Selections from the Mansion of Fun

Nino Rota

David Johansen has a cool thing going with his weekly radio show on Sirius Disorder. It’s David Johansen’s Mansion of Fun, and it’s really exposed me to some great music from the past that I would never hear elsewhere. He keeps a steady rotation going of old 60’s Motown, latin jazz, garage rock, classical, opera, really old stuff from the first half of the 20th century, and on and on. His musical tastes cover the wide spectrum that I too am attracted to.

So I thought it wouldn’t hurt to throw a few into the ring that I’ve recently enjoyed. The first couple come from Nino Rota. Oh, you’ve heard his work… Four words: Theme from the Godfather. He’s an Italian composer who provided music for a bunch of films (including several Fellini films). He passed away in 1979, but his music remains, including these two from a movie entitled Giulietta Degli Spiriti, a 1965 Fellini film. Certainly a classic Italian vibe to it. It’s not for everyone (hipsters beware!), but if you’re like me, and you like a wide variety of music piping through your ears, then you just may enjoy it.

Nino Rota: Rosa Aurata, La Ballerina del Circo Snap (mp3) – available on iTunes


Now if you’re ready to feel like you’re in a 19th century cathedral mass, listen to this. Written by French composer Gabriel Faure in 1865, this is a work for mixed chorus and organ inspired by 17th century dramatist Jean Racine (the lyrics come from a prayer written by Racine).

Gabriel Faure: Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 (mp3) – my version comes from this CD, which I got off eMusic (90 downloads per month for $20)


  • l.c. crane

    That album (Juliet) is one of my favorites, in fact it is on my top ten desert island discs. I’m a huge Fellini fan and naturally have sought out all of Rota’s output. He can get a little redundant at times, but the man was a musical genuis of the likes that we won’t see anymore.

  • Dan

    I am neither a student nor a fan of classical music, but I was introduced to Faure at the mass at St. Pat’s in NYC for the firefighters and police the week after 9/11. It was Requiem, Op.48: Sanctus. I rushed out to get a copy and it hits me every time I listen to it. It is a beautiful piece of music.

  • d. morgan

    what an absolutely fan-tas-tic show. we have sirius at the restaurant i work in and for whatever reason i had the loft on as i was closing up and mansion of fun came on and i found myself just sitting down, sipping whiskey and listening, nothing else, just listening. the crossing of genres was staggering without being dis-jointed. educational and entertaining at the same time. I do a radio show myself(the record sto’) in St. Louis on a pretty large community station(, which jumps lots of genres, but nothing of this magnitude. my hats off david. this is trully quality of life changing art>

  • jactrack

    The “Mansch w/ Johansh” (sic) is one of the finest radio programs on the air! Today, 2/13/11, he is really out-doing himself with his brilliant pre-V-day selections and commentary. Sri is perhaps the only DJ – celebrity or otherwise – who can play the Carpenters and make it sound so perfect and so cool!
    Kudos, Pete, on your nice site.

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