Mascagni: Rapsodia Satanica & Rota: Il Gattopardo
Pietro Mascagni’s single work for the early days of cinema was composed in the winter of 1914-15, and premiered by him in 1917. The idea behind Rapsodia Satanica and the film’s director Nino Oxilia was to create a “Poema cine-musicale”, a synthesis of the arts with music, poetry and finally cinematography. The plot is something like a female version of “Faust”, based on poetry by Fausto Maria Martini (1886-1931). The work is oriented toward Richard Wagner’s musical language. The French-German TV channel Arte restored this treasure of early cinema in 2006 and recorded the complete film music score, now available also on CD. Luciano Visconti’s Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1963), based on the Lampedusa novel, is one of his most striking films, as is its Nino Rota-supplied score. Frank Strobel helms the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in the CD presentation of these scores.