NINO ROTA: Cello Concerto No. 2; Concerto for Strings (1977); Trio for clarinet, cello and piano – Alessandro Carbonare, clarinet/Alberto Miodini, piano/Enrico Bronzi/I Musici De Parma – Concerto CD 2043, 54:28 [Distr. by Naxos] *****:
Rota’s rich catalog apart from the award-winning film scores he created for Fellini and others has been recently rediscovered. Rota has been compared to Shostakovich in his ability to have had a fertile relationship with theater and cinema in addition to being a “serious” composer. His highly chromatic harmonic language (as with Shostakovich) is used for its ability to distort and color, not as an attempt to exasperate harmonic functions.
The Cello Concerto echos a Fellini-esque world, or perhaps Rota-esque one – since it is difficult sometimes to separate the poetic creations of the two artists. The trio featuring the clarinet has some sections putting one in the milieu of Fellini’s classic La Strada. For my ears, the String Concerto here was the most interesting work – a four-movement piece of considerable power, with an Aria movement heavily influenced by Bach. Sonics are at a high standard; this is the first recording I have seen that promotes a 64-bit digital recording format – most recently are mastered at either 24 or 32-bit.
— John Sunier