When director Francis Ford Coppola turned novelist Mario Puzo's pulpy The Godfather into one of the greatest accomplishments of modern American cinema in 1972,

 one of his shrewdest decisions was to hand the scoring assignment to the great Italian film composer Nino Rota.

Rota, who had built his reputation alongside Fellini (though he'd already scored some three dozen films in the previous 20 years), brought Neopolitan jazz stylings and

 a Sicilian melodic sensibilty (characterized perfectly by the main title's mournful solo trumpet, which has since become a cinematic icon) to a story of corruption and betrayal as American as, well, gnocchi.

Listening to this masterful score one can't help but wonder what Rota, who died in 1979) might have accomplished had he begun working with Hollywood's resources a decade earlier.

  1. Love Theme (3:53)
    (Nino Rota) Probably the best-known excerpt from The Godfather Trilogy. It appears in all three films and is also known as the Love Song, 'Speak Softly Love.'

     

  2. The Godfather's Tarantella (3:10)
    (Carmine Coppola) The ethnic dance written especially for the opening of The Godfather I depicting the wedding scene.

     

  3. The Godfather's Mazurka (2:50)
    (Carmine Coppola) Also composed for the wedding scene.

     

  4. Every Time I look in Your Eyes (3:27)
    (Carmine Coppola) (Kay & Michael's Romantic Dance) Arranged for orchestra and piano, this melody is heard several times as the romantic theme between Michael and Kay. Played when they are dancing in Lake Tahoe in the opening party scene in both The Godfather I & II.

     

  5. The Godfather's Waltz (2:30)
    (Nino Rota) (Connie's Wedding Dance) Played during the wedding scene in The Godfather. Vito dances with Connie alone on the dance floor--a tradition at all Italian family weddings.

     

  6. Michael's Theme (2:37)
    (Nino Rota) Michael is associated with this theme, a kind of leit motif, which is sombre in nature and predicts his tragic life development throughout the three films.

     

  7. The Godfather's Fox Trot (2:22)
    (Carmine Coppola) At Italo-American weddings, the youth want to be served by their kind of music, and in this case the charleston or an upbeat fox-trot was in vogue. Played in GF1.

     

  8. Senza Mamma (Without A Mother) (3:25)
    (Francesco Pennino) In New York's 'Little Italy' (Mulberry Street), a theatre presenting a Neapolitan Melodrama in which the lead actor sings this song. Played in GF2.

     

  9. Napule Ve Salute (Goodbye to Naples) (2:00)
    (Francesco Pennino) In the same theatrical presentation, this is a typical sprightly cafe song. From GF2.

     

  10. Marcia Religiosa (3:09)
    (Carmine Coppola) Procession from the Feast of St. Rocca scene, heard in GF1 & GF3. Little Italy has many feasts in celebration of the honour of a saint.

     

  11. Festa March (1:40)
    (Carmine Coppola) Following the procession, the crowds break into dancing and song and partake in the endless stands of food being served outdoors. Featured in GF2.

     

  12. Kay's Theme (3:37)
    (Nino Rota) Kay is depicted by this romantic but melancholy theme which mirrors her troubled life and existence. Heard in GF2.

     

  13. A New Carpet (1:25)
    (Nino Rota) This tarantella-like theme is the background music for the scene in GF2 when the young Vito and Clemenza steal a carpet for Vito's small flat. The humour of the scene is exemplified by the music.

     

  14. The Immigrant-Main Theme (4:13)
    (Nino Rota) This opening dark theme for trumpet solo opens all the Godfather films, sensing the tragic coming events. The immigration scene on Ellis Island follows a musical sequence heard again in GF2, also known as the song, 'Love Said Goodbye.'

1. The Godfather Waltz
2. I Have But One Heart (O Marenariello) - Nino Rota, Farrow, John
3. The Pickup
4. Connie's Wedding - Nino Rota, Coppola, Carmine
5. The Halls of Fear
6. Sicilian Pastorale
7. The Godfather (Love Theme)
8. The Godfather Waltz
9. Appollonia
10. The New Godfather
11. The Baptism
12. The Godfather (Finale)
 

1. Main Title/The Immigrant - Nino Rota, Rota, Nino
2. New Carpet - Nino Rota, Rota, Nino
3. Kay
4. Ev'ry Time I Look in Your Eyes/After the Party - Nino Rota, Coppola, Carmine
5. Vito and Abbandando - Nino Rota, Rota, Nino
6. Senza Mamma/Diuri-Ciuri/Napule Ve Salute - Nino Rota, Pennino, Francesco
7. Godfathers at Home - Nino Rota, Rota, Nino
8. Remember Vito Andolini
9. Michael Comes Home
10. Marcia Stilo Italiano
11. Ninna Nanna a Michele
12. Brothers Mourn
13. Murder of Dom Fanucci
14. End Title

1. Main Title
2. The Godfather Waltz - Carmine Coppola, Rota, Nino
3. Marcia Religioso
4. Michael's Letter
5. The Immigrant/Love Theme from the Godfather Partiii
6. The Godfather Waltz - Carmine Coppola, Rota, Nino
7. To Each His Own
8. Vincent's Theme
9. Altobello
10. The Godfather Intermezzo - Carmine Coppola, Rota, Nino
11. Sicilian Medley: Va Pensiero/Danza Tarantella/Mazurka (Alla Siciliana)
12. Promise Me You'll Remember - Carmine Coppola, Bettis, John
13. Preludio and Siciliana
14. A Casa Amiche
15. Preghiera
16. Finale
17. Coda: The Godfather Finale

 

 

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