Nino Rota

Giulietta Degli Spiriti [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Nino Rota's soundtrack for Federico Fellini's Giulietta Degli Spiriti is full of circus music, a move apropos to the director's own, oftentimes surreal use of big top motifs in many of his films; think of the end of 8 1/2 or the flow of "circus freaks" peopling the film in question, one of Fellini's most dreamlike. Set adrift in pump organ gaiety, the main theme "Amore Per Tutti" particularly oozes of cotton candy and carnival grounds; indeed, three-ring madness is made explicit with marching band extravaganzas like "La Ballerina Del Circo Snap." Of course, Rota personalizes all this with abrupt stylistic changes, plenty of sinister organ runs, and ethereal vocal passages. He even gives the main theme a few dark, expressionistic spins on watery gems like "Il Giardino Delle Fate," while creating an especially effective pastiche of both existential and circus moods on "La Porticina Segreta." Further expanding the mix, Rota also includes some Tin Pan Alley, rock & roll, and cocktail jazz, elements that seem to pop up on most of his Fellini projects. And thanks to Rota's seamless arrangements and keen song sequencing, the musical mélange comes out whole. A perfect introduction to Rota's work.

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