All posts under Nino Rota

9 Favorite Film Scores of Nino Rota

The Godfather

He’s Fellini’s musical muse, the Corleone family’s classically chromatic consigliere, and the potent musical potion for two star-crossed lovers. (Okay, enough with the annoying alliterations.) But there’s more to Nino Rota‘s music than wine-soaked mandolins and Fellini-esque oom pah pah. On the anniversary of Rota’s centenary (December 3rd), who better to honor with this month’s “9 on the 9th” post? Part of Rota’s charm is the dated quality of his Fellini scores. With their ’60s instrumentation and vocals, the music instantly captures an influential period in Italian cinema. Rota’s classical training…

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The Godfather, Part II

The Godfather, Part II

THE GODFATHER, PART II is a rarity in Hollywood: a sequel that works as well as, or better than, the original. The film follows the Corleone mob family in two very different stories: the first with Michael (Al Pacino) in 1950’s Nevada and Cuba and the second with Robert De Niro playing a younger version of Marlon Brando’s Vito Corleone as we see his beginnings on the Lower East Side. The film broke all sorts of rules. It was the first sequel to be nominated, much less win, the Oscar…

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CD Review: Nino Rota – Concert Music

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It didn’t take me long to explore more of Nino Rota‘s concert music. In addition to the new release of his First and Second Symphonies on Chandos, I was recently sent a copy of a disc of three of Rota’s later works, performed by I Musici di Parma. Following his years as an arthouse favorite with his Fellini scores, Rota had become an international star with his music from THE GODFATHER (1972), rare for a film composer. But that “overnight” popularity didn’t detract Rota from continuing to compose for the…

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CD Review: Nino Rota – Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2

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Consider the following equation: 33 years addicted to film music + 9 years of higher education = I never knew Nino Rota composed for the concert hall. And as such, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never heard a note of Rota’s concert music until I was sent a recent Chandos release of his first and second symphonies. Rota’s concert career has effectively been ignored in the U.S., no doubt due to his popularity as a film composer. I was never exposed to his concert music in college and I’m not…

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An Offer You Can’t Refuse

godfather

As a pre-pubescent ten-year-old in 1972, I was at the theater watching SNOOPY, COME HOME with my Mom, while most of America was lining up to see THE GODFATHER. I heard songs by the Sherman Brothers, they heard one of the most influential film scores in the history of film music. No offense to the talented Sherman Brothers, but guess who got the better end of that deal? For those who weren’t alive in 1972, it may be difficult to understand the popularity of THE GODFATHER. Based on Mario Puzo’s…

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