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 Posted:   May 18, 2020 - 8:47 AM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)

I'm currently going through most of Fellini's 1950s output and I must say thus far I'm really impressed.

It's a shame that modern audiences are not too familiar with the really important classic movies. I guess Fellini's movies from that era are really important for the stories they have to tell. The plots are timeless.

Equally (if not more stunning) are Nino Rota's scores for these movies: totally unique and just breathtaking.

Seemingly, "I Vitelloni" is the one that has been more or less ignored on records. Carlo Savina recorded a few minutes of it - as did Silva Screen for their Fellini collection. If you look on youtube, spotify (and the other usual suspects), you'll find that some jazz artists paid tribute to "I Vitelloni" (including a track on Katyna Ranieri's Fellini album). Yet, there is nothing like a pleasing representation of Rota's score.

The closest I've found is this recording from a 2015 concert in Florida:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUFWVVegDhA

Not too impressing, but a lot more than what can be found on the commercial releases.

I know it has been discussed on other threads that recordings that vintage may no longer be available, but I wonder if alternate sources could be used. After all, "La Strada" and "Cabiria" have not been quite mastered from first generation masters either.

I checked the German version of the movie and it uses Rota's original music (unlike "Lo sceicco bianco" which ironically has been dubbed with some of the same music as Hitchcock's "Saboteur"). I wonder if whoever owns the copyright in this movie has some kind of MFX tracks in their vaults which could be cleaned up for a release of the "I Vitelloni" soundtrack?

 
 
 Posted:   May 18, 2020 - 12:51 PM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

I checked the German version of the movie and it uses Rota's original music (unlike "Lo sceicco bianco" which ironically has been dubbed with some of the same music as Hitchcock's "Saboteur"). I wonder if whoever owns the copyright in this movie has some kind of MFX tracks in their vaults which could be cleaned up for a release of the "I Vitelloni" soundtrack?

There is no reason to assume that M&E tracks would rather be available for I VITELLONI than for LO SCEICCO BIANCO - besides the fact that I am sure that no label in Italy would release such an M&E track anyway if it existed.
The reason why the original music by Rota has been preserved in the German version of I VITELLONI, but not in the one for LO SCEICCO BIANCO, has much more to do with their different release dates here in Germany. I VITELLONI got released in German cinemas in 1956 and so the German dubbing company of course still received the correct M&E track at that time - it was just three years after the release in Italy. Fortunately, this dubbed version from 1956 has been preserved till today and is therefore still shown nowadays in this way.
However, with LO SCEICCO BIANCO it is a completely different matter. This film was released much later - namely in 1962 - in German cinemas - and it is quite obvious that the German dubbing company simply didn´t receive the correct and complete M&E track from the Italian production company anymore at such a later point in time. Something like this happened again and again during the early 60s. The later in time such a dubbing is done, the more difficult it is for the dubbing company to get the original M&E tracks.
Therefore for the most part the Rota score had of course to be replaced for this German dubbed version of LO SCEICCO BIANCO.

 
 Posted:   May 18, 2020 - 1:12 PM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)

I'm just trying to get somewhere, although the situation seems pretty hopeless wink

My point was that perhaps there never was a proper MFX for the "White Sheik."

It may not be the best source material, but the "La Strada" and "Cabiria" tracks have also at least partly been taken from the MFX (or even the finished film) and the Legend CD is one of the most important Rota releases ever.

 
 
 Posted:   May 18, 2020 - 1:24 PM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

I suppose that a proper M&E track did exist for LO SCEICCO BIANCO at least till the mid-50s. So if the German dubbing had been made for example in 1953 or 1954, there would certainly have been no problem and you would also hear the original Rota music in this German dubbing. I am quite sure about that from all the experiences I have had with German dubbings from that time.

If I remember it correctly, only a few parts of the Legend CD with LA STRADA and NOTTI DI CABIRIA had probably been taken from the M&E track - mainly for LA STRADA to extend and round off this very famous and popular score a bit. But these were De Laurentiis productions and certainly everything what they still had in their Radiofilmusica archives of the original music tracks was used for the CD.
Also with other Laurentiis productions from that period which got released on CD by Legend - for example scores by Lavagnino or Piccioni - often parts were missing and had apparently been lost - but we have to be glad that at least some tracks could still be rescued for the CDs.

 
 
 Posted:   May 18, 2020 - 6:51 PM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

I really like the concert suite of "I Vitelloni" that was posted above - it's certainly the best version of this music I've heard outside of the film itself.

 
 
 Posted:   May 19, 2020 - 1:22 AM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

I really like the concert suite of "I Vitelloni" that was posted above - it's certainly the best version of this music I've heard outside of the film itself.

Indeed, such a longer and really good suite of I VITELLONI should have long been released on an official CD. It´s a shame that something like this was not even included on Riccardo Chailly´s "Fellini Album".

 
 
 Posted:   May 19, 2020 - 7:23 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

That suite was amazing. Re-recordings tend to cover safe/known ground. There is no reason a suite like this couldn't be included on a Fellini/Rota album. I get it that some of the F/R scores use organs and guitars and might be more difficult to redo, but these orchestral suites should be easier. As I've said on other threads, I love the Rota/Fellini scores as much as anything. The original Savina Cam lp re-record is a perfect album.

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 10:47 AM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)

I think this is a general problem with today's cultural scene: producers assume that the majority of the public is not interested in culture at all (which is unfortunately true) and thus try to make it as "easy" as possible and only include the titles that are known to a wider public. That's why an album by a less known artist on a little label might include more interesting items than one by a better known one on a major label. The consequence is, however, that many people will be put off by the final product because it will only include material they already known (and most likely in better versions).

Whoever releases a Fellini/Rota album these days should be aware of the fact that it will most likely not attract general audiences and will be more of interest to people who already have some knowledge or interest in these two artists. Always including the same stuff thus makes little or no sense. Is the Chandos film music series dead by now? I could see them including lengthy suites of the otherwise unavailable Rota scores (just as they did with Rozsa, Korngold or others).

Who would own the original recordings these days? I think we can only speculate unless we really have a confirmation that all first or second generation sources of the original are no longer available.

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 12:03 PM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

There exist longer orchestral suites of LO SCEICCO BIANCO and of I VITELLONI - each of them with a duration of about 12 minutes. There have even been live performances of those last year and this year (one in Berlin) and they are owned by Schott music in Germany. Have a look here:
https://de.schott-music.com/shop/i-vitelloni-no344435.html
https://de.schott-music.com/shop/lo-sceicco-bianco-no344437.html

So it would have been no problem at all to include these two longer suites in Chailly´s Fellini album - above all as they included a suite of CASANOVA on this CD which - just like this VITELLONI suite - had also been orchestrated by Bruno Moretti, a former püpil of Rota.

The music publisher for the original recordings of both scores in Italy was Edizioni Musicali P.A. - this is a very obscure music editor and you can also find this info on the Fellini/Rota disc conducted by Carlo Savina in 1974. So it is not one of the usual music publishers for older Italian soundtracks which of course makes it impossible nowadays for any label to find original music tracks of these two scores from 1952 and 1953.

 
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