Giovanna D’Arco’s passion: original music for film

  • Regia: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Musica: Cristiano Alberghini
  • Durata: 114'‘
  • Anno: 1928

Il progetto, in breve

110 years of Cinema in Bologna, 110 years of Cinema al Guardassoni

On December 28, 1895, in the Salon Indien of the Grand Café of the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris, the first public film screening took place. On March 12 the French novelty landed in Rome, then in Milan,
Naples, Livorno and, in August, in Bergamo, Ravenna and Bologna. If for the first art film we’ll have to wait for September 20, 1905 and Filoteo Alberini’s “La presa di Roma”, the celluloid fever had flared up very quickly and the first films of the Lumière soon added the films – illustrative, comic, even pornographic – produced by enterprising emissaries of the Lumière. The Guardassoni Theater of Bologna was no exception, indeed it was among the first to welcome the novelty and to host the cinema since 1896.

Today, 110 years after the first screening, we decided to bring the seventh art back to the Montalto hall, to restore the equipment, to call musicians to accompany the show live and to propose films restored by the Bologna Film Library in the unique and fascinating atmosphere of ancient cinema. Ancient, yes, but never aged, always alive and always current.

Premi e riconoscimenti

“…the compositions of Cristiano Alberghini, also involved in the piano, were noted for their expressive and technical variety, with references to Chopin, jazz and avant-gardes to enhance the images of interrogation, torture, ecstasy and torment.. ….”

Mirella Golinelli – Gli Amici della Musica

Guardassoni Theatre 2006


Return with masterpiece: “THE PASSION OF GIOVANNA D’ARCO”

Founded in 1928 by the intent of the Société Generale de Film to create a female counterpart to the monumental -and magnificent – Napoléon by Abel Gance (1927), La passion de Jeanne D’Are is, like the biography of Bonaparte, with whom it shares also the presence in the cast of Antonin Artaud, one of the greatest masterpieces of French and world cinema. Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968), in fact, set his work with a historical rigor equal only to the severe realism of the images.

Do not think, however, that the Danish filmmaker has translated into film the proceedings of the Pulzella d’Orléans trial with a detached documentary look: on the contrary, the singular use of a first and very first plan that almost nullifies the space in favor of expression it joins impressive mass scenes even for a modern audience. Modern, on the other hand, is also the image of Giovanna, a young woman who is authentic in faith, in pain and in terror, more than the icon of a heroine or a saint.

Renee Falconetti’s interpretation is overwhelming: Dreyer not only focuses light and lens on his expressive face with the master’s gaze, but gets from the theater actress lent to the cinema – and that at the cinema, after this intense experience, he will never come back – a never over-the-top acting, never emphatic, composed in a rare essence then as today and, then as today, exciting and unforgettable. To paint the passion of the innocent being tried is condemned by a corrupt and ferocious court, Dreyer and Falconetti do not seek any effect, no free gesture, only an intimate truth (the actress was really shaved under the eye of the camera) the art of the director makes it universal and sublime, in a synthesis of incredible force between realism and expressionism.
Roberta Pedrotti

Soundtrack in absolute national premiere

loss: judges’ thinking – torture – bleeding
despair: Giovanna signs the abjuration and repents
salvation: Giovanna’s death

Cristiano Alberghini

Alessio Alberghini

The original music was written with careful attention to every expressive and psychological nuance used in the film, facing a rigorous analysis of the technique used in the film, from the first and first floors, to the rhythm proposed by the director with particular machine movements, internal compositions of theimages and the type of assembly adopted.


Once the macro-structural division of the situations represented in the film was chosen, I entered each of them, taking care of the musical-expressive aspects that could, to my “feeling”, be more adherent and representative to the psychological implications that the situations in progress proposed. .

Therefore the evolution and the musical elaboration proposed develops on these two main levels:

expressive: the expressiveness proposed in the various moments of strong emotional intensity of the film is entrusted to the horizontality of the sound material used, the melody, which characterizes the spiritual dimension of the characters.

psychological: this aspect is entrusted to the rhythmic-harmonic part of the musical and timbre material chosen by me; underlines the most concrete situations in which the action that the film subjects to the viewer takes place.

These two aspects are elaborated through a material partly written in the score and partly improvised extemporaneously according to the emotions that the film arouses during his vision.