Monday, 2 January 2012

Nino Rota

Italian composer Nino Rota was born in Milan, 3 December 1911 and died in Rome, 10 April 1979. Rota grew up surrounded by music: His mother, Ernesta Rinaldi, was a pianist. He began composing at eight, establishing himself as a composer in 1923, with his oratorio L’Infanzia de S. Giovanni Battista. In the same year, he enters to the Milan Conservatory, where he studies with Giovanni Orefice among others. He moves to Rome in 1926 studying with Casella, graduating at the Conservatorio di S. Cecilia three years later. Between 1931 and 1932 he studies at the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia with Rosario Scalero and Fritz Reiner among others.

Rota befriends American composer Aaron Copland, also discovering the American popular song, cinema and the music of George Gershwin. Altogether, these elements will have a strong influence in Rota, like his passion for the Italian popular song and operetta.

He wrote soundtracks for directors as Renaldo Castellani, Mario Soldati, Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffierelli and Francis Ford Coppolla and movies like La Dolce Vita, Il Casanova di Federico Fellini, La Strada, Il Gattopardo and The Godfather.

Rota writes in a vast variety of genres, sometimes writing with a clear and provocative clarity. Some works (like Ariodante, 1942) are written in a 19th-century style, others are authentic reminiscences of the operetta and the vaudeville. His works illustrate a easiness to produce images instantly, that Rota himself states they come from his familiarity with the rhythm of the movie making.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Fantasia in sol - Nino Rota

The Fantasia in Sol reveals some “Classicism”. Its structure revolves around a sonata-form, with a succession of themes (some pending to exotism), in a sort of “musical movie”, like the unfolding of scenes of a movie. A moment of apparent initial calm succeeds little by little a graduating of tension that is unleashed in a series of short rhythmic figures, reappearing a new “peaceful” theme, suggesting some sarcasm.