Luigi Denza

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  
(Results 1-25 of 76 records)

Citation

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.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104141

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