Saturday, March 10, 2018

Who Are Those Composers ~ Francesco De Masi

Francesco De Masi was born in Rome, Italy on January 11 1930. De Masi's father was active in politics and served as Italy's ambassador to Romania, Francesco showed a talent for music in his youth and studied composition at the San Pietro a Maiella Conservatory in Naples, under the guidance of his uncle Achille Longo. De Masi became interested in film music when Longo was asked to compose a soundtrack for a film, and he asked De Masi to be his assistant. De Masi's filmography includes scores for over 200 films and TV series, ranging from Spaghetti westerns such as “Il Pistolero di Arizona” (aka Arizona Colt), “Ammazzali Tutti e Toma Solo” (aka Kill Them All and Come Back Alone), and “C'e Sartana...Vendi la Pistola e Comprati la Bara” (aka Sartana's Coming, Get Your Coffins Ready) and sword and sandal epics to giallo and horror films, such as Lucio Fulci's “Lo squartatore di New York” (The New York Ripper).

De Masi also scored several action films, such as Enzo G. Castellari's Quel “Maledetto treno blindato” (The Inglorious Bastards), but he is best remembered for his work on Spaghetti westerns. Unlike most other composers, De Masi started writing western scores slightly earlier than the genre's most influential musician, Ennio Morricone. As De Masi's music was less influenced by Morricone, his style had a distinctive sound. Many of his songs were performed by the low-voiced member of the I Cantori Moderni choir, Ettore "Raoul" Lovecchio. Though the bulk of his music appeared in Italian or Spanish productions, he wrote the score for the popular Chuck Norris vehicle “Lone Wolf McQuade” and worked with Basil Poledouris on music for the Judd Nelson comedy “Making the Grade”. When not busy with his career in film scoring, De Masi led and conducted several major symphony orchestras in Italy, and was a gifted horn player; his discography includes recordings of major works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky.

De Masi was also very interested in classical music. He taught at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory, also conducting the conservatory's orchestra. In an interview, De Masi listed Palestrina, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ravel and Shostakovich as his main classical influences.

De Masi died of cancer at the age of 75 on November 6, 2005.

De MASI, Francesco (aka F. De Masi, Franz Demasi, De Masi, Francis D. Masion, Frank Mason) [1/11/1930, Rome, Lazio, Italy -  11/6/2005, Rome, Lazio, Italy (cancer)] – composer, conductor, arranger, songwriter, musician (horns), married to Misa Gabrini (19??-19??) father of actor Filippo De Masi [1967-    ], married to ? (19??-    ).
The Sign of Zorro – 1962 (co)
The Vengeance of Zorro – 1962 (co)
The Sign of the Coyote* – 1963 (co)
Magnificent Brutes of the West - 1964
The Man of the Cursed Valley* – 1964 (co)
Massacre at Marble City* – 1964 (co)
Two Violent Men - 1964
A Coffin for the Sheriff* – 1965
Fistful of Knuckles* – 1965 (co)
The Last Tomahawk* – 1965 (co)
The Man from Oklahoma* – 1965
The Sign of Zorro – 1965 (co)
The Man from Nowhere* – 1966
Ringo, the Face of Revenge* - 1966
Seven Dollars on the Red* - 1966
Any Gun Can Play* – 1967
15 Scaffolds for a Murderer* – 1967
The Magnificent Texan - 1967
Payment in Blood* – 1967
Rattler Kid - 1967
Seven Pistols for a Massacre* – 1967
Two Crosses at Danger Pass* - 1967
And Then a Time for Killing – 1968
Blood Calls to Blood – 1968
The Cost of Dying* – 1968
Kill Them All and Come Back Alone* – 1968
The Moment to Kill – 1968
Ringo: The Lone Rider* - 1968
Sonora* – 1968
The Wild and the Dirty* - 1968
Amen* – 1969
Sartana’s Here Trade Your Pistols for a Coffin* – 1970
Vendetta at Dawn - 1971
Zorro, Rider of Vengeance - 1971
Kid Vengeance – 1976
Thunder Warrior* - 1983
Manhunt* - 1985
Thunder Warrior III* – 1989
Arizona Road – 1990

·         Available on CD

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