Producer James Fitzpatrick and conductor Nic Raine have undertaken a major job of restoration in preparing their new recording of Nino Rota's score for the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli film adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. Apparently, Rota's original manuscript is long lost, and they were forced to reconstruct the score by ear, listening to the soundtrack of the film. The result is a much more complete rendering of the memorable music than was heard on the million-selling Capitol Records soundtrack album. Of course, the chief attraction remains the "Love Theme" (aka "A Time for Us"), which is repeated several times, but one is also impressed by the elements of Renaissance period music that are included and by the overall beauty of the work. The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra is actually somewhat larger than the group Rota used to perform the film's music, but the score's delicacy is not lost, and this remains one of the more poignant and moving collections of music ever written for a Shakespeare production, as well as a gem in Rota's repertoire.
Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet (World Premiere Digital Recording of the Complete Film Score) Review
by William Ruhlmann