There were very few Italian composers that managed to work on movies out side of their country of birth, instead their music was usually confined to films that were made in Cinecitta. There were a few exceptions to the rule however and Maestro Mario Nascimbene was thankfully one of these. Nascimbene worked on numerous Italian produced movies and also scored his fair share of non Italian motion pictures such as SOLOMON AND SHEBA and THE VIKINGS, he also worked on a handful of British movies which were produced by the famous Hammer studios Nascimbene creating original and vibrant sounding scores for ONE MILLION YEARS BC and WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH etc. It is however his romantic soundtracks or at least his romantically laced themes that he fashioned for the movies that he will be remembered for. His music for the 1957 melodrama L’ULTIMA VIOLENZA is typically Italian sounding and contains and purveys a rich and vibrant persona that is engaging and highly melodic. The composer utilises the string section to its maximum to create a lush and lavish sound that oozes romanticism and also has tinges of melancholy. The light and delicate piano solos are wonderfully touching and emotive and are underlined and laced with subdued strings and cello solos, this highly effective combination of instrumentation shines and stands out as one of the scores most appealing attributes. Nascimbene also includes a guitar solo performance which is supported by a slightly upbeat but at the same time easy going tempo the theme that is performed is a variation of the scores central thematic material and is heard throughout the work in various guises and arrangements. Considering the year in which the score was recorded the sound quality is for the most part very good, this is a pleasure to listen to, it is a work that easily imprints its various motifs and themes upon the listeners brain and although the music is for the majority of the scores duration a style that can be categorised as lounge or easy listening music it still remains memorable and effective within the context of the motion picture. In my opinion the score has to it a sound and also a style that evokes the works of Max Steiner and Alfred Newman when these composers were working on movies such as NOW VOYAGER and ALL ABOUT EVE, it has a definite Italian foundation of sounds but the romantic string passages hail from the vintage days of the golden age of Hollywood.

Another interesting release from KRONOS records and another worthy addition to the labels Gold Series which grows larger and more excellent with each release. If you love Italian film music and are an old romantic this is most certainly one for your collection.


Maestro Ennio Morricone wins the Oscar for best original score to THE HATEFUL EIGHT. CONGRATULATIONS MAESTRO.

Maestro Ennio Morricone vince l’ Oscar per la migliore colonna sonora originale per odiosa OTTO . CONGRATULAZIONI MAESTRO.

Supreme movie music Maestro Ennio Morricone was awarded the prestigious Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards last night in Hollywood. It is a well deserved award that has been far too long coming, BRAVO MAESTRO.

Supreme musica film Maestro Ennio Morricone ha ricevuto il prestigioso Oscar a 88 ° Academy Awards ieri sera a Hollywood . Si tratta di un premio meritato che è stato troppo a lungo in arrivo, BRAVO MAESTRO .

download (39)

images (28)

images (27)

images (24)

download (5)



The Gold series as presented by the ever industrious Kronos records has yielded many exciting and interesting titles within a relatively short period of time. The label making available either long out of print soundtracks or bringing scores to collectors for the very first time. The latest batch of scores to be issued under this banner are certainly no exception. They include two soundtracks from Italian cinema and the score to a movie which I have to admit I have not seen. BANOVIC STRAHINJA or THE FALCON was released in 1981. Directed by Vatroslav Mimica who also collaborated on the screenplay with Alexsandar Petrovic the pair basing their writings upon Strahinja Banovic who was a hero in Serbian epic poetry. The film starred Franco Nero as Banovic and included a performance by well known German actor Gert frobe in the role of Jug Bogdan, both Nero and Frobe were dubbed for the production Miodrag Radovanovic provided the voice over for Nero and Peter Banicevic doing the honours for Frobe. Set in the late part of the 14th Century, the story centres upon Medievil Serbia which has become the target of Ottoman invaders, a group of these invaders lead by Turkish bandit Alija attacks and destroys a castle killing all of the servants and occupants apart from the young wife of the nobleman Banovic Strahinja who is the lord of the estate where the castle stands, the bandit leader kidnaps the woman and thus starts the nobleman’s almost endless task of finding his wife and returning her to her home, he gathers around him a company of renegades and rouges to assist him in his quest and is determined to find her even though many around him try to convince him that she is lost forever to the Turks. The music for the movie is by Croatian born composer Alfi Kabiljo, when soundtrack collectors think of this composer his score for SKY BANDITS (1985) immediately comes to mind, but Kabiljo has worked on numerous movies and TV projects both in and outside his native Croatia, these include TRANSYLVANIA 6-500 the spoof horror movie with Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley jnr, SCISSORS (which starred Sharon Stone) and GYMKATA which was a Japanese/USA co-production amongst others. The music for THE FALCON is certainly very different from the work the composer produced on SKY BANDITS this is an epic sounding score that enlists the aid of choir and full symphony orchestra, the work is filled with numerous choral pieces which set the scene perfectly and create an aura and atmosphere of an ancient time. The composer also makes effective use of the string section and woodwind within the soundtrack, and sets down a musical foundation in the form of a central theme which is formed of a four note motif that is melodic and haunting, this theme returns throughout the score but it is re-invented and presented in many differing forms with the composer giving it a fresh appeal via alternative orchestration and instrumentation.

images (83)

The score is filled with dramatic dark passages and also contains its fair share of highly melodious and sweeping interludes, Kabiljo utilising harpsichord and solo piano at certain points that are underlined and supported by the string section, there are also various ethnic pieces or at least compositions that contain performances by ethnic instruments which makes the soundtrack even more interesting and also authentic. I have to say although I have not seen the movie the music worked for me as a stand alone piece, overflowing with inventive orchestration and bursting with rich thematic material, plus it also made me revisit Kabiljo,s SKY BANDITS. Presented well, with colourful front cover artwork and crisp and clear sound quality. Certainly one to pre order now.


images (81)

THE WITCH, is the directorial debut of film maker Robert Eggers, the movie is an impressive and disturbing piece of cinema that at times is so realistic that one feels as if you are actually witnessing the events that are taking place, it is a dread filled story and although a horror movie at times does not jump out on you as being horrific or indeed gory, it relies instead upon the actions and the scenarios of the central characters evoking a sense of anxiety and fear even at times when nothing menacing is occurring. The horror or the dread that is purveyed by Eggers is controlled with precision with each and every scene teetering on the edge the director utilising the practise of what might or could happen rather than what actually takes place. Set in the 17th Century (WHICH STRAIGHT AWAY GOT MY ATTENTION) it is the tale of a New England family who decide to leave the relative safety of their fellow settlers to set off into the wilderness, the Father plated by Ralph Ineson believes that they have to do this because the settlement and its community are not living close enough to the word of God, he thinks that by going off into the wild countryside he and his family will become one with nature and thus be closer to God.

images (82)

They decide to make their home next to a dark and inhospitable forest and it is soon established that forest contains something more than Gods creatures and plants, there is something that is malevolent residing within the shadows. The sight of the forest alone sets the tone of the story line and conjures up all sorts of unspeakable situations for the watching audience. It is recognized there is a WITCH residing within the forest, but it is not the sight of this Witch that is the focus of proceedings, the movie works because it ponders the question what will she do next and what is her course of action towards the family. What also makes the film effective is the excellent cast, none of whom are names within the film industry speak era- appropriate English which itself is somewhat unnerving and gives the film credence. The families baby boy is mysteriously kidnapped literally disappearing in front of his sisters eyes whilst she is playing with him, the family become suspicious of her thinking she could be the witch and then in turn become suspicious of each other and begin to argue and disagree about everything, the rest I will let you find out for yourselves, but it is a film that will leave you affected and makes you think, the aura and atmosphere at times being almost suffocating whilst you are waiting for something to happen.

images (80)

The score is by Canadian composer Mark Korven, and the music I have to say underlines and supports the storyline perfectly, the music is slightly off-balance in places but when you see the movie you will see just how well this works with the images on screen. I don’t think it is a work that one would sit down and listen to on a Sunday morning with your toast and tea, but as film music it works and works extremely well. The composer incorporates strings and also choir into the work and at times relies on very subdued nuances, clusters or snatches and stabs of music to create a suitably unsettling effect/atmosphere.


This is not a lush or lavish soundtrack, it is however a somewhat understated but sophisticated work, a kind of thinking mans horror score and has definite modernistic leanings in its overall sound and construction. The composer resists the need to create lilting or melodious motif’s to express an affiliation with any of the films characters or the situations they become involved in, but there again a love theme or emotive tone poem would be very out of place. Instead he has fashioned a sinewy sounding soundtrack, that is dissonant, atonal and malevolent sounding filled with dread and fear. His musical soundtrack is the chills you feel up your spine, the hairs that stand up on the back of your neck and the half heard sounds and fleeting spectres you see from the corner of your eye, the music in essence takes on the guise of another actor within the storyline because it creates and builds levels of tension, fright and unease which elevate each and every scene that is scored the music becoming integral to the storyline.

download (37)

Korven utilises some interesting instrumentation, which ranges from scratchy and jagged sounding violin or viola and encompasses the use of a terrifyingly shrieking choir, led by folk performer Christian Duncan, that jars with the lower notes performed by the strings conjuring up a sound and mood that is most certainly nerve jangling. The composer also utilises, Finnish Jouhikko and another stringed instrument in the form of the Swedish Nyckelharpa, he also employs the hurdy-gurdy and fuses these together with Cello and Waterphone, within the score we also hear, cracks, creaks and bumps from the percussion section and a low and gut wrenching growling sound that is produced by the string section in certain points within the soundtrack.


So an interesting work even if it is not an easy listen. This is also an accomplished work, filled with originality and heart-stopping interludes. The soundtrack will be released on Milan records.