March 2001 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /March01/

EDITOR’s CHOICE March 2001


Compilation: Nino ROTA; Carmine COPPOLA; Pietro MASCAGNI
THE GODFATHER TRILOGY 30th Anniversary album -
The Godfather , The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III
The City of Prague Philharmonic and Crouch End Chorus conducted by Paul Bateman
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This 30th Anniversary tribute to one of the screen's most celebrated trilogy's is simply magnificent. The well-loved tunes are all played ravishingly and very true to the spirit of the originals (the orchestrations and arrangements having been made of his own music by Nino Rota, himself) while the recorded sound is stunning.

The music from The Godfather includes, of course, Rota's celebrated 'Waltz' and 'Love Theme' (better known as "Speak Softly, Love") but there is also the beautifully atmospheric Siciliene Pastorale sounding very much like a mix of Puccini and Mascagni. In fact, listening to this album, one is struck forcibly how operatic it all is and how splendidly the music of Rota and Carmine Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola's father) integrate. In fact, from Godfather III we have the Preludio from Macgani's opera, Cavalleria Rusticana that follows on quite naturally from Coppola's rather darkly tinged Intermezzo. Coppola also contributes those colourful, sparkling and very Italianate wedding dances ('Tarantella' and 'Mazurka') from The Godfather and the militaristic/provincial-town-band-like 'Marcia Stilo Italiano' from Godfather II as well as the proud and grand 'Marcia Religiosa' and the more relaxed and joyful 'Marca Festa' from Godfather III.

More 20th century dramatic music comes from Rota in the shape of the jazz blues-based yet shadowy and tensely menacing 'Pick-Up.' More romance comes in Rota's fragile melody for Kay in Godfather II and in Coppola's equally delicate sensitive love theme for Godfather III. There are some exquisite violin and piano solos (uncredited) while the Crouch End Chorus add a further dimension of pathos to the Finale of The Godfather.


Ian Lace

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