Luigi Denza (24 February 1846 in Castellammare di Stabia – 27 January 1922 in London) was an Italian composer. Denza was born at Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples. He studied music under Saverio Mercadante and Paolo Serrao at the Naples Conservatory. In 1884 he moved to London, taught singing and became a professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music in 1898.
Denza is best remembered for "Funiculì, Funiculà" (1880), a humorous Neapolitan song inspired by the inauguration of a funicular at the summit of Vesuvius. Neapolitan journalist Peppino Turco contributed the lyrics and may have prompted the song by suggesting that Denza compose something for the Piedigrotta song-writing competition. "Funiculì, Funiculà" was published the same year by Ricordi and within a year had sold a million copies.
In addition to "Funiculì, Funiculà", Denza composed hundreds of popular songs. Some of them, such as "Luna fedel", "Occhi di fata", and "Se", have been sung by Enrico Caruso, Mario Lanza, Carlo Bergonzi, Luciano Pavarotti, and Ronan Tynan. He was also an able mandolinist and guitarist, and for these instruments he wrote such compositions as "Ricordo di Quisisana", "Come to me", "Nocturne", and several others. Denza also wrote an opera, Wallenstein (1876).
Birth and Death Data: Born February 23rd, 1846 (Castellammare di Stabia), Died January 26th, 1922 (London)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1896 - 1948
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 76 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Berliner||119||7-in.||Apr. 1898||Funiculi, funicula||Artists vary||Band||composer|
|Berliner||985||7-in.||4/15/1896||Funiculi, funicula||Ferruccio Giannini||Tenor vocal solo||composer|
|Berliner||0567||7-in.||10/7/1899||Funiculi, funicula||Ferruccio Giannini||Tenor vocal solo, with laughing||composer|
|Victor||[Pre-matrix A-]1348||7-in.||3/26/1902||Funiculì funiculà||Antonio Vargas||Baritone vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||[Pre-matrix B-]1348||10-in.||3/26/1902||Funiculì funiculà||Antonio Vargas||Baritone vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||A-150||7-in.||6/26/1903||Funiculì funiculà||Ferruccio Giannini ; Royal Italian Marine Band||Tenor vocal solo, with male vocal chorus||composer|
|Victor||B-150||10-in.||6/26/1903||Funiculì funiculà||Ferruccio Giannini ; Royal Italian Marine Band||Tenor vocal solo, with male vocal chorus||composer|
|Victor||C-549||12-in.||10/7/1903||Non t'amo più||Jules Levy||Cornet solo||composer|
|Victor||B-1687||10-in.||9/15/1904||Funiculì funiculà||Ferruccio Giannini||Tenor vocal solo, with band and vocal chorus||composer|
|Victor||B-8206||10-in.||9/3/1909||Fuggimi||Emilia Vergeri||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-9481||10-in.||9/26/1910||A May morning||Evan Williams||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-10105||10-in.||3/28/1911||Funiculì funiculà||Vessella's Italian Band||Band, with vocal chorus||composer|
|Victor||B-11996||10-in.||5/9/1912||A merry life||Lyric Quartet||Mixed vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-12145||12-in.||6/24/1912||Call me back||Lambert Murphy||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-14679||10-in.||4/8/1914||Funiculì funiculà||John McCormack||Tenor vocal solo, with male vocal chorus and orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-15682||12-in.||2/6/1915||Si vous l'aviez compris||Enrico Caruso||Tenor vocal solo, with violin and piano||composer|
|Victor||B-16847||10-in.||12/1/1915||Fipcia!||Norbert Wicki||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-17363||12-in.||3/23/1916||Songs of the past, no. 13||Victor Mixed Chorus||Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-18546||12-in.||10/12/1916||Call me back||Herbert Witherspoon||Bass vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-20495||10-in.||8/6/1917||Call me back||Charles Hart||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-25391||10-in.||7/11/1921||Giulia!||Renato Zanelli||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-26798||10-in.||9/25/1922||Se ...||Cristina Soro||Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-29679||10-in.||3/18/1924||Occhi di fata||Giuseppe De Luca||Baritone vocal solo, with flute and orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-30124||10-in.||5/20/1924||Canzone della polenta||Eugenio Cibelli ; Sestetto Italiano Victor||Male vocal solo, with vocal sextet and instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||B-31436||10-in.||11/20/1924||Si vous l'aviez compris||Mrs. M. Taylor||Female vocal solo, with cello and piano||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Denza, Luigi," accessed September 22, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104141.
Denza, Luigi. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104141.
"Denza, Luigi." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 22 September 2021.
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