Piero Piccioni (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpjɛːro pitˈtʃoːni]; December 6, 1921 – July 23, 2004) was an Italian film score composer and lawyer.
A pianist, organist, conductor, composer, he was also the prolific author of more than 300 film soundtracks. He played for the first time on radio in 1938 with his “013” Big Band, to return on air only after the liberation of Italy in 1944. “013” was the first Italian jazz band to be broadcast in Italy after the fall of Fascism.
Piero Piccioni was born in Turin, Piedmont. His mother's maiden name was Marengo, hence his pseudonym Piero Morgan, which he adopted until 1957.
When he was growing up, his father Attilio Piccioni (a prominent member of the Italian Christian Democratic Party with the post-war Italian government), would frequently take him to hear concerts at the EIAR Radio Studios in Florence. Having listened to jazz throughout his childhood (he loved the music of Art Tatum and Charlie Parker) and attending studies at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini, Piero Piccioni became a musician.
Piccioni made his radio debut at 17 with his 013 Big Band in 1938, but only returned on air after the liberation of Italy in 1944. His 013 was the first Italian jazz band to be broadcast in Italy after the fall of Fascism.
He was influenced in the use of jazz by 20th century classical composers and American films. Directors he liked included Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and John Ford, while Alex North was a film score composer he admired. He began writing songs of his own and was soon able to get some of his works published by Carisch editions.
Piero Piccioni came into contact with the movie world in Rome during the fifties, when he was a practicing lawyer securing movie rights for Italian producers such as Titanus and De Laurentiis. During that time, Michelangelo Antonioni had called Piccioni to score a documentary film directed by Luigi Polidoro, one of his apprentices. Piccioni's first score for a feature film was Gianni Franciolini’s Il mondo le condanna (1952). He consequently changed his lawyer's "toga" for a conductor's baton. He developed close-knit working relationships with directors Francesco Rosi and Alberto Sordi, and established strong personal and professional bonds with them.
Many directors sought Piero Piccioni to score the soundtracks for their films: Francesco Rosi, Mario Monicelli, Alberto Lattuada, Luigi Comencini, Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli, Bernardo Bertolucci, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Lina Wertmuller, Tinto Brass, Dino Risi, and others.
His film scores include Il bell'Antonio, Contempt, The 10th Victim, More Than a Miracle, The Deserter, The Light at the Edge of the World, Puppet on a Chain, Lucky Luciano, Camille 2000, The Nun and the Devil, Swept Away, Christ Stopped at Eboli, Fighting Back, and many Alberto Sordi movies. He is credited with over 300 soundtracks and compositions for radio, television, ballets and orchestra. Among his favorite vocalists were female soul singer Shawn Robinson and Edinburgh-born Lydia MacDonald.
Piccioni won many prestigious prizes including the David di Donatello Award for the movie Swept Away (1975), Nastro d’argento Award for the movie Salvatore Giuliano by Francesco Rosi (1963), Prix International Lumière 1991, Anna Magnani Award 1975 and Vittorio De Sica Award 1979.
His song "Traffic Boom" was featured as the song for the fictional Logjammin' movie-within-a-movie in The Big Lebowski.
The song "It's Possible" was sampled by DJ Khaled in "Jermaine's Interlude" on his Major Key album.
In 1953 Piccioni was implicated in the Montesi scandal, after he was identified by journalists as being the 'blonde' who handed in clothes of Wilma Montesi after her death. The accusations were recanted by the journalist Marco Cesarini Sforza after legal pressure was applied.
His music is compiled into YouTube playlists and is extensively sampled by the lo-fi community.
Piccioni died in Rome in 2004.
|Year||Film||Directed by||Singles||Latest CD / Digital Release|
|1954||The Beach||Alberto Lattuada|
|1958||Tempest||Alberto Lattuada||Legend / CD 33 DLX / 2010|
|1959||World By Night||Luigi Vanzi||Camille 3000 / CAM3K-012-MDN / 2018|
|1960||The Employee||Gianni Puccini||CAM / Digital / 2022|
|Il bell'Antonio||Mauro Bolognini||Dagored / RED183 / 2008|
|Sweet Deceptions||Alberto Lattuada||Saimel Bandas Sonoras / 3998983 / 2017|
|From a Roman Balcony||Mauro Bolognini|
|The Hunchback of Rome||Carlo Lizzani|
|The Swedes||Gian Luigi Polidoro||CAM / Digital / 2022|
|1961||La Viaccia||Mauro Bolognini|
|Duel of the Titans||Sergio Corbucci|
|The Two Marshals||Sergio Corbucci|
|1962||Violent Life||Paolo Heusch, Brunello Rondi||CAM / CSE 106 / 1993|
|Totò Diabolicus||Steno||Digitmovies / DGST027 / 2017|
|The Slave||Sergio Corbucci|
|Salvatore Giuliano||Francesco Rosi||GDM / GDM 4209 / 2011|
|The Captive City||Joseph Anthony|
|1963||Contempt (Italy/Spain version)||Jean-Luc Godard|
|The Shortest Day||Sergio Corbucci|
|Hands over the City||Francesco Rosi||GDM / GDM 4209 / 2011|
|The Terrorist||Gianfranco De Bosio|
|The Girl from Parma||Antonio Pietrangeli|
|1964||Three Nights of Love||Renato Castellani, Luigi Comencini, Franco Rossi||CAM / CSE 112 / 1993|
|1965||La fuga||Paolo Spinola|
|The Moment of Truth||Francesco Rosi|
|The Three Faces||Michelangelo Antonioni, Mauro Bolognini, Franco Indovina|
|The 10th Victim||Elio Petri||Easy Tempo / 1998|
|Minnesota Clay||Sergio Corbucci|
|Agent 077: From the Orient with Fury||Sergio Grieco|
|I Knew Her Well||Antonio Pietrangeli||Beat Records / BCM 9521 / 2013|
|1966||Fumo di Londra||Alberto Sordi||Avanz / 1999|
|Pardon, Are You For or Against?||Alberto Sordi||Digitmovies / CDDM287 / 2017|
|1967||The Witches||Luchino Visconti, Mauro Bolognini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, Vittorio De Sica||Digitmovies / CDDM296 / 2018|
|The Stranger||Luchino Visconti||Verita Note / VQCD-10063 / 2008|
|More Than a Miracle||Francesco Rosi||Film Score Monthly / FSM Vol. 14 No. 7 / 2011|
|An Italian in America||Alberto Sordi|
|1968||Ballad of a Bounty Hunter||Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent|
|OSS 117 - Double Agent||Jean-Pierre Desagnat, Renzo Cerrato, André Hunebelle|
|If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death||Gianfranco Parolini||Verita Note / VQCD-10056 / 2007|
|Bora Bora||Ugo Liberatore||Cinevox / CD OST-PK 022 / 2016|
|Be Sick... It's Free||Luigi Zampa||Beat Records / BCM 9567 / 2015|
|1969||Kenner (film)||Steve Sekely||Film Score Monthly / FSM Vol. 14 No. 7 / 2011|
|Camille 2000||Radley Metzger||Easy Tempo / ET 905 CD /1998|
|Help Me, My Love||Alberto Sordi||GDM / CD CLUB 7048 / 2007|
|Oh, Grandmother's Dead||Mario Monicelli||CAM / Digital / 2022|
|Love Me, Love My Wife||Enzo Battaglia||CAM / Digital / 2022|
|Check to the Queen||Pasquale Festa Campanile||Cinevox / CDOST-PK 040 / 2020|
|The Others||Alessandro Fallay||Beat Records / BCM 9523 / 2013|
|Il Prof. Dott. Guido Tersilli, primario della clinica Villa Celeste, convenzionata con le mutue||Luciano Salce||GDM / GDM 2042 / 2004|
|1970||The Syndicate: A Death in the Family||Piero Zuffi||Quartet Records / QR472 / 2021|
|The President of Borgorosso Football Club||Luigi Filippo D'Amico|
|So Long Gulliver||Carlo Tuzii||Saimel Bandas Sonoras / 3996810 / 2005|
|The Deserter||Burt Kennedy|
|Le coppie (Man and Wife)||Mario Monicelli, Alberto Sordi, Vittorio De Sica|
|1971||Marta||José Antonio Nieves Conde|
|Devil's Ransom||Piero Sciumè||Saimel Bandas Sonoras / 3996810 / 2005|
|The Light at the Edge of the World||Kevin Billington||Quartet Records / QR176 / 2014|
|Puppet on a Chain||Geoffrey Reeve||Silva Screen / SILCD1519 / 2017|
|A Girl in Australia||Luigi Zampa||GDM / CD CLUB 7024 / 2004|
|Seven Murders for Scotland Yard||José Luis Madrid||Beat Records / CDCR 29 / 1996|
|1972||The Seduction of Mimi||Lina Wertmüller||Cinevox / CD MDF 628 / 2008|
|The Mattei Affair||Francesco Rosi||GDM / GDM 4209 / 2011|
|Watch Out Gringo! Sabata Will Return||Alfonso Balcázar, Pedro L. Ramirez|
|The Scientific Cardplayer||Luigi Comencini|
|The Monk||Ado Kyrou|
|1973||The Nun and the Devil||Domenico Paolella||Digitmovies / CDDM015 / 2004|
|The Lonely Woman||Francisco Rovira Beleta||Saimel Bandas Sonoras / 3995510 / 2004|
|My Brother Anastasia||Steno||GDM / CD CLUB 7091 / 2010|
|Lucky Luciano||Francesco Rosi||Epic ECPB-274: Underground Sketches|
|A Way Of Being A Woman||Pier Ludovico Pavoni||Saimel Bandas Sonoras / 3995510 / 2004|
|Story of a Cloistered Nun||Fernando Cerchio||Digitmovies / CDDM015 / 2004|
|1974||God Under the Skin||Carlo Alberto Pinelli, Folco Quilici||Quartet Records / QR471 / 2021|
|All Screwed Up||Lina Wertmüller||Traffic Boom||Beat Records / CDCR 113 / 2011|
|Appassionata||Gianluigi Calderone||Cinevox MDF 051: Strano Mercoledi' 2 / La Chatte||Quartet Records / QRSCE028 / 2011|
|The Kiss||Mario Lanfranchi|
|Swept Away||Lina Wertmüller||Beat Records / DDJ016 / 2012|
|1976||Illustrious Corpses||Francesco Rosi||GDM / CD CLUB 7013 / 2002|
|1977||This Is the Night||Carlo Di Carlo||CAM / Digital / 2022|
|1978||Professor Kranz tedesco di Germania||Luciano Salce||Beat Records / DDJ010 / 2011|
|The Witness (1978 film)||Jean-Pierre Mocky||Music Box Records / MBR-052 / 2014|
|1979||Christ Stopped at Eboli||Francesco Rosi||CAM AMP 221: Cristo Si E' Fermato A Eboli (3:06) / Cristo Si E' Fermato A Eboli (2:33)|
|Upcoming… Marsch!||Luciano Salce||CAM / Digital Only / 2022|
|1980||Catherine and I||Luciano Salce||CAM / Digital Only / 2022|
|1982||Fighting Back||Lewis Teague||Quartet Records / QR230 / 2016|
|I Know That You Know That I Know||Alberto Sordi||GDM / CD CLUB 7075 / 2009|
|1985||I Am an ESP||Sergio Corbucci||Digitmovies / CDDM288 / 2018|
|1987||Chronicle of a Death Foretold||Francesco Rosi||Virgin / CDV 2441 / 1987|
|A Taxi Driver in New York||Alberto Sordi||Digitmovies / CDDM278 / 2016|
|1992||Acquitted for Having Committed the Deed||Alberto Sordi|