Maestro Carlo Rustichelli was without a doubt one of Italy’s most prominent composers of film music. He not only scored Italian made movies but was also sought out by film makers outside off the realms of Cinecitta to work on their movies, he worked on a number of Hollywood productions and on every occasion rose to the challenge not only supporting the drama and action on screen but also infusing the motion picture in question with a sound and style that was unmistakably Italian. His use of the more traditional sounding Italian flavoured compositions being a huge hit with cinema audiences all over the world. Rustichelli was for sake of a better description an old school composer who began his career in film scoring at around about the same time as Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, Mario Nascimbene and Nino Rota and like Nascimbene he became a much in demand composer by non Italian filmmakers to score their movies. He worked on Tragedies, Sword and Sandal Epics, Comedies, Romances, Horror, Police Thrillers, Tales of Adventure and mystery plus he was also very active scoring Italian made westerns. The composers take on western scoring was slightly different from the sound that was being achieved and utilised during the period of the 1960,s through to the 1980,s by other composers when the cruelly nicknamed SPAGHETTI WESTERN was at the height of its popularity and that is why his music not only stands out but has also become memorable and enduring. Rustichelli often adopted a more classical or operatic approach when writing for the western and created a sound that was probably more akin to the traditional sound of the Hollywood sagebrush saga as in the romantic and sweeping the composer often combining the grandiose sound of symphonic with a scattering of more upbeat styles and sounds, introducing choir, organ, electric and bass guitar to the equation if and when required giving his scores a more upbeat and contemporary style. Rustichelli was also known for including a circus or comedic sound to his western scores as in BOOT HILL or within the fabric of his music for the excellent REVENGE AT EL PASO. The majority of his western scores contained a strong epic style as in his soundtracks for RIDERS OF VENGEANCE (also available on Kronos records) and BLOOD RIVER which he penned under the alias of Angel Oliver Pino. Rustichelli also provided a strong and deeply emotional sounding score for MAN, PRIDE AND VENGEANCE which although not a western has up until recently been categorised as one by collectors and critics alike. But it is probably the composers non western music that he is best remembered for such as his infectious music for movies such as AVANTI, DIVORCE ITALIAN STYLE, SEDUCED AND ABANDONED, ALFREDO ALFREDO, KAPO, SIGNORE E SIGNORI and many more.
Rustichelli’s music contained a lush and lavish sound that was not only full of drama but filled to overflowing with passion and a high level of romanticism and melody, his sweeping themes being the mainstay of his film music work. In many ways his music was more akin to the music of the golden age composers of Hollywood, rich in thematic material and bursting with opulent and lavish leitmotivs. Rustichelli was born in Capri (Modena) on Christmas eve 1916, he studied music in Bologna, where he gained his diploma in pianoforte and then continued to study in Rome where he graduated in composition. He began to write for film in 1942 and soon established himself as a composer of note that possessed a true talent with a gift for melody and originality. He composed the music for IL GIOVANE GARIBALDI which was an Italian movie made for television that was aired in two episodes in 1974. Directed by Franco Rossi the mini series starred Maurizio Merli in the title role and Philippe Leroy who were supported well by good performances from Luigi Pistilli and Giulio Brogi. Selections of Rustichelli,s score were released on a stereo C.A.M. long playing record in April 1974 (SAG 9058) but these 14 selections had a short running time which added up to just over 30 minutes. KRONOS RECORDS have for this release assembled a fuller and more expansive representation of this magnificent soundtrack allowing us to experience for the first time the full effect of the Maestros score. The film or series itself is sadly overlooked and also grossly underrated and at last this release will act as a fitting tribute to the wonderfully haunting music that Carlo Rustichelli penned to enhance and support it. During his illustrious career Maestro Rustichelli composed the music for over 250 motion pictures as well as writing the scores for a number of television projects, he was truly a giant in the world of music for film. He passed away on November 13th 2004 in Lazio Italy aged 87.