to” in English? Grazie mille!

  4. Gert Schwaner:

    Memorie del Silezio
    Un’inquadratura interessante e anche commovente d’una brana così conosciuta.
    Saluti cordiali
    Gert Schwaner
    Danimarca


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