Nino Rota and Federico Fellini formed one of the most celebrated soundtrack composer-film director alliances in the history of cinema, and La Strada (1954) and Le Notti Di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria, 1956) were among the first of Fellini's films to gain wide international acclaim. This CD combines both soundtracks onto one disc, providing a major service to film scholars and soundtrack aficionados alike. As La Strada is set at a carnival, much of the music is appropriately circus-like, though with touches of melancholia and playfulness that elevate it far beyond a functional backdrop. Much of it amplifies the movie's tragicomedy, with orchestration that resists bombast in favor of deft ensemble imagination. A similar if less specifically carnival-ish mood pervades Le Notti Di Cabiria's soundtrack, which has stronger elements of light jazz, vaudeville, burlesque, and Latin music. Childlike wistfulness comes to the fore in some of the most effective excerpts, such as "Il Pellegrinaggio." It's not quite as memorable a soundtrack as La Strada's, but still makes a worthy half of an important compilation of Rota's early work for Fellini, though the liner notes aren't that comprehensive.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
|La Strada (The Road), film score|
|Le Notte di Cabiria, film score|