Born in Milan, Lombardy Italy as Mario Ernesto Rosolino Nascimbene on November 28th 1913. Mario Nascimbene as he became known was to become one of the most successful Italian film music composers of the 20th Century. He studied composition and conducting at the Guiseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan under Ildebrando Pizzetti, after which he began to write various pieces of chamber music and ballet’s, he began to write music for Italian motion pictures in the 1940,s, his first assignment being L‘AMORE CANTA(LOVE SONG) in 1941. He was certainly one of the most original composers to come out of Europe during this period as he was not frightened to experiment with sounds and created a unique electronic process where he enhanced the sound of everyday things turning them into musical instruments of sorts, items such as bicycle bells and typewriters would feature within his soundtracks and even the sound of clocks. The utilisation of this type of experimental writing would be passed on to composer Ennio Morricone who worked with Nascimbene on a handful of film scores, most notably BARABBAS in 1961.
The composer also incorporated non-orchestral instruments such as the harmonica and jaws harp into his works thus attracting film makers from out side of Italy to his somewhat quirky but effective style of scoring. Nascimbene however also wrote more conventional sounding film scores which were highly melodic the composer creating lush and lavish works that were sublime and romantic sounding, which included THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA, A FAREWELL TO ARMS, ROOM AT THE TOP and the superb and memorable music for THE VIKINGS.
Nascimbene was not restricted to scoring Italian or European productions, in many ways he still remains one of the most successful Italian composers because he would very often work out side of his native Italy his style and sound easily crossing over to American and also British productions, during the 1960,s he produced some effective soundtracks for The Hammer studios in the United Kingdom, these were for the companies prehistoric dramas, ONE MILLION YEARS BC, CREATURES THE WORLD FORGPOT and WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH. Nascimbene also provided Hammer with the mysterious and haunting score to THE VENGEANCE OF SHE which was tinged with jazz elements in the form of a theme for tenor sax and strings, which would accompany the young girl at the centre of the films storyline. All of Nascimbene’s Hammer scores were recorded in Rome under the baton of famous musical director Franco Ferrara who also conducted many of his other film soundtracks including SOLOMON AND SHEBA in 1959, ALEXANDER THE GREAT in 1956 and ROMANOFF AND JULIET in 1961, he was the recipient of numerous awards these included THE DAVID DI DONATELLO AWARD and NASTRO D’ARGENTO AWARD. He died on January 6th 2002 in Rome Lazio.