Arguably the finest pairings of composer and director in cinematic history have been Bernard Herrmann with Alfred Hitchcock and that of Nino Rota with Federico Fellini. Casanova, the last great Rota/Fellini collaboration, shows composer Rota at peak form. Whether employing a glass harmonica, music box motifs, electric pianos, or a full-blown operatic choir and orchestra, the maestro's distinctive sound palette and slightly off-kilter melodies evoke various shades of melancholia to haunting effect. Fellini made films after Rota's death, but they lacked the magical mood that Rota's music created.
Review by Rick Watrous