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Alone: An introspective journey through the Clarinet’s different nuances in 20th-century Europe


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    As it has come to be known nowadays, the clarinet is one of the youngest “classical” instruments present in the “classical” symphony orchestra. Despite having a shorter history than that of other wind instruments, it has, nevertheless, elicited the unconditional enthusiasm of composers throughout the last three centuries, prompting the creation of extraordinary masterpieces both in solo and chamber music repertoires. In comparison with other winds, one of the undeniable fortes of the clarinet is its extremely extended range, which covers a spectrum far exceeding that of many other instruments thanks to the variety of its registers. This feature, together with the ductility of its timbre and with its possibilities in terms of dynamics and articulation, potentially makes the clarinet the perfect candidate for an unaccompanied repertoire. However, the problem with unaccompanied monodic instruments lies in the aural result which might be too homogeneous upon hearing, thus lacking the variety required.
    Yet, this is not a challenge for the clarinet since it can be considered as being many instruments all in one under certain aspects. Notwithstanding this, the unaccompanied clarinet repertoire was slow in taking off. Before the twentieth century, in fact, only two works were written for the clarinet alone, namely Anton Stadler’s Trois caprices pour clarinette seule (1810: Stadler was a legendary clarinetist) and Gaetano Donizetti’s Studio Primo, eleven years later. It was only with Igor Stravinsky’s composition of Three Pieces for Clarinet Alone in 1919 that composers’ attention was drawn to the potentials of this instrument, and to the wide-ranging field it offered to its explorers. This further marked another important transition: this time not perforce bound to the repertoire for unaccompanied clarinet, but rather expanded to that for the solo clarinet. Most clarinet music composers in the nineteenth century (with a few notable exceptions, such as Weber or Brahms) had been clarinet players themselves, wishing to broaden their repertoire for the main purpose of demonstrating their virtuoso skills and their bravura.
    Thus, the main genres in the production of the clarinet literature are opera transcriptions, paraphrases or potpourris, and variation cycles or fantasias, where a variety of different technical approaches could be tried out and showcased to the audience. By way of contrast, most twentieth-century clarinet music composers were not clarinet players themselves. They were “typical” composers who had fallen in love with the clarinet’s timbre and possibilities, and thus wished to probe all of its resources. Of course, they needed to seek the advice of virtuoso clarinetists who could try out their works, demonstrate new techniques, and be drawn by the composer into hitherto untested territories and uncharted lands.
    This Da Vinci Classics CD explores unaccompanied clarinet works written by several European composers during the twentieth century. The album was originally conceived as a pedagogical need. The solo artist of this recording, Alfredo Vena, was expected to provide a repertoire and model performances of a collection of works for unaccompanied clarinet for educational purposes. At the Conservatory where he teaches, students are required to prepare one such work for their graduation exam. Accordingly, there was a very much felt need on Vena’s side to offer his students a selective choice from a rich range of representative works which they could be able to explore. As an artist himself, Vena also manifested the desire to delve more deeply into a repertoire offering manifold opportunities. This repertoire, in fact, allows students and professional clarinetists alike to practice and perform it by capturing the different twentieth-century nuances that it is able to offer. Contributing a new publication within a discographic panorama which is still far from having reached its fullness, is therefore a praiseworthy undertaking as it allows the listener to learn about and appreciate “new” works.
    The present collection is made up of pieces which generally belong to the second half of the twentieth century. In his choice, the artist has consistently decided not to embrace works which go beyond the traditional playing styles of the clarinet, nor adopt too harsh a kind of serialism. Dodecaphony, however, is not missing within the repertoire recorded here. The programme may, in fact, be divided into three sections: firstly, there are three works by Italian composers; these are then followed by pieces written by Eastern European composers who actually do make use of serialism, albeit rather sparsely herein; finally, the listener will find three works by British composers, whose style compares favourably with that of other great composers for this instrument.
    As its subtitle suggests, this album represents an “introspective journey” in which loneliness, as the sense of isolation embodied by the solo clarinet, primarily represents the ideal condition for introspection. Being Alone is thus here not simply taken to be an existential condition for which some sort of survival strategies need to be adopted. All the composers represented in this recording rather show how sound comes forth out of the silence surrounding it, and the ways in which introspection and soul-searching arise from silent contemplation. Hence, Vena’s intent herein is to consider the variety of colours and timbres enabled by the clarinet and to exploit the full palette made available to both the clarinetist and the composer. In some cases, this exploration appears easier and more enjoyable for performers thanks to the consideration a composer/clarinetist shows for their needs. While the nineteenth century was the realm of clarinetists/composers, their number significantly decreased in the following century. Nonetheless, there were still some excellent musicians whose performance skills supported their quest for new effects, sounds, and techniques on their instrument.
    A case in point is Giacomo Miluccio who served as Principal Clarinet at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. The composer was, indeed, a performer, a valued pedagogue, and a creator of music. He managed to fully integrate these three roles, thus developing a personality whose works are highly worth reappraising. His output mirrors his threefold activity, and the works he wrote for pedagogical purposes demonstrate total mastery of the instrument’s most concealed capabilities, as well as a laudable tendency to create educational works of charming beauty. In particular, his Rhapsodie has become a landmark of the international clarinet repertoire. The piece focuses on the singing melody it proposes. Its musical style is reminiscent of traits found in the music of Debussy and of Shostakovich; the timbral and technical capabilities of the clarinet are thoroughly explored, and hints of Orientalism are found here and there. Belonging by definition to a free genre, this Rhapsodie takes all the liberties needed in order to convey the magic of an unaccompanied melos.
    By contrast, Nino Rota was an acclaimed composer both in the field of film music and in that of the classical repertoire; his scores for movies directed by Fellini and Visconti were epoch-making. The curiously titled Lo spiritismo nella vecchia casa derives its name from an eponymous work (a theatrical piece) by Ugo Betti. Rota magnificently manages to find the way to create ghostly sounds. Probably influenced by his own activity as a film music composer, Rota turns the literary suggestions into a tale of sounds, each depicting a specific suggestion. The originality and boldness of this work may be sought in Rota’s unconventional and unbridled attitude toward the musical establishment. At his time, the Western musical world was dominated by the most radical experiments of the avant-gardes, but Rota firmly refused to abide by a kind of diktat forcing him to abjure his own language. By going back to antiquity, albeit through the lens of modernity, Rota successfully managed to create, maintain, sustain and support a new style, which is easily recognisable as his own unique one.
    Similar traits are found in the works of the other two Italian composers included in the album. The Improvviso by Agostino Gabucci is an example of “performative” composition, whereby performance needs were responsible for shaping the entire work. Its most memorable compositional trait, in fact, is the use of different kinds of clarinets in order to reach a paradoxical unity through diversity. Each movement is scored for a different clarinet, but the overall performance does not lack consistency nor cogency.
    A similar quest for variety in unity is found in the famous and complex Monologue op. 157 by Ernst Krenek. Written in 1956, this work mimics the structure of a traditional, multi-movement Sonata. As was usual for him, the composer did not eschew the presence of dodecaphonic passages, but always did so in a very personal manner. Avant-garde composers tended to apply their compositional schemes in a rather rigid fashion, whereas Krenek employed dodecaphony as yet another colour on his palette, juxtaposing it to seemingly opposing musical worlds such as that of jazz. The result, however, is a piece harsher in tone than the others, with a certain preference for timbral homogeneity.
    Csaba Deak’s Sonatina for Solo Clarinet is a relatively less known piece, at least in Italy, and so Vena deemed that it well deserves to be more widely known. Born and educated in Hungary, Deak later emigrated to Sweden where he had a long career as composer and pedagogue with a particular focus on winds. The three movements of his Sonatina move beyond the boundaries of the traditional Sonata genre they mirror, and reinterpret it through the lens of modernity.
    Also, in Gordon Jacob’s Five Pieces for Solo Clarinet a gaze at the past is not missing. This occurs explicitly in the central piece, Homage to JSB, where the figure of Bach is overtly invoked. This movement is the most Neoclassical one, showing how the composer’s style becomes purposefully anachronistic. Soliloquy, instead, is the piece which most clearly evokes the idea of “Alone”, as this album is entitled: it is an intimate piece, which summons a hint of despair in order to be fully appreciated.
    The whole palette of the clarinet’s resources is once more brought to the fore in Malcolm Arnold’s Fantasy for B-flat Clarinet, a piece which was commissioned to the artist by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra which adopted it as a competition piece. Particularly noteworthy is the presence of quick arpeggiations and of unforeseen, contrasting changes in the dynamics of its scoring.
    Finally, Paul Harvey’s Three Etudes on Themes of Gershwin, written in 1975, are brilliant solo works, conceived with the purpose of technical advancement in mind, but whose musical inspiration is found in three beloved songs by George Gershwin. Their scoring requires, rather than merely allowing, great expressive freedom; they positively challenge the performer who finds unusual delight in playing them.
    Altogether, the pieces in this original album invite us to enjoy a varied and complex programme, which, in turn, encourages its listeners to develop a novel appreciation of the resources of this “lonely” instrument.
    Chiara Bertoglio © 2023


    Alfredo Vena
    Born in Cosenza (Italy), holds a Diploma in Clarinet (cum laude) from the Conservatory of Cosenza, a Master’s degree in Clarinet Teaching from the Conservatory of Vibo Valentia (Italy), a Bachelor of Music Performance (cum laude) from the University of Melbourne (Australia) and a Master in Music Performance from the Trinity College of Music in London (U.K.). He has also studied at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan, becoming a certified “Professore d’Orchestra”.
    To date, Alfredo continues to carry out an intense concert activity both in chamber ensembles and in orchestras in Italy and abroad. He has performed in prestigious theatres and concert halls in an extensive number of countries such as Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Germany, Oman, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Syria and Thailand. Prestigious venues include the Musikverein in Vienna, the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the La Scala Theatre in Milan, the Auditorium Music Park in Rome. Alfredo has also participated in important national festivals, such as the Spoleto Festival Dei Due Mondi in Umbria; I Concerti della Cappella Paolina at the Quirinal Palace, the Italian President’s official residence in the capital city with the ContempoartEnsemble of Florence.
    After winning several auditions for principal and second clarinet, as well as for e-flat and bass clarinet, Alfredo continues to actively collaborate with various renowned lyric-symphonic orchestras, including the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Orchestra Regionale Toscana both based in Florence, the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Lyric Theatre of Cagliari, the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, the Magna Grecia Orchestra of Taranto, the Regional Orchestra of Rome and Lazio, under the direction of famous conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Lu Jia, Lior Shambadal, Alexander Vedernikov, Wayne Marshall, Zubin Mehta, Gustavo Dudamel, Fabio Luisi, Daniele Gatti, Riccardo Muti and Riccardo Chailly.
    In 2016, Alfredo participated in an important tour of South America (Quito, Lima, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires), acting as principal clarinet with the Orchestra Regionale Toscana directed by Daniele Rustioni.
    In February 2017, he covered the role of principal clarinet with the “Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino” in its concerts at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman.
    In 2019, he performed as principal clarinet of the Orchestra of the Teatro Verdi in Salerno in the opera “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini under the direction of Daniel Oren.
    In 2020, Alfredo performed Ravel’s “Bolero” on e-flat clarinet with the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan accompanying the Étoile Roberto Bolle. In the same role, he performed with the Scala Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Zubin Mehta.
    In 2021, Alfredo collaborated as second clarinet with the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in Richard Strauss’s “Salome”, broadcasted live on Rai 5 Tv, under the direction of Riccardo Chailly.
    In June 2022, he performed as principal clarinet of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the direction of Zubin Mehta in a series of concerts including the one held at the highly prestigious Musikverein in Vienna.
    In October 2022, Alfredo performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto K622 with the Brutia Symphony Orchestra of Cosenza.
    In November 2022, he performed Mahler Symphony n°3 as principal e-flat clarinet with the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala under the baton of Daniele Gatti for the opening of the 2022-23 symphonic season.
    Alfredo is the winner of numerous national and international competitions, including the second prize at the Koblenz Classical Music Festival in Germany and the third prize at the “Giacomo Mensi” International Clarinet Competition in Breno (Brescia), Italy.
    He has published the volume The Nineteenth-Century Italian Clarinet Tradition and its Revaluation: The Case of Ernesto Cavallini (Aracne, Rome, 2007).
    Alfredo is currently Professor of Clarinet, e-flat and bass clarinet at the “Stanislao Giacomantonio” Conservatory in Cosenza, where he teaches undergraduates and postgraduates, and conducts the clarinet choir.


    Astor Piazzolla: (b Mar del Plata, 11 March 1921; d Buenos Aires, 5 July 1992). Argentine composer, bandleader and bandoneón player. A child prodigy on the bandoneón, Piazzolla and his family emigrated to New York in 1924; in his teens he became acquainted with Gardel, for whom he worked as a tour guide, translator and occasional performer. Piazzolla returned to Buenos Aires in 1937 where he gave concerts and made tango arrangements for Aníbal Troilo, a leading bandleader; he also studied classical music with Ginastera. In 1944 Piazzolla left Troilo’s band to form the Orquesta del 46 as a vehicle for his own compositions. A symphony composed in 1954 for the Buenos Aires PO won him a scholarship to study in Paris with Boulanger, who encouraged him in the composition of tangos; the following year he resettled in Argentina and formed the Octeto Buenos Aires and, later, the Quinteto Nuevo Tango, which performed at his own club, Jamaica. Piazzolla left Argentina in 1974, settling in Paris, where he composed a concerto for bandoneón and a cello sonata for Rostropovich, among other works.
    Piazzolla’s distinctive brand of tango, later called ‘nuevo tango’, initially met with resistance. Including fugue, extreme chromaticism, dissonance, elements of jazz and, at times, expanded instrumentation, it was condemned by the old-guard, including not only most tango composers and bandleaders but also Borges, whose short story El hombre de la Esquina Rosada was the basis for Piazzolla’s El tango (1969); like tango itself, Piazzolla’s work first found general approval outside Argentina, principally in France and the USA. By the 1980s, however, Piazzolla’s music was widely accepted even in his native country, where he was now seen as the saviour of tango, which during the 1950s and 60s had declined in popularity and appeal. In the late 1980s Piazzolla’s works began to be taken up by classical performers, in particular the Kronos Quartet, who commissioned Five Tango Sensations (1989). In all he composed about 750 works, including film scores for Tangos: the Exile of Gardel (1985) and Sur (1987). Shortly before his death, he was commissioned to write an opera on the life of Gardel.

    Ernst Krenek [Křenek]
    (b Vienna, 23 Aug 1900; d Palm Springs, CA, 22 Dec 1991). Austrian composer and writer, also active in Germany and the USA. One of the most prolific composers of the 20th century, he wrote in a wide variety of contemporary idioms.

    Krenek began piano lessons at the age of six and was soon writing short piano pieces. In 1916 he began composition study with Schreker, whose emphasis on counterpoint prepared Krenek for Kurth’s Lineare Kontrapunkte, a text that caused the young composer to conclude that ‘music was not just a vague symbolization of emotion instinctively conjured up into pleasant sounding matter, but a precisely planned reflection of an autonomous system of streams of energy materialized in carefully controlled tonal patterns’. Conscripted into the Austrian Army during World War I, Krenek was posted to Vienna where he was able to continue his studies. In 1920 he followed Schreker to Berlin, where he attended the salon of Busoni, met Hermann Scherchen and befriended Eduard Erdmann and Artur Schnabel. Works from this period reflect Schreker’s influence in their use of counterpoint and extended tonality.

    Gordon (Percival Septimus) Jacob
    (b London, 5 July 1895; d Saffron Walden, 8 June 1984). English composer, teacher and writer. He was educated at Dulwich College and, after active service in World War I, studied with Stanford, Howells, Boult and Vaughan Williams at the RCM. He was on the teaching staff there from 1924 until his retirement in 1966, and his pupils included Malcolm Arnold, Imogen Holst, Horovitz and Maconchy. He took the DMus (London) in 1935 and was awarded the John Collard Fellowship by the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 1943. Subsequent honours included the FRCM (1946), honorary RAM (1947) and CBE (1968).

    He wrote textbooks that reveal the extent and nature of his craftmanship. Orchestral Technique (London, 1931) was followed by How to Read a Score (London, 1944), The Composer and his Art (London, 1955) and The Elements of Orchestration (London, 1962). He undertook the editorship of the Penguin scores in 1948, and contributed to a number of works of reference and textbooks.

    Jacob’s active career as composer spanned 60 years, during which time the character of his output faithfully reflected the changes in opportunity open to composers of a conservative idiom. Early Prom performances were succeeded by increasing orchestral and choral commissions, and in the 1950s he was a respected figure, providing music for the Festival of Britain (1951) and for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (1953). In common with other more traditional composers of the time his music went into eclipse with the rise of the avant garde in the 1960s. However, he was able to find fresh outlets by writing for the new wind band movement (especially in the USA) and for amateur and school orchestras.

    In the BBC TV documentary ‘Gordon Jacob’ (directed by Ken Russell, 1959) the composer said: ‘I personally feel that the day that melody is discarded, you may as well pack up music altogether’. His music shows the influence of the early 20th-century French and Russian rather than Teutonic schools, and is characterized by clarity of structure and instrumental writing that shows a keen awareness of the capabilities and limitations of every instrument.

    Nino Rota: (b Milan, 3 Dec 1911; d Rome, 10 April 1979). Italian composer. He grew up surrounded by music: his mother Ernesta Rinaldi was a pianist and the daughter of the composer Giovanni Rinaldi (1840–95). At the age of eight he was already composing, and in 1923 a well-received performance of his oratorio L’infanzia di S Giovanni Battista established him as a child prodigy. In the same year he entered the Milan Conservatory, where his teachers included Giacomo Orefice. After a brief period of study with Pizzetti, he moved to Rome (1926), where he studied with Casella, and took his diploma at the Conservatorio di S Cecilia three years later. On the advice of Toscanini he studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia (1931–2) with Rosario Scalero (composition) and Fritz Reiner (conducting). He formed a friendship with Aaron Copland and discovered American popular song, cinema and the music of Gershwin: all these elements were grafted on to his passion for Italian popular song and operetta.

    On his return to Italy, barely into his twenties, Rota attracted the attention of audiences and critics with a large body of music, predominantly chamber and orchestral works. At a time of open warfare between innovators and traditionalists (sustained by the mood established by the Fascist régime favouring warfare), Rota’s style, in part building on the example of Malipiero, displayed original characteristics. Works such as Balli (1932), the Viola Sonata (1934–5), the Quintet (1935), the Violin Sonata (1936–7) and his first two symphonies (1935–9 and 1937–41) show Rota’s trust in an unbroken link with the music of the past. This made Rota’s idiom exceptionally and uninhibitedly responsive to the widest variety of influences, supported, as it was, by a masterly technique, an elegant manner and a capacity for stylistic assimilation. His language at this time is strikingly different from the contemporary predominant directions in Italy. For example, the symphonies draw on a middle-European, Slav symphonic tradition (Tchaikovsky, but possibly Dvořák even more so), probably absorbed during his American period and already infused with cinematic mood. He contributed to the renewal of Italian music with a body of work that has an immediacy of gesture and is rooted in a rare lyricism, built on harmonic languages, formal structures and a rhythmic and melodic idiom which sound distinctive and original. Gianandrea Gavazzeni commented of the Sonata for flute and harp (1937) that he heard ‘the voice of an Italian Ravel, archaic, intimate, the voice of one who has invented a style that did not exist before’.

    After World War II, Rota’s critical fortunes altered considerably when, in the wake of the post-Webern movement, his work was increasingly judged to be anachronistic. This opinion was strengthened by his growing establishment as a film composer, held by many to be insignificant and uninvolved in the contemporary music scene. He continued, however, to write music for the concert hall and the opera house, with a constant cross-fertilization between the two areas: for a European composer this was an oblique, pioneering approach. In film music he used his eclectic inclinations and treated the boundaries of the film medium as a challenge, so producing some of the finest music of the genre.

    He became a lecturer at Bari Conservatory (1939), and later its director (1950–77). In 1942, Rota began his long collaboration with the Lux Film company, directed by, among others, Guido M. Gatti and Fedele D’Amico. He created the music for around 60 films in ten years by such directors as Renato Castellani (Mio figlio professore, Sotto il sole di Roma), Mario Soldati (Le miserie del signor Travet), Alberto Lattuada (Senza pietà, Anna) and Eduardo De Filippo (Napoli milionaria, Filumena Marturano). In 1952, with Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik), he began an association with Fellini which lasted until the composer’s death. Of their 16 films, some achieve an extraordinary marriage of music and image, such as I vitelloni, La strada, La dolce vita, 8½, Amarcord and Il Casanova di Federico Fellini. Although it is generally thought that the director dominated the composer, the situation was more subtle and problematic as the music was required to fulfil a narrative and psychological role, frequently featured at the expense of the text itself. Fellini’s film style owes a great deal to Rota’s virtuosity, adaptability and insight. Examples include the many circus marches inspired by Julius Fučík’s Einzug der Gladiatoren and the engaging parody of Weill’s Moritat von Mackie Messer in the theme of La dolce vita. In addition, Rota’s tendency to quote, sometimes to the point of plagiarism – the theme for Gelsomina in La strada is based on the Larghetto of Dvořák’s Serenade, op.22 – was a genuine inclination which converged with Fellini’s imagery, to the point where it identified with it and lent it dignity. Rota’s film career, amounting to over 150 titles, included collaborations with Luchino Visconti (Rocco e i suoi fratelli and Il gattopardo [The Leopard]) and directors such as René Clément, Franco Zeffirelli, King Vidor, Sergei Bondarchuk, as well as on the first two parts of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.

    Rota composed in a wide variety of genres, writing pieces of an almost provocative simplicity. His Ariodante (1942), audaciously 19th-century in manner, was followed by works reminiscent of operetta and vaudeville, such as I due timidi (1950), La notte di un nevrastenico (1959) and the overwhelming farce Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (1955). These works show an ability to produce instant sketches which the composer himself described as the product of his familiarity with the rhythm of film-making. Another favoured genre was that of the fairy tale as in Aladino e la lampada magica(1968) and La visita meravigliosa (1970), considered perhaps his finest score for the theatre.

    The most significant orchestral works are the 3 piano concertos, the Sinfonia sopra una canzone d’amore (1947), the Variazioni sopra un tema gioviale (1953), Symphony No.3 (1956–7) and several concertos for various instruments. His piano and chamber music includes many original compositions, such as the 15 Preludes or the Due Valzer sul nome di Bach for piano (1975; re-used in Casanova), the Violin Sonata (1936–7), the String Quartet (1948–54), two trios (1958 and 1973) and a nonet (1959–77). His vocal music includes the oratorio Mysterium (1962) and the rappresentazione sacra, La vita di Maria (1968–70), in which a style derived in part from the neo-madrigalist manner of such composers as Petrassi and Dallapiccola results in an operatic-sounding eclecticism, with influences filtered through Stravinsky but rooted in other Eastern European styles (Musorgsky, for example).

    Rota had frequent recourse to self-borrowing, increasingly apparent in the later film music and stage works. As a whole, Rota’s work is a dense web of continual, multiple references where – in line with the composer’s declared intention – film music and art music are allowed equal dignity. As early as Il cappello di paglia di Firenze he drew together material from preceding works, but it is particularly in a masterpiece like the ballet La strada (1966) and in the opera Napoli milionaria (1977) where self-quotation becomes a point of synthesis and revelation of his essential style. His first film score for Fellini, Lo sceicco bianco, stands out as a source-composition, a model of one of Rota’s specific musical languages; other scores for Fellini as well as Il cappello di paglia, Il giornalino di Gian Burrasca and the incidental music for Much Ado about Nothing draw material from it. La strada makes use of themes from many works, including Lo sceicco bianco, Le notti di Cabiria, Rocco e i suoi fratelli, Concerto soirée and 8½, while Napoli milionaria uses quotations from Filumena Marturano, Plein soleil, La dolce vita, Rocco e i suoi fratelli and Waterloo. Rota’s uninhibited language corresponds in aesthetic terms to this flood of quotation, and the two aspects offer new definitions of such terms as ‘new’ or ‘originality’.