Luis Enriquez Bacalov — the Oscar-winning composer behind some of Italy's finest soundtracks — has died. Known by many via Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and Django Unchained, Bacalov passed away in Rome today (November 15) after being recently being hospitalized due to ischemia. He was 84.
While Bacalov became one of Italy's most prominent composers, he was born in San Martín in Argentina on August 30, 1933. After collaborating with several Italian singers in the late 1950s, however, he soon moved to the European country. And it's here where he grew to become one of Italy's most prominent composers, as well as pianists.
Like peer Ennio Morricone, Bacalov first became known for his now-classic work on several Spaghetti Westerns, such as 1966's Sugar Colt, 1967's El Chucho Quién Sabe? and 1972's The Grand Duel.
However, it's Bacalov's 1966 soundtrack to Django that most modern audiences will know best, as it was prominently used in both Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and even more so in the director's Django Unchained. Tarantino also used the main theme from Bacalov's stellar yet underrated Summertime Killer, as well as The Grand Duel, in Kill Bill.
In 1996, Bacalov won the Academy Award for Original Score for his work on Il Postino. He was also nominated in 1967 for Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew.
Among Bacalov's many career highlights, he collaborated with Italian progressive rock titans New Trolls on their 1971 album Concerto grosso per i New Trolls, as well as on Osanna's 1972 effort Preludio Tema Variazioni e Canzona.
He also worked as a composer for the famed RCA, as well as penned the soundtracks to such films as Federico Fellini's City of Women and Fernando Di Leo's classic 1972 poliziottesco film Caliber 9. Bacalov's 1965 album as Luis Enriquez and His Electronic Men, Electronia, also stands as a stone-cold RCA classic, thanks to its Joe Meek atmospheres and hybrid blend of surf guitar and electronics.
Thanks to modern reissue labels, many of Bacalov's greatest works have been reissued on vinyl in recent years. This includes Django and this year's reissue of Summertime Killer, along with Bacalov's truly stellar Le Seduzione via Sonor Music Editions and the equally great L'amica via Cinedelic.
Down below, you sample of some Bacalov's best works.