The musical world of Nino Rota in a handy duo format.
It all begins with 1987 TDK audio cassette : 90 minutes of music by Nino Rota, film music, piano pieces for children and originial excerpts from Fellini's 8 1/2 – compiled in painstaking detail on the Sony cassette deck at home.
To capture the charm and irresistible spirit of this recording and to release it in the form of live performances is the declared aim of these two Nino Rota's aficionados, musicians Marie-Elsa Drelon and Carsten Wegener, whose theater work brought them together.
Drelon turned to tango after classical training in Paris. Wegener started his career as a bass player in rock bands, later he discovered his passion for bizarre instruments and various types of world music (Klezmer, Cumbia, Cajun and many more).
The spirit of Nino Rota relives through this diversity of styles, he who always moved with dream-like ease and lightness of touch between the different worlds of classical folk and popular music.
Nino Rota's compositions are the perfect playground for both musicians. Here they can give free reign to their enthusiasm for experimentation with unique arrangements of well-known melodies from films such 8 1/2 or La Dolce Vita. The unusual instruments they play (musical saw, lapsteel, organ, sound collages, etc) transform Rota's compositions into captivating soundscapes.
- piano, organ, melodica, glockenspiel
- Trio Mattar, Quintet Yira Yira, Septissimo, Trio Tritangulo
- guitar, musical saw, harmonica, lapsteel guitar
- 17 Hippies, Shmaltz, Tants in Gartn Eydn, Poor Little Critters, Lüül Band
Nino Rota (1911-1979) was a child prodigy, a wanderer in the musical world and a genius at the same time. At the age of thirteen he had performed his self-composed oratorio. In 1975 he won an Oscar for his work on the second part of the trilogy “The Godfather”. His most famous melody is the theme “Il Padrino” from the film of the same name by Francis Ford Coppola. His musical mastery bore the stamp of his collaboration with Federico Fellini, with whom he worked from 1960 until his death in 1979.
Nino Rota's talent was often compared to that of Mozart. He was able to compose a melody while listening to other music. He was also able to fully tune into his counterpart, absorb his ideas and then elicit a unique correspondence from it, which did not arise from a conscious process but directly from the pure inspiration of the moment, proving something free of the urge to have to.
Nino Rota's musical interpretations are characterized by a special openness, they are never just sad, never unambiguous, it is not specified what you have to feel or think, your own possibilities of interpretation are preserved. In this respect, Nino Rota matched the filmic language of Federico Fellini very well.
Fellini and Rota were idealy complementary to each other in their skills and characters: Fellini, the exuberant, stirring visionary, trumpeter of his own dream worlds, verbose and expressive. On the other hand, Nino Rota, calm and introverted, who, thanks to his outstanding musical and improvisational skills, was able to convert Fellini's words directly into music with dream-like ease and accuracy.
In his compositions, Rota drew from an extraordinarily rich musical repertoire of the time and created his own style and sound from classic, folk, jazz and contemporary popular elements.
This closeness to folk and popular music is probably one of the reasons why Nino Rota's melodies are mostly cantabile, so they are easy to sing along with and therefore very accessible and memorable. His arrangement style is also characteristic: each instrument retains its own voice, as is known from smaller ensembles rather than from orchestras. Playfulness and lightness always shine through here in every single voice.
Rota, always curious and open to new technical developments, integrated all kinds of modern instruments and sound effects in his arrangements.
Rotatonics try to compress the complex sound world of Nino Rota into a handy duo format without losing the composer's spirit.