The abundant concert works of Italian composer Nino Rota continue to surface in recordings, many on major labels. Doubtless this is partly because Rota carries marquee value from his association with the Godfather films, but his music, although surely a mixed bag, is often just plain fun. You can break it down into three general categories, which don't necessarily correspond to individual works but are heard in combination. First is the group of marvelously cinematic tunes that make this release of interest to the still-numerous fans of Rota's film music; the Concerto Soirée for piano and orchestra offers a generous selection. Second, Rota made various attempts to master styles from the straight classical sphere. He avoided modernist idioms, but the Symphony No. 3 in C major, composed in 1956, is a competent essay in French-style neo-classicism in its outer movements. Finally there are pieces that show a style that's distinctively Rota's, and these are the best of all. Sample the gorgeously lyrical but not all sentimental slow movement of the Symphony No. 3 (track 11) or the witty Divertimento concertante for double bass and orchestra, whose interplay between the solo instruments and the orchestral brasses reveals a humor different from the light melodies in Rota's film scores. Nothing here is groundbreaking, but conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the Filarmonica '900 del Teatro Regio, Turin, with Irish pianist Barry Douglas in the Concerto Soirée, deliver vigorous renditions in keeping with the spirit of the music. Recommended especially for film music fans.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Concerto soirée, for Piano and Orchestra|
1. Valzer-Fantasia. Tempo di valzer tranquillo - Un poco animato - Poco più, brillante ma tranquillo - Animando insensibilmente - Tempo di valzer - Molto più calmo - Tempo 1
4. Quadriglia. Allegro con spirito - Lo stesso tempo - Lo stesso tempo - Poco meno, con spirito - Tempo 1 - Un poco sostenuto
|Divertimento concertante, for Double-bass and Orchestra|
|Symphony No. 3 in C major|