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 assignm... more »ent 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. --Jerry McCulley« less
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. --Jerry McCulley
"There is a very broad chasm between what I WANT to say about this film score and what I HAVE to say about this film score. What I WANT to say is that you MUST buy it; it is a perfect album for a perfect score; no film score collection is complete without it. Instead, what I HAVE to say is that the music in the film IS perfect, but the music on the album is so ignorantly assembled that it makes the purchase nearly worthless. So, there you have it. Anyone who has seen the film has undoubtedly fallen in love with Nino Rota's amazing score, thematically beautiful and with more than a hint of his Italian roots. Every praise that one can distribute to such an achievement is well deserved; however, it is nearly impossible to determine this based on the album offered to the consuming public.So what is the problem? Just this: The Godfather CD has a healthy number of tracks, however not a one is longer than three minutes, not only making for a short album, but also for disjointed excerpts that are far too brief to ever give a sufficient amount of the feeling displayed in the film and never allowing the themes to develop. Moreover, what is offered on the CD is so incredibly redundant that you can justify NOT purchasing this album by acquiring a mere suite from some compilation disc. This CD, however, offers only glimpses of what the REAL film music was, sometimes even fading out with no cause and no transition!--surely no film score should ever result to such a despicable convention.But, as much as I hate the CD, one cannot deny that the music is a simply phenomenal creation. Melodies that you'll be humming for days after, a concluding choral track that excels beyond every other excerpt, and even a risky--though intriguing--organ track all effectively reveal the magic that was to be experienced in the theatre. Unfortunately with this album, it was BETTER experienced in the theatre. Because the music held so much promise and because the film is such a pivotal addition to cinema and because the entire Godfather series is a phenomenon of itself, one would have hoped that the producers of this album could have successfully translated an inspiring score onto a CD. Unfortunately, they have not; and so the consumer suffers by having to make a choice that no person should be forced to make: purchase a bad CD or neglect one of cinema's greatest musical achievements. The choice is yours..."
Five-star music...on a one-star CD release
D. COLLIER | Brownwood, TX United States | 10/08/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Before anyone sends me hate mail for giving this only one star, let me just say that I'd give five stars to the film score for THE GODFATHER (not to mention PARTS II and III) just as soon as I'd give five stars for STAR WARS or THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
The bad rating is not for the film score but for this CD, which (as of my typing this) is the only available soundtrack of THE GODFATHER. I used to own this CD, but I sold it, because the sound is horrible and it only contains less than half of the music from the film. One would think that in this age of digitally remastered soundtracks with expanded tracks, etc., there would be one for one of the greatest films of all time. In fact, here is only a very small list of film soundtracks which have been remastered and re-released with the majority (if not all) of the music from their respective films:
STAR WARS / JAWS / THE SOUND OF MUSIC / 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY / RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
My advice to the many people who love this film score so much (as I do) is simply to be patient and hope that there will soon be a quality soundtrack release, one which does not insult the ears or the intelligence of the listeners."
Godfather Soundtrack a Musical Institution
D. Pinkerton | 09/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the many elements of "The Godfather" which makes it an icon of pop culture is its unforgettable soundtrack. The melancholy, tragic music which makes up the score adds to the tone of the film, and stands alone as great music as well. The sweet, dark, Italian-inspired melodies immediately recall entertainment brilliance."
One important track is missing
firstname.lastname@example.org | Australia | 11/27/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the original film there is an excellent track called "Manhattan Serenade" (I think). Basically it's the music that accompanies Hagen on his flight to see Woltz. It's a Beutiful recording and one I thought would have been a must for this CD Regards Craig"
Short but sweet
D. Pinkerton | 06/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many people have complained that this CD is short, and it is --- 31.5 minutes. On top of that, as is true with most film scores, there are really only three or four themes, with variations in instrumentation, tempo, etc. (you'll hear "The Godfather Waltz" a LOT), and most of the cuts are fairly short.
Yet this is a terrific score, and it's very well performed, as well as any album of the material. There's a lightness to the instrumentation, unlike, say, the syrupy strings of Carmine Coppola's arrangements. There's a charming use of folk instrumentation: mandolin, accordion, trumpet. It's a real winner.
My advice is to buy it used. I got a like new copy for $5.99 (shipping included) from Amazon Marketplace, and at that price, it's worth every penny.
You might also want to start a campaign --- see if a little consumer pressure could be put on Paramount or MCA to search the vaults and release a new GODFATHER soundtrack CD with 15 extra minutes of music. Be forewarned, though: 10 of those minutes will be more of "The Godfather Waltz."