Le musiche di Fellini

The music of Fellini

The hundredth anniversary of the birth of the most famous Italian director in the world – he was born in Rimini on 20 January 1920 – provides us with the occasion to look back on his extraordinary career through music: twelve songs from as many films which even further enhanced the fame of the latter. Indeed, the soundtracks of Fellini’s films are as recognisable as his plots, his characters and the atmospheres he created, which hang between dream and reality, circus and city, pagan and Christian. Until his death, the soundtracks were produced by Nino Rota (1911-79), a composer trained in classical music who wrote many pieces for orchestra, chamber ensembles and opera as well as sacred music. Yet his talents found their greatest expression in his collaboration with Fellini, who entrusted orchestral arrangements and conducting to Carlo Savina. The Fellini-Rota tandem is in fact the most famous collaborative effort in Italian cinema, together with that of Sergio Leone-Ennio Morricone. Their friendship dates to 1952 on the set of The White Sheik, Fellini’s debut film, continuing indefatigably until the making of Orchestra Rehearsal in 1978. Thereafter, Rota’s shoes were certainly hard to fill, yet his successors, first Luis Bacalov and then Nicola Piovani, rose to the challenge. This collection aims to recapture Fellini’s typical sound, in which circus parades blend into the slower rhythms of large dance orchestras, American evergreen hits mix with wartime songs, and the immortal melodies – often improvised on the spot to meet the director’s needs – become archetypes of popular imagination.