The concert works of film composer Nino Rota, best known for his scores for the Godfather trilogy and for a long series of films by Federico Fellini, have increasingly often been finding space in classical recording catalogs. Here's a nicely recorded rendering of Rota's two numbered symphonies, virtually unknown until perhaps the turn of the century, issued on a major British label, Chandos. Both are attractive pieces that could be profitably programmed by any symphony orchestra. They were composed in the 1930s, when Rota was as much American as Italian; he won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and studied there for several years. Both reflect the French neo-classic trends that flourished in the U.S. between the wars, and, although Rota sounds nothing like Copland, you do experience in these works an evocation of what annotator Michele Rene Mannucci aptly calls "landscape in sound." Each work is in the conventional four movements, with a slow movement placed second in the Symphony No. 1 in G major and third in the Symphony No. 2 in F major.
Peter Ustinov first assayed the role of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot in this suspenseful 1978 murder mystery. Longtime Fellini collaborator (and Godfather composer) Nino Rota matches the onscreen tension.
Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet Soundtrack album by Prague Philharmonic Orchestra was released Jun 25, 2002 on the Silva Screen label. This complete score to the 1968 version of ROMEO & JULIET was re-recorded by The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra And Chorus. Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet Soundtrack CD music contains a single disc with 21 songs.