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Brian de Palma (Music by Pino Donaggio)

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Album Review

Dark, lush, often more thrilling and scary than the movies they are written for, Pino Donaggio's motion picture underscores have propelled many a gory tale. For Brian De Palma, Donaggio was very much the perfect replacement for the late Bernard Herrmann, helping De Palma to continue his Hitchcockian obsessions (and sometimes helping with his ventures outside of that box, such as the peculiar Home Movies.) The elements that drew De Palma to Donaggio are plainly obvious, with Donaggio writing the kinds of cues that Herrmann excelled at for Hitchcock: great muscular fanfares trimmed around with counterpoint, variations, and endless kinds of frills. Despite this, Donaggio's music tends to be very distinct from Herrmann's; where Herrmann leaned towards a mathematical precision that bordered on the icy, Donaggio tends to move towards a more romantic, warmer structure. Overall, this collection of excerpts from Carrie, Home Movies, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, and Raising Cain is a solid and engaging introduction.


Born: 1941 in Burano, Italy

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Composer Pino Donaggio teamed with filmmaker Brian DePalma to forge one of the most memorable collaborations in cinema history, writing a series of suspenseful, hauntingly atmospheric scores evoking Bernard Herrmann's landmark work for Alfred Hitchcock. Born Giuseppe Donaggio in Venice, Italy, on October 24, 1941, he was the product of a family of musicians, and began studying violin at the age of ten. In the midst of classical training at Milan's Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, he made his professional...
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Brian de Palma (Music by Pino Donaggio), Pino Donaggio
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