ACD 2294 Cover

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NINO ROTA (1911 - 1979)
Orchestre Métropolitan du Grand Montréal
Yannick Nézet-Séguin

suite symphonique | symphonic suite

Jennifer Swartz harpe | harp
Alain Trudel trombone

ACD2 2294

“In my opinion, Nino Rota is music.”
Renowned as a prolific composer of film soundtracks, Nino Rota is chiefly associated with directors such as - Zeffirelli, Coppola, and above all, Fellini, for whom he became the regular composer.  

Outside of Italy, though, Rota is less known for his concert and theatre music: in all some one hundred “classical” works.

symphonic suite from the ballet
Frederico Fellini's La Strada is rightly considered as one of the greatest movies of all time.   This poetical fable of hope, love, and innocence was produced in 1954 with the unforgettable Giuletta Masina (Gelsomina), Anthony Quinn (Zampano), and Richard Basehart (a funambulist nicknamed “il Matto,” or the Madman).   Fellini wrote the script, with his then inseparable partners Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flajano.   Among other awards, La Strada won the Oscar for best foreign film (1956).

Composed in 1966, the ballet La Strada is the result of a commission by La Scala of Milan.   Fellini and Pinelli adapted the script themselves, making it into a ballet in twelve tableaux.   It was first performed on September 7, 1966 at La Scala.   It was a triumph and has regularly been performed since then.   The complete ballet lasts an hour and a quarter.   Still in 1966, Rota grouped the highlights in a symphonic suite, which aptly summarizes the plot.

Jennifer Swartz harpe | harp
Alain Trudel trombone

Rota composed his Harp Concerto in 1947 for Clelia Gatti Aldrovandi, who premiered it the following year with the RAI Orchestra conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini.   L'AIdrovandi, as she was known at the time, enjoyed a great reputation in her native country.   Rota also composed for her his superb Quintet for flute, oboe, viola, cello, and harp (1935), his Sonata for flute and harp (1937). and his Sarabande and Toccata for harp (1945).  

Composed in 1966, this concerto was premiered in Milan on May 6, 1969 by Bruno Ferrari on the trombone and the Orchestra dei Pomerrggi Musicali di Milano under Franco Caracciolo.   The style of this concerto is more modernistic than that of the Harp Concerto, its modernism recalling that of a Prokofiev, for example.   The orchestration is lighter, with only two French horns in the brass section.  

© Claudio Ricignuolo, 2002
Translation: Jacques-André Houle

        LA STRADA
        suite symphonique | symphonic suite     [31:40]

1.   Nozze in Campagne. “E Arrivato Zampanò”     3:34
       Noces villageoises. « Voici Ie grand Zampanò !»
       Country Wedding. “Zampanò has Arrived”

2.   I Tre Suonatori e il “Matto” Sul Filo     6:73
       Les trois musiciens ambulants et Ie « Matto » sur la corde raide
       The Three Musicians and the “Matto” on the Tightrope

3.   Il Circo (II Numero di Zampanò - I Giocolieri - II Violino del “Matto”)     4:57
       Le cirque (Ie numero de Zampanò - les jongleurs - Ie violon du « Matto »)
       The Circus (Zampanò's Number- The Jugglers - The “Matto's” Violin)

4.   La Rabbia di Zampanò     5:74
       La rage de Zampanò
       Zampanò's Anger

5.   Zampanò Uccide il “Matto”     3:03
       Zampanò tue Ie « Matto »
       Zampanò Kills the “Matto”

6.   L'Ultimo Spettacolo Sulla Neve. “Addio Gelsomina”     5:79
       Le dernier spectacle sur la neige. « Adieu Gelsomina »
       The Last Show in the Snow. “Farewell Gelsomina”

7.   Solitudine e Pianto di Zampanò     3:20
       Solitude et pleurs de Zampanò
       Zampanò Alone and in Tears

       Trompette solo / Solo Trumpet. Stephane Beaulac
       Violon solo / Solo Violin. Denise Lupien

        CONCERTO FOR HARPE en sol majeur     [24:20]
        HARP CONCERTO in G Major
                Jennifer Swartz harpe | harp

8.   Allegro moderate     8:58
9.   Andante     8:21
10. Allegro     7:07

        CONCERTO POUR TROMBONE en do majeur     [12:53]
        TROMBONE CONCERTO in C Major
                Alain Trudel trombone

11. Allegro giusto     3.29
12. Lento, ben ritmato     5.37
13. Allegro moderate     3.47

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