Angelo Francesco Lavagnino was born on the 22nd February 1909 in Genova, Italy. He graduated in violin and composition at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milano. Lavagnino deserves a special place in film music for his contribution to documentaries. He gave reportages a new dimension; he did not elaborate folkloristic themes, neither he passively adapts the instruments of a certain musical civilization: he identifies the elements that characterize a country under the sound profile and gives a plausible equivalent. For this aim, Lavagnino uses all the possibilities given by modern technology, his goal is to "build" a sound. The main collaborator of a musician is no more the orchestra director, but the sound engineer. This attitude did not prevent Lavagnino from producing great orchestra music. In the classical field, he wrote a Concert for violin and orchestra and a Mass for chorus and orchestra.
He began composing for cinema in 1951, for Orson Welles' Othello. Since then, he wrote music for hundreds of films, among which: Nero's Weekend (Nero's Mistress from 1956) with Gloria Swanson and Brigitte Bardot, The Naked Maja (1958) with Ava Gardner, Imperial Venus (Imperial Venus from 1962) with Gina Lollobrigida, Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight from 1965) directed by and starring Orson Welles, and many others. Among his most famous film scores; The Naked
ANGELO FRANCESCO LAVAGNINO (1909 - 1987)
Maja, Legend of the Lost, Gorgo, Daisy Miller, and two directed by Orson Welles, Othello, Chimes at Midnight, and Esther and the King. Lavagnino won the Nastro d'Argento award for Best Score twice, for Continente perduto (1954) and Vertigine bianca (1956)
In 1963 he wrote one of his most epic and grand film scores if not the grandest of them all; Yousseff Chahine’s Saladin (El Nasser Salah Ed Din). He died in Gavi, Italy, on August the 21st 1987 leaving behind a legacy of music!