Carlo Rustichelli

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An astonishingly prolific Italian composer, with credits on approximately 250 films.
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Carlo Rustichelli has been a major figure in Italian film music from the end of the 1940s onward. Born in Modena, Italy, in 1916 and trained in music in Bologna and Rome, his movie work began in the late '30s but didn't become the focus of his career until a decade later, when director Pietro Germi began using him regularly as a composer. Rustichelli proved to be an unceasing fountain of inspired music, all of it Italian flavored in different modes and idioms -- what Germi called "a music barrel which never dries up." The hundreds of movies that he has scored include several dozen that received significant distribution in the United States, among them Germi's Oscar-winning Divorce -- Italian Style (1961) and Seduced and Abandoned (1964), and Arthur Lubin's delightful Arabian Nights fantasy The Thief of Baghdad (1960). Many of Rustichelli's scores were released in Italy on soundtrack albums, and there was a concerted reissue program in Italy devoted to his work during the last years of the LP era. By the end of the 20th century, Rustichelli was a revered musical and cinematic figure in his native country, and one overview disc of his work (Ritratto di un Autore) was released in 2001 by the Italian-based CAM label, complete with a note from the composer. There are also complete CDs of his best-known scores, including Seduced and Abandoned.