Sinfonia on a Love Song for Valentine’s Day

Nino Rota's Sinfonia on a Love Song has a clearly “romantic” intent.(Photo: Flickr/weennee)
Nino Rota's Sinfonia on a Love Song has a clearly “romantic” intent.(Photo: Flickr/weennee)

Italian composer Nino Rota is rightfully best known for his many film scores, over 150 in all. There are many great, memorable scores for films by Visconti, Fellini, several of Franco Zeffirelli’s Shakespeare films, and of course, music for the first two Godfather films by Francis Ford Coppola.

Nino Rota also composed many works for the concert hall, and this evening on Symphony @ 7, for Valentine’s Day, we have his Sinfonia on a Love Song from 1947.  It’s a four movement work maintaining classical rules of form, but three of the four movements contain music he used later in film scores: from The Crystal Mountain by Henry Cass in 1949, and from Il Gattopardo by Luchino Visconti in 1963.

This Romantic symphony has a clearly “romantic” intent, judging from the title and the sound of the music.  Here’s a sample:

When I was a young fellow, I hadn’t yet seen any of the films of Federico Fellini, for which Rota composed noted film scores. The movie music that I remember best was from one of my favorite Shakespeare films, Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet from 1968. I saw it twice in the theater and then bought the soundtrack album. Exactly how much it influenced my later decision to become an English major in college, I’m not sure, but this film and the music Nino Rota composed for it, drew me into the world of Shakespeare’s characters like nothing I experienced before.

Here’s Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in about four minutes with the unforgettable music of Nino Rota:

Join us on Symphony @ 7 for a symphony by Nino Rota here on Classical 101.