Lavagnino: the same composer who scored Othello and Chimes and who was going to score Quixote. He was interviewed for a documentary on Welles and was a very sweet and supremely talented man. He scored 100s of Italian films, but had a special place for Welles in his heart. When it came time for Merchant, Welles had no money for the music so Lavagnino paid for the recording, conducted it, and gave the score to Welles in exchange for some production sketches Welles made, some of which are reproduced in colour in the new book "Orson Welles at Work". I have heard some of his other work for romantic and dramatic Italian movies, and though it is very different from what he did for Welles, it is also very beautiful. The creative partnership between the two men has yet to be properly explored- they seemed to be extremely 'sympatico'.
At one point in the interview, Lavagnino recounts how they both had an idea for scoring the bath murder in Othello, but were both too nervous to be the first to tell the other, so they counted to three and spoke simultaneously: they both said "mandolins" and embraced, laughing.
"Angelo Francesco Lavagnino
Born to a musical family in Genoa, Italy on February 22, 1909, Angelo Francesco Lavagnino's love of film music began when he heard a live percussion orchestra playing during the showing of a silent movie. He studied composition under Renzo Bossi at Milan's Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Music, and his concert works include symphonies, an opera, symphonic poems, and much solo and chamber music. From 1941 until 1963 he taught at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and he started scoring films in the early 1950s.
By the time he retired from film composing in the mid-1970s, he had scored approximately 300 films, among them: Chimes At Midnight, The Colossus Of Rhodes, Conspiracy Of Hearts, Five Branded Women, Gorgo, The Last Days Of Pompeii, Legend Of The Lost, The Lost Continent, The Naked Maja, Othello, Soledad, La Sposa Bella, L'Ultimo Paradiso, Venere Imperiale, The Wind Cannot Read, and many documentaries, spaghetti westerns, and sword-and-sandal pictures.
Lavagnino had a wide range of interests outside of music. He wrote a novel about pirates, he collected antiques, books, and Vatican medals, he enjoyed traveling, was a skilled photographer, and he spent much time with his family. This most important Italian film composer died on August 21, 1987."