5CDs, and a set of great soundtracks to early films by director Federico Fellini – music that forever set the standard for a new generation of film composers! First up is La Strada – the brilliant mid 50s filled that starred a young Giulettia Masini as one of the saddest clowns ever to grace the silver screen
– an amazing performance supported here by key early work from Nino Rota. Rota's score is a mix of circus-like themes and darker moments – all delivered with a dynamic energy that's really wonderful – almost leaping out of the speakers at some points, then sliding into shimmering, watery depths at others. Titles include "Il Pranzo Di Nozze", "Tema Della Strada", "Gelsomina", "Il Bambino Malato", "Zampano Abbandona Gelsomina", and "Addio Del Matto". Next is Le Notti Di Cabiria – aka Nights Of Cabiria – a film of similar vintage, with an equally wonderful score by Rota! The music's a bit more lush this time around – fuller orchestrations at times, but always with that ear for an isolated melody amidst the larger body – that sense of personality that makes Rota's soundtracks so great. Titles include "Picnic Al Divino Amore", "L'Illusionista", "Il Trasloco", "Aspettando Giorgio", and "Le Notti Di Cabiria". La Dolce Vita is one of the all-time classic Italian film scores – a groundbreaking soundtrack from Nino Rota, and one of the first Italian works of this nature to hit the record racks in the US! The music is a beautiful blend of whimsy and sadness – penned by Rota with a variety of light themes that dance together with a dreamy sort of quality – romantic one minute, dramatic the next – always handled with Nino's inventive sense of musical play! A delight throughout – with titles that include "La Doce Vita", "Cadillac", "Via Veneto", "Titoli Di Testa", and "Valzer". 8 1/
2 is beautiful work by Nino Rota – filled with the kind of classic themes that distinguished his best work for Fellini. Carlo Savina conducted, and he does an excellent job with Rota's ideas – crafting them into short little packets of sound, woven tightly into little balls that pass back and forth as the mood of the film changes, in a similar mode to the scoring for La Dolce Vita. Titles include "Cadillac", "Cimitero", "Discesa Ai Fanghi", "La Passerella D'Addio", "Concertino Alle Terme", and "E Poi". Last up is a special soundtrack – featuring works from very early films by Fellini – including Il Bidone, I Vitelloni, Un Agenzia Matrimoniale, Lo Sceicco Bianco, and La Grande Seduzione.