Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Francesco De Masi 1930-2005

News reaches me via of the passing of Italian composer Francesco De Masi, of cancer at the age of 75.
Born in 1930, De Masi first became involved in film scoring, whilst studying composition at San Pietro a Maiella in Naples, assisting his teacher and uncle Achille Largo on a score he had been asked to write. His first film compostion was for the documentary Fiat Panis in 1951, and he subsequently went on to compose for more than 200 film and TV productions, working in just about every genre, although we will perhaps be most remembered for his scores for the "sword and sandal" genre, including Goliath and the Sins of Babylon, Samson in King Solomon's Mines, Hercules vs. the Giant Warriors, The Revenge of Spartacus and 7 Slaves Against Rome; and more especially for his many Italian Western scores, including 7 Dollari Sul Rosso, Vado…L'Ammazzo Torno, Ammazzali Tutti e Torna Solo, Sartana Non Perdona, Arizona Colt, Ringo Il Volto Della Vendetta and 7 Winchester Per Un Massacro, many of which are thankfully now available on CD. In the 1980s he found some success with the Thunder series, and with his homage to the many Western scores he wrote, the wonderful music he composed for the Chuck Norris modern Texas Rangers adventure Lone Wolf McQuade.

Hot off the wires -

INTRADA Announces:

Composed by Todd Boekelheide and David Conte

Between 1909 and 1962, the Ballets Russes Companies made an indelible
mark on the arts of the 20th Century. The first company, founded by the
brilliant impresario Sergei Diaghilev, attained great fame by expanding
ballet beyond its traditional Russian roots and collaborating with the
most creative artists of the day. Igor Stravisnky, Henri Matisse,
Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, and George
Balanchine all contributed to an explosively creative environment that
greatly advanced the vocabulary of ballet.

Less well known is the story of what happened to the Ballets Russes
after Diaghilev's premature death in 1929. His influence and legacy had
come to be so synonymous with the art of ballet that upon his death it
was feared ballet itself would disappear. It is this story, starting in
1932, that forms the heart of the 2005 documentary film BALLETS RUSSES.

The original score for "Ballets Russes" presented a fascinating
challenge, for the original music would rub shoulders with famous and
familiar ballet music. The original score is warm and sensitive --
orchestral with an abundance of transparent strings, woodwinds, French
horn and harp.

Available December 2005
For cover art, track listing, and sound samples, please visit

Debbie Wiseman

Finally, Debbie Wiseman tells me that, although she composed and recorded her score some months ago for The Truth About Love, the film will not be released until next year, and she doesn't know if a soundtrack album will be forhcoming.

In the meantime, you could hear her music on the recent two-part BBC drama-documentary Catherine The Great, and she is currently working on an adaptation of a Terry Pratchett novel called Johnny & The Bomb, which starts on the BBC on the 8th January, two days after the new series of Judge John Deed begins. She tells me she is also due to score Middletown, a film starring Matthew Macfadyen, which is currently shooting, with recording scheduled in March, for an Autumn 2006 release.


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