GREAT DIRECTORS & THEIR COMPOSERS: FEDERICO FELLINI & NINO ROTA
Performed by the Athens State Orchestra under the baton of Frank Strobel
Odeon des Herodes Atticus, Athens
5 July 2016, 21:00
Federico Fellini and Rome‘s Cinecittà represent the last European force to withstand the
predominance of the U.S. film industry. As an article in “Der Spiegel“ (45/1993) put it, Federico
Fellini set “images steeped in, oversaturated with and weary of European culture against fast
action made in the U.S.A.“ His oeuvre is a cinematic affirmation of life in all its variety: eating,
drinking, and reveling; Italian dolce vita, street scenes, light and shade, unrestrained sexuality.
The scores composed by Nino Rota, lying somewhere between chamber music and “circus
music,” are sometimes joyful, sometimes melancholic, but always affirmative in spirit and full
The scores created by Nino Rota for Fellini films mainly differ from his compositions for Francis
Ford Coppola films (THE GODFATHER, 1972) and Luchino Visconti films (THE LEOPARD, 1963)
in terms of orchestral line-up. Nino Rota is the master of fast-moving changes in tone colour
as achieved through changes in instrumentation. The orchestral material published to date is
based on the material used for the recording at the time. Following these scores would mean
hiring eight clarinets for one piece and various special instruments, which are not part of the
regular orchestra, for another (e.g. saxophones, flugelhorns, organ, cembalo, accordion,
electric guitar), whereas a third piece only requires a small orchestra. Slight touch-ups, such
as gentle adaptations to the score in line with Nino Rota’s style, now allow us to put on
performances of these works without diluting the specific personal approach of the composer or
tampering with the sound and image world contained in Federico Fellini’s films. Feeling bound
to the compositional creation of Nino Rota, we included the various special instruments for
enrichment and colour.
The concert includes music from: La Strada (1954), La dolce vita (1960), Amarcord (1974), Giulietta
degli Spiriti (1965), Roma (1972), Prova d’orchestra (1979), I vitelloni (1963), Il bidone (1955) and
Photo: Karsten Prühl
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* In collaboration with FilmPhilharmonie