Nino ROTA (1911-79)
Chamber Music: Sonata for flute and harp (1937), Trio
for clarinet, cello and piano (1973), String Quartet (1948), Quintet for
flute, oboe, viola, cello and harp, (1935), Trio for flute, violin and piano
(1958), Piccola Offerta Musicale for wind quintet (1943)
ASV CD DCA
Rota's film music is well enough known but in recent years his concert music
has been climbing from obscurity. The symphonies are on BIS and there are
no less than two CDs of his pair of piano concertos: one on Sony, the other
The chamber music is pretty much as expected.
The flute and harp sonata (1937) has a cool succulence: part antique Ravel;
part sunny Mediterranean evening.
The 1973 trio has Weill-like clipped accents and, in this performance, the
andante seems too speedy.
The 1948 String Quartet features Hungarian melodics alongside a chaste
adagio which fails to plumb great emotional depths and a finale recalling
the Moeran Serenade for orchestra with a touch of neo-classical Holst.
The Quintet (1935) is scored for flute, oboe, viola, cello and harp. Untiringly
tuneful, spinning and turning. A gentle inspiration in touch with Greek
antiquity. This is bound to be loved by admirers of the Ravel Septet and
the Bax Nonet.
The Trio for flute, violin and piano is tense at times sounding as if
Shostakovich had written his own Flight of the Bumble Bee. The middle
movement seems to limn one of the Bach Partitas.
The Piccola Offerta Musicale suggests an argument between Poulenc
the troubadour and the knockabout Shostakovich. At 3.43 it certainly is
This music gives off a health-giving glow. I urge you to try it.
see also review by Gary Dalkin