Film Music Review
The Sammy awards









13 Tracks (Playing Time = 58:42)



The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by Nic Raine, Paul Bateman, Mario Klemens and David Wadsworth. Album Produced by James Fitzpatrick. Mastered by Rick Clark. Release co-ordination by David Stoner and Peter Compton. Artwork and Design by Damien Doherty.

Silva Screen SILCD 2007

Rating: **1/2

This is another in the ongoing budget line of Silva Screen re-releases, or is it re-re-releases? So far the series has featured film music by John Barry, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann, James Horner, Maurice Jarre, Ennio Morricone, Alan Silvestri, and John Williams.

Along with Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota has been the best known and respected of Italian film composers. Rota's film music is highly polished and quite exceptional in its melodic beauty.

Like the other releases, this Rota sampler contains examples from several key decades in his film career.

There are themes and suites from twelve of Rota's scores. From the 1940s and 1950s there is two scores: THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1949) and LA STRADA (1954). The 1960s was the most important decade for Rota's film work with these scores included on the CD: LA DOLCE VITA (1960), 8 1/2 (1963), GIULIETTA DEGLI SPIRITI (1965), THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (1967), ROMEO AND JULIET (1968), and FELLINI SATYRICON (1969). But the 1970s were also important for Rota and these scores are included: THE GODFATHER (1972), AMACORD (1973), IL CASANOVA (1976), and DEATH ON THE NILE (1978).

One might ask -- Is this Nino Rota CD sampler really necessary? There have been other outsanding and much longer releases, such as Silva Screen's own 2 CD set, The Essential Nino Rota Film Music Collection (28 tracks) , or the excellent Sony CD with 30 tracks, Nino Rota: Music for Film (conducted by Riccardo Muti).

I don't usually quote from other sources like, but this comment is unusually descriptive about the Silva Screen 2 CD set. The author "tjguitar" writes:

"For this release, Silva Screen released their previous disc of Music from Fellini films, along with the best tracks from Nic Raine's 1998 recording of the complete score of Romeo and Juliet, as well as Paul Bateman's 2001 Godfather Trilogy disc, along with a few new tracks and other tracks from Silva's back catalog of music...overall this is a superb collection with that previous release in its entirety (remastered in HDCD surround sound, I might add), along with the best tracks from the Godfather Trilogy and Romeo and Juliet, with some more films sprinkled about, it's a must-have."

Though I agree with that statement, the budget Nino Rota CD might be good enough to satisfy your curiosity or interest. It does include many of the most remembered themes from the films, like the Love Theme (track 4, 2:44) from ROMEO AND JULIET, "The Godfather Waltz" (track 1, 3:49) and "Speak Softly Love" (track 13, 2:45) from THE GODFATHER.

But for the money, I do think the The Essential Nino Rota Film Music Collection offers a more satisfying survey of Nino Rota's film scores.

The Film Music of Nino Rota CD notes by Michael Beek are brief but in keeping with the minimal approach for this budget series.

You might get a chuckle at the ridiculous CD cover with its display of "leg art." Does that really represent Nino Rota's film work? I think not. But then most of the CD covers in this Silva Screen budget series have been unappealing and at times downright vulgar, especially the Bernard Herrmann CD.

If you want to save money then buy this Nino Rota budget CD.

It's a very good value and the performances by The City of Prague Philharmonic are very satisfying, as is the superb Silva Screen sound.


--Roger L. Hall, 10 October 2007

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