Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited
by Fred Flaxman

©2014 by Fred Flaxman

Program 223
"More Music of Nino Rota"


MUSIC:
beginning of Nino Rota: “Mazurka” from Il Gattopardo, performed by Orquesta Ciudad de Granada conducted by Josep Pons [Harmonia Mundi HMC 901864, Track 14] [under the following]

    Hello and welcome to another hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m Fred Flaxman. Since this series is called Compact Discoveries, I like to give the title meaning by discovering music on compact discs that I think most of my listeners will not be familiar with, but which I think they will like when they hear it — music that will be compact discoveries for them as well as for me.

    That’s the case with the Italian composer, Nino Rota.  If you’ve heard of him at all, it’s probably because you’ve enjoyed his film-scores for such New Wave classics as La Strada, Amarcord, The Godfather, 8-½, and Rocco and His Brothers.

    But Rota wrote lots of concert music as well: more than 150 works, including ten operas, five ballets, and dozens of other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. I’ve already devoted one hour to this very appealing music, which included Rota’s Divertimento Concertanto for Double Bass and Orchestra and the Symphonic Suite from the Ballet, “La Strada,” which was derived from the film score.

    In this hour I’ll present recordings of Rota’s Concerto Soirée for piano and orchestra, his suite of dances from Luchino Visconti`s film Il Gattopardo (called The Leopard in English), and a Fantasia on Nino Rota’s Themes from Fellini’s Movies.

MUSIC:
Fades out.

    We’ll start with Nino Rota’s piano concerto that he called Concerto Soirée — that’s French for “Evening Concerto.”  This work was first performed at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza in September 1962 with the composer himself at the piano. The orchestra was conducted by Bruno Maderna, a pioneer of the new music of the twentieth century.

    The concerto contains two deliberate quotations from Rota’s film music. The third movement, “Romanza,” uses one of the main themes from the La Strada ballet, the scene where Gelsomina wanders enchanted through the mysteries of nature and science. And the opening of the final movement, “Can Can,” is taken from the music to Fellini’s 8-½.

    Rota was especially fond of this five-movement concerto, which he often played or conducted. We hear it now as played by pianist Benedetto Lupo and conducted by Josep Pons leading the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada.

MUSIC:
Nino Rota: Concerto Soirée, performed by pianist Benedetto Lupo with the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada conducted by Josep Pons [Harmonia Mundi HMC 901864, Tracks 8 - 12]

    Nino Rota’s Concerto Soirée, performed by pianist Benedetto Lupo with the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada conducted by Josep Pons.

    You are listening to “More Music of Nino Rota” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional 60-second break not included in the total timing of this program]

    Nino Rota wrote film scores for Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli, and Francis Ford Coppola. The music for  Visconti’s Il Gattopardo (called The Leopard in English rather than "The Cheetah") contained an abundance of dances which we’ll hear next in this orchestral suite. It is from the same 2005 Harmonia Mundi recording as the Concerto Soirée, a compact disc that also includes Nino Rota’s suite from La Strada, which I used in the first of these programs devoted to Rota’s music.
   
    Incidentally, If you missed that program, you can stream it on demand through the Compact Discoveries website, compactdiscoveries.com. That was program number 222. All three pieces are performed by the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada conducted by Josep Pons.

MUSIC:
Nino Rota: Dances from Il Gattopardo, performed by Orquesta Ciudad de Granada conducted by Josep Pons [Harmonia Mundi HMC 901864, Tracks 13 - 19]

    Nino Rota’s Dances from “Il Gattopardo,” performed by Orquesta Ciudad de Granada conducted by Josep Pons.

    I’ll conclude this second hour of Compact Discoveries devoted to the music of Nino Rota with A Fantasia on Nino Rota’s Themes from Fellini’s Movies. It includes melodies from La Strada, La Dolce Vita, Amacord, Casanova, Roma, Juliette of the Spirits, and 8-½, and is performed by I Cameristi di Roma on wind instruments from an Agorá Musica compact disc of “Great Movie Classics.”

MUSIC:
Nino Rota: A Fantasia on Nino Rota’s Themes from Fellini’s Movies performed by I Cameristi di Roma [Agorá Musica, Track 15]

    Nino Rota’s A Fantasia on Nino Rota’s Themes from Fellini’s Movies performed by I Cameristi di Roma.

    And that concludes this hour of Compact Discoveries, which I devoted to “More Music of Nino Rota.” I hope you enjoyed the music.

    If you missed any of this program or would like to hear it again, go to compactdiscoveries.com on the internet, where you’ll find links to stream Compact Discoveries programs on demand without charge. You’ll also find information on every recording used in every program. This is program number 223. You can also tune in to Compact Discoveries 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year on the SKY.FM Compact Discoveries Channel. You’ll find that at www.sky.fm/compactdiscoveries. I’m Fred Flaxman. Many thanks for listening!

ANNOUNCER
(Tana Flaxman): Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by Story Book Publishers, offering Fred Flaxman’s Pinnacle-Award-winning, tongue-in-cheek memoir, Sixty Slices of Life… on Wry: The Private Life of a Public Broadcaster, available in paperback and e-book formats at Amazon.com. And by the financial support of Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz, and by an anonymous donor from Palm Beach, Florida.

Program Ends at 58:00