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GREAT DIRECTORS AND THEIR COMPOSERS: FEDERICO FELLINI & NINO ROTA

Federico Fellini and Rome‘s Cinecittá represent the last European force to withstand the predominance of the U.S. film industry. As an article in “Der Spiegel“ (45/1993) put it, Federico Fellini set “images steeped in, oversaturated with and weary of European culture against fast action made in the U.S.A.“ His oeuvre is a cinematic affirmation of life in all its variety: eating, drinking, and reveling; Italian dolce vita, street scenes, light and shade, unrestrained sexuality. The scores composed by Nino Rota, lying somewhere between chamber music and “circus music,” are sometimes joyful, sometimes melancholic, but always affirmative in spirit and full of vigor.

The scores created by Nino Rota for Fellini films mainly differ from his compositions for Francis Ford Coppola films (THE GODFATHER, 1972) and Luchino Visconti films (THE LEOPARD, 1963) in terms of orchestral line-up. Nino Rota is the master of fast-moving changes in tone colour as achieved through changes in instrumentation. The orchestral material published to date is based on the material used for the recording at the time. Following these scores would mean hiring eight clarinets for one piece and various special instruments, which are not part of the regular orchestra, for another (e.g. saxophones, flugelhorns, organ, cembalo, accordion, electric guitar), whereas a third piece only requires a small orchestra. Slight touch-ups, such as gentle adaptations to the score in line with Nino Rota’s style, now allow us to put on performances of these works without diluting the specific personal approach of the composer or tampering with the sound and image world contained in Federico Fellini’s films. Feeling bound to the compositional creation of Nino Rota, we included the various special instruments for enrichment and colour.

In this film music concert, the hall is converted into a light show theatre. This is different from the typical cinema or film theatre experience where audiences sit in the dark watching events unfurling on the screen. 

Instead, we will stage a musical and visual play between light and darkness, allowing the audience to immerse itself in the world created by Federico Fellini. In our light show theatre, cinematic images disengage themselves from the screen and images, emotions and people become bigger than the screen onto which they are projected.

The light concept we chose focuses on the play between light and darkness, between orchestral sound and musical colour. The different light ambiences are closely linked to the colours flowing from the screen and the orchestra into the philharmonic hall. Orchestral music, cinematic images and light all form a unit, complementing each other in their mutual dependency.

The production requires (detailed information upon request)

digital film projection, screen video monitoring for the conductor, video monitoring for the projection management, stage management, stage platforms for the orchestra, chairs, music stands, music stand lighting etc. 

1 project manager 

2 projection technicians 

1 manager stills and film excerpts 

1 light designer 

light schedule

The whole production (including the above staff plus sheet music, film and stills, rehearsal and press material) is available from the EUROPEAN FILMPHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE.

A production commissioned by the Kölner Philharmonie. 

Duration:
118min.
Ensemble:
large orchestra (from 46 Musicians)
Instrumentation:
2+1/pic.2+ca.2+bcl.2 – 4.3.3.1 – timp.4perc – pno. cel.epno.org(2players) – hp – strings – electr. guitar
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