Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2021 - 6:31 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

The acclaimed Italian conductor and teacher, Franco Ferrara, is remembered in the most interesting documentary "Franco Ferrara, il maestro caduto dal podio" (Ferrara, the Maestro who fell from the podium):


It's in Italian with no subs. Anyway, I recommend it.

Ferrara's involvement as a conductor of film music is also discussed. You see Manuel de Sica (one brief segment only) and Roman Vlad (three segments). Vlad was apparently responsible to bring Ferrara back into business when he hired him to conduct his film scores.

The tributes paid by his students and collegues are sometimes over the top but sincere. You get it, Ferrara was one of the greatest, ever. I won't contradict as I don't know any better.

It would have been nice if they also had Morricone in it. Because Ferrara worked for him on The Bible. I wonder what Morricone would have to tell about that collaboration.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2021 - 6:48 AM   
 By:   slint   (Member)

Thanks. I have only heard one score by Ferrara (La Principessa delle Canarie) and it is quite good. But of course he conducted some of my favourite symphonic scores.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2021 - 10:04 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I'm doing this without checking my facts, in a 30-second tea break. When I saw the name "Franco Ferrara" I immediately associated him with Leonard Rosenman. Did they collaborate much, if at all? I also got a "flash" (ha!) of the film FLESH GORDON in my head, and I remember thinking that that score sounded really like Rosenman. What am I on (about)? Right, better get back to work.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2021 - 10:06 AM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

It would have been nice if they also had Morricone in it. Because Ferrara worked for him on The Bible. I wonder what Morricone would have to tell about that collaboration.

This:

"I recorded both pieces ["The Creation" and "The Tower of Babel"] under the direction of Franco Ferrara in RCA´s magnificent Studio A. Not only did Ferrara conduct the RAI orchestra and choir wonderfully as usual, but he also corrected a "bridge" of "The Creation", which I had written in too much of a hurry…

The finale lasted two minutes and made a great impression with the production crew. It stands for the creation of mankind, which I rendered using the entire choir, albeit singinig in a whispering tone, sotto voce. Franco Ferrara conducted the recording and was magnificent as always."

From the book "Ennio Morricone. In his Own Words" by Alessandro De Rosa.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2021 - 11:22 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I'm doing this without checking my facts, in a 30-second tea break. When I saw the name "Franco Ferrara" I immediately associated him with Leonard Rosenman. Did they collaborate much, if at all? I also got a "flash" (ha!) of the film FLESH GORDON in my head, and I remember thinking that that score sounded really like Rosenman. What am I on (about)? Right, better get back to work.

Graham, with all due respect, I think you should check on the imdb for example before spouting uninformed rubbish during your tea break. You're referring to RALPH Ferrara, I think. I'm not sure either, because I haven't checked.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2021 - 11:44 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

The Watt family's wrong again.

Ferraro, Ralph Ferraro is the name.

Do you know that Ferraro knew Ferrara? And they haven't even met in the grocery store.
Ferraro worked for Nino Rota in the early 1960s.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2021 - 12:03 PM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

It would have been nice if they also had Morricone in it. Because Ferrara worked for him on The Bible. I wonder what Morricone would have to tell about that collaboration.

This:

"I recorded both pieces ["The Creation" and "The Tower of Babel"] under the direction of Franco Ferrara in RCA´s magnificent Studio A. Not only did Ferrara conduct the RAI orchestra and choir wonderfully as usual, but he also corrected a "bridge" of "The Creation", which I had written in too much of a hurry…

The finale lasted two minutes and made a great impression with the production crew. It stands for the creation of mankind, which I rendered using the entire choir, albeit singinig in a whispering tone, sotto voce. Franco Ferrara conducted the recording and was magnificent as always."

From the book "Ennio Morricone. In his Own Words" by Alessandro De Rosa.



That's nice. Thanks, for looking it up.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 8:56 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

Contrary to what is told in the documentary linked above, you can actually see Franco Ferrara conducting in another film than just "La porta del cielo" (1945). This is the much better-known film by Luchino Visconti entitled "Bellissima" (1951), starring Anna Magnani. Ferrara can only be seen briefly in "Bellissima" during the main title sequence, which visually shows mostly the heads of the soloist, the choir and the orchestra musicians.

Incidentally, Enzo Masetti scored "La porta del cielo" (not Ferrara himself) and Franco Mannino did "Bellissima". According to the main titles, Mannino's job was to adapt themes from Gaetano Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore" for the use in Visconti's film. Ferrara thus acted in both flicks on the one hand as film actor (conductor) and as the orchestra conductor for the recording of the music in the studio.

Ironically, Ferrara's actor credits on IMDb are incomplete. He is only listed for his appearance in "Bellissima".

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 9:16 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

The Watt family's wrong again.

Ferraro, Ralph Ferraro is the name.
.


I thought he made chocolates?

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Despite a large collection of classical works, the only such album I have conducted by Franco Ferrara is the 1958 Mario Lanza collection of songs (arranged by Ennio Morricone and Carlo Savina) - called Mario! (on RCA Living stereo).

I do, however, have a few scores: Morricone's Prima della Rivoluzione (1964), El Greco (1965), Mario Nascimbene's Barabbas (1961), Nino Rota's Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960), Carlo Rustichelli's I Giganti della Tessaglia (1960) & Kapò (1960), plus a few odd themes.

I can't say I think he was a great conductor as I can't compare these works but presume he must have been well regarded in the film score industry.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 9:35 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

Unfortunately, due to illness, Ferrara was not a conductor who made many records. But until 1967 he conducted a lot of film music for Mario Nascimbene, Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone and others. Nascimbene actually reactivated him for this role as film music conductor after Ferrara retired early due to his illness. In any case, he was very highly regarded by his colleagues.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2022 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

All the older Italian film composers which I had interviewed like Carlo Rustichelli, Piero Piccioni or Roman Vlad were totally enthusiastic about Ferrara and thought that regarding symphonic scores he had been the best conductor of all in the Italian film music world and was never surpassed.
Vlad told me that among all of his film scores I SOGNI NEL CASSETTO from 1957 (of course conducted by Ferrara) was the one which had been conducted in such an excellent way as no other.
In my opinion Ferrara was particularly well suited to the melodramatic and operatic style of the Italian film scores from the 50s - he added such passion and precision to the scores of Rota, Nascimbene, Rossellini or Rustichelli that it is hard to imagine that anyone else could have ever done it better.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2022 - 10:03 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

Thanks Stefan, for another of your insightful and enriching inputs.

Out of curiosity, I'm going through Ferrara's filmography right now to see for which film composer's he conducted the music. I'm not through yet as the list is quite long. I'll post the results later. I just hope the IMDb is at least nearly complete AND accurate.

 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2022 - 5:25 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

Before I go into Ferrara's filmography as a conductor I present my findings about his credits as a film composer. According to IMDb he composed music for five feature length films and one TV show. Maybe he did some ghost writing, too. But I have no specific information about that.


Il sacco di Roma (1953); International titles: The Pagans; Barbarians [US re-releasse]

Director: Ferruccio Cerio
Composer: Franco Ferrara

US trailer:






La principessa delle Canarie (1954); Tirma [Spanish title]; US title: The Island Princess

Directors: Paolo Moffa; Pietro Francisci; Carlos Serrano de Osma (Spanish version)*
Franco Ferrara

Pietro Francisci directed war scenes;
* Producer Carlos Serrano de Osma uncredited as director in neither the Italian nor the Spanish version;


Italian version:




Spanish version:






Los jueves, milagro (1957); international title: Miracles of Thursday

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Composer: Franco Ferrara







The Barbarians (1960); aka Revak the Rebel; Revolt of the Barbarian

Director: Rudolph Maté
Composer: Franco Ferrara






National Geographic Specials: Americans on Everest (1965)

Director: Norman Dyhrenfurth
Composer: Franco Ferrara


Part 1




Part 2




Part 3




Part 4






Drakut il vendicatore (1961); international title: Drakut the Avenger

Director: Luigi Capuano
Composers: Carlo Innocenzi; Franco Ferrara*

* Franco Ferrara uncredited as co-composer as well as conductor[!]

Film link: https://ok.ru/video/2951089359522


Ferrara worked on four other scores by Innocenzi as a conductor. So, there is a bit of plausibility that he might have been on the Drakut movie as well in some capacity.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2022 - 8:57 AM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

As I had already written last year in another thread on this board, the library LP "Sinfonicamente" which was released in 1981 on the Hard label contains 8 tracks (side A and the first two tracks on side B) with about 25 minutes of Ferrara´s score for the historical epic IL SACCO DI ROMA from 1953 which is set in the 16th century.
In the meantime the content of this Ferrara library LP together with another one called "Weekend Suite" (which contains more lighter stuff and at least one or two tracks which come from the Spanish comedy LOS JUEVES, MILAGRO from 1957 by Luis Garcia Berlanga) has even been issued as digital download and you can listen to all the tracks also on Youtube. The new digital album there has been named "Symphonic Pictures". And these are the 8 tracks from IL SACCO DI ROMA:
"Epos", "Nel mito", "Andante eroico", "Largo sinfonico", "Mysterium", "Canto d´Igor", "Pathos crescendo" and "Sacrificio":
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mUYJasmvC5IQZXYpBvCn_0zC2wb6EbeSw

These are the two original Hard LPs - the tracks for these library albums quite certainly came from Ferrara´s private archive as there exist a few more Ferrara LPs in this vein on the Hard and Grand Prix record labels:
https://www.discogs.com/de/release/2215044-Franco-Ferrara-Raffaele-Gervasio-Sinfonicamente
https://www.discogs.com/de/release/5646118-Franco-Ferrara-Week-End-Suite

As far as I remember, a few tracks from IL SACCO DI ROMA can also be heard on the "Omaggio a Franco Ferrara" LP (a few others on it could even come from REVAK or another one of Ferrara´s film scores):
https://www.discogs.com/de/release/5646093-Franco-Ferrara-Omaggio-A-Franco-Ferrara

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2022 - 9:38 AM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

Out of curiosity, I'm going through Ferrara's filmography right now to see for which film composer's he conducted the music. I'm not through yet as the list is quite long. I'll post the results later.

It´s for sure that Rota and Nascimbene were the composers for whom Ferrara conducted the most scores - in each case certainly more than 30 of them. I suppose that Rustichelli then comes in the third place as there are more than 20 of his scores which were also conducted by Ferrrara.
Nascimbene and Ferrara were very close friends - their first collaboration was in 1951 for the peplum comedy O.K. NERO. And from then on Nascimbene always wanted Ferrara as a conductor for his scores - I think the last one was THE VENGEANCE OF SHE in 1968. Ferrara also conducted Nascimbene´s opera FAUST A MANAHTTAN in 1965 which was then released on a top-rare RCA LP:
https://www.discogs.com/de/release/6629662-Mario-Nascimbene-Franco-Ferrara-Antonio-Boyer-Faust-A-Manhattan
In his autobiography "Malgrè moi, musicista" Nascimbene devoted a few paragraphs to Ferrara.
Here a few excerpts translated into English:
"Full of emotion I encountered him in the recording studio and when I first shook his hand, it seemed to me that from that contact arose a spark: meager, lean, ascetic, he was a bundle of musical chords.
I admired him immediately and totally and we soon became fraternal friends. From that day on he conducted all the important scores of my career and recorded on LP my opera FAUST A MANHATTAN.
Beyond his music, he was timid and reserved and he possessed a childish ingenuity; our nicknames became "Sacco" (he) and "Vanzetti" (me). He adored jokes of words, the funny stories I told him and which served to spice so delightfully our affectionate, gratifying collaboration. Each of my music scores which was conducted by Franco was indescribable joy and emotion."

 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2022 - 10:17 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

It´s for sure that Rota and Nascimbene were the composers for whom Ferrara conducted the most scores - in each case certainly more than 30 of them. I suppose that Rustichelli then comes in the third place as there are more than 20 of his scores which were also conducted by Ferrrara.


Precisely, Rota first, Nascimbene second and Rustichelli third. Then comes a wide gab.

I've worked through the list yesterday and I've just have to figure out how to post the list in a readable way here.

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2022 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

As I had already written last year in another thread on this board, the library LP "Sinfonicamente" which was released in 1981 on the Hard label contains 8 tracks (side A and the first two tracks on side B) with about 25 minutes of Ferrara´s score for the historical epic IL SACCO DI ROMA from 1953 which is set in the 16th century.
In the meantime the content of this Ferrara library LP together with another one called "Weekend Suite" (which contains more lighter stuff and at least one or two tracks which come from the Spanish comedy LOS JUEVES, MILAGRO from 1957 by Luis Garcia Berlanga) has even been issued as digital download and you can listen to all the tracks also on Youtube. The new digital album there has been named "Symphonic Pictures". And these are the 8 tracks from IL SACCO DI ROMA:
"Epos", "Nel mito", "Andante eroico", "Largo sinfonico", "Mysterium", "Canto d´Igor", "Pathos crescendo" and "Sacrificio":
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mUYJasmvC5IQZXYpBvCn_0zC2wb6EbeSw

These are the two original Hard LPs - the tracks for these library albums quite certainly came from Ferrara´s private archive as there exist a few more Ferrara LPs in this vein on the Hard and Grand Prix record labels:
https://www.discogs.com/de/release/2215044-Franco-Ferrara-Raffaele-Gervasio-Sinfonicamente
https://www.discogs.com/de/release/5646118-Franco-Ferrara-Week-End-Suite

As far as I remember, a few tracks from IL SACCO DI ROMA can also be heard on the "Omaggio a Franco Ferrara" LP (a few others on it could even come from REVAK or another one of Ferrara´s film scores):
https://www.discogs.com/de/release/5646093-Franco-Ferrara-Omaggio-A-Franco-Ferrara




Stefan, are these tracks on the Hard LP really performed by the Romanian Symphony Orchestra?
I ask because I wonder when Ferrara went there to record the music. Or could it be these tracks are the original recordings used for the films?

The sound qualitiy is in most cases quite good. But I doubt the Sacco di Roma tracks were lifted from the original 1953 recording.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2022 - 2:35 AM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

Stefan, are these tracks on the Hard LP really performed by the Romanian Symphony Orchestra?
I ask because I wonder when Ferrara went there to record the music. Or could it be these tracks are the original recordings used for the films?
The sound qualitiy is in most cases quite good. But I doubt the Sacco di Roma tracks were lifted from the original 1953 recording.


First of all: "Romana" has nothing to do with Romania, but just means "Roman".
So the "Orchestra Sinfonica Romana" is quite simply in English the "Rome Symphony Orchestra". Provided the information on that Hard LP that all the Ferrara and Gervasio tracks on it were performed by this "pick-up" orchestra is correct - of which I have my doubts. I rather think that much - also the track titles on this LP - was invented by the people who produced this and other Ferrara albums in this way. They had access to Ferrara´s private archive and his tapes and it seems that sometimes they didn´t exactly know from where the tracks came that they had in their hands.
In the meantime I have discovered that the three tracks "Canto d´Igor" (A6), "Pathos Crescendo" (B1) and "Sacrificio" (B2) on the Hard LP - which seem to be even in stereo - do not at all come from the SACCO DI ROMA score as has long been assumed, but they are three parts of a concert piece by Ferrara, a tone poem with the title "Fantasia tragica" which was composed probably around 1962 and was an homage to Shostakovich and his 11th symphony from 1957. So these three tracks come either from a former concert or radio performance - I suppose from the 60s.
Naxos made a new recording of this complete tone poem in 2011 - along with two other Ferrara concert works - which you can listen to here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PhWq5kf4JM

The sequencing of the three tracks on the LP is therefore wrong and should be in this way:
"Canto d´Igor" - "Sacrificio" - "Pathos Crescendo".

In the Naxos booklet the hypothesis is formulated that maybe Ferrara had originally composed this tone poem for Vittorio De Sica´s 1962 movie I SEQUESTRATI DI ALTONA in which the third movement of Shostakovich´s 11th symphony had been used - and of course conducted by Ferrara! It could be that at first De Sica had wanted Shostakovich as composer for the film, but in the end just used that part of his 11th symphony. It could also be that as an alternative Ferrara had been asked to write something quite similar to this movement which was then not used at all in the film and finally ended up as a concert work. Or that he was simply inspired by this symphony when he conducted it. Just read it for yourself:
https://www.chandos.net/chanimages/Booklets/NX2410.pdf

So this leaves us only 5 tracks on side A of the Hard LP which do probably come directly from the original 1953 soundtrack of IL SACCO DI ROMA:
"Epos", "Nel mito", "Andante eroico", "Largo sinfonico" and "Mysterium" - moreover, all of these have a different, poorer sound than the three from "Fantasia tragica" and are in mono. I suppose that all of these titles are fictitious.
The complete SACCO DI ROMA film is nowhere to be found, but the US trailer is on Youtube and you can hear now and then at least a few excerpts from the "Andante eroico" track (for example just at the beginning of this trailer):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzMEPgf-Xsw

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2022 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

You are right of course, Stefan. I've misread the album text. Sorry for the confusion.

Many, many thank again for all your detailed info you've so kindly given above. That's really helpful.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2022 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.
Website maintained and powered by Veraprise and Matrimont.