Nino Rota: Romeo and Juliet (includes Love Theme)

One of Nino Rota's most memorable tunes has, it turns out, been remembered by many other artists over the years as well.

There's a timeless innocence to Nino Rota's theme for Franco Zeffirelli's lavish interpretation of the Shakespeare play. It's since become a by-word for romantic angst and, perhaps unfairly, has been used countless times in an ironic fashion on television and in other films to lend an overwrought or hackneyed tone. But taken on its own merits and in the context of the film, it's simple, delicate and beautiful.

It's perhaps most notable that, since Rota first composed it back in the '60s, countless other artists have sought to make the tune their own. From crooner Andy Williams to the King of the Waltz André Rieu, many have squared up to the melody, but no-one has given it quite the same treatment that Rota did the first time round. Romance, obviously, has to play a part, but ultimately it's the tragedy at the heart of the music that remains longest in the memory.

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

TwoSet Violin

TwoSet Violin are launching a crowdfunded world tour

Get Lucky Music History

Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' in every classical music style is both educational and impressive

Sunny Li Liszt Piano Workout

This pianist plays Liszt on four pianos and it's a full-on workout