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.