SEA and YOU talks about Roberto Murolo. Homage to the voice of classic Neapolitan song

What does a traditional music festival have to do with Roberto Murolo? If we consider that SEA and YOU is about to make its stop in Naples… A LOT!

Roberto Murolo was one of the most loved and appreciated singers in Italy. He brought classic Neapolitan song everywhere in the world with his beautiful voice, and SEA and YOU wants to pay homage to him as an example of artistic virtue.

After the second stop of SEA and YOU in Porto, with the inevitable thunderous applause of the theater, we only wait for April 26 to conclude this magnificent journey into the world of traditional music festivals.
The concert will be organized in Naples, together with Ideal Fado and CajaGranada, by Napulitanata, the first and only hall dedicated to classic Neapolitan song.
Founded by accordionist M. Domenico Matania and pianist M. Pasquale Cirillo, the hall is a virtuous example not only of making music in an intelligent and passionate way, but also of cultural enterprise in Naples.

Click here for more information about the date in Naples.

While waiting for SEA and YOU’s stop in Naples, we pay tribute to Roberto Murolo, the voice of classic Neapolitan song.

Roberto Murolo, Sergio Bruni, or Renato Carosone?

Anyone who has listened to a Neapolitan song will surely have come across the clear, warm, and enveloping voice of Roberto Murolo.

Roberto Murolo, together with Sergio Bruni and Renato Carosone, was the most representative voice of classic Neapolitan song.
These three great singers, each with their own way of singing, can be defined as the three souls of classic Neapolitan song.
The three crowns (as Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are called) of classic Neapolitan song.

While Renato Carosone immersed himself in jazz and swing, with a lively and rhythmic style in both voice and the inevitable piano, Sergio Bruni interpreted the great classic Neapolitan songs with a voice that conveyed emotion and passion.

But Roberto Murolo deserves a place of honor.
Unlike Carosone’s vitality and Bruni’s emotional singing, Roberto Murolo went straight to the heart with his unmistakable clear voice, used to interpret the most beautiful songs of Naples.
He almost did it by speaking, whispering the most beautiful words ever written in a sweet way.

How did Roberto Murolo start singing?

Roberto Murolo was destined for glory and eternal fame. Born in 1912 in Naples to the poet Ernesto Murolo, one of the many illegitimate children of Eduardo Scarpetta, and raised among Libero Bovio, Salvatore di Giacomo, and Ferdinando Russo (the best authors of the golden period of Neapolitan song), it was clear from the start that young Roberto Murolo was destined for music.

His musical baptism came very early, studying guitar and playing for Vittorio De Sica in 1933. From there, Roberto Murolo never stopped, and in 1934 he founded the Mida Quartet, a musical quartet inspired by the American Mills Brothers, where the voices of the four singers also imitate musical instruments (Roberto Murolo was a magnificent trombonist).

And so, Roberto Murolo and the Mida Quartet set off abroad in search of fortune for eight years.

It was then, upon returning home after the war, in 1948, that his true solo career began.
Immediately, Roberto Murolo enchanted the audience with his storytelling style.
He plucked the guitar, whispered the song with his melodious voice, and thus a legend of classic Neapolitan song was created.

Roberto Murolo’s songs

Roberto Murolo, although he lived for music, did not write many songs. We remember ‘O ciucciariello, Torna a vucà, Sarrà… chisà! winner of the Naples Festival, and Scriveme.

His career was that of a strict interpreter of classic Neapolitan song.
This is well understood from his monumental work “Napoletana. Chronological Anthology of Neapolitan Song”, 12 volumes of records of the history of Neapolitan song ranging from 1200 to 1962.

His discography is almost as rich as his concert career. His themes can range from Neapolitan Christmas songs to great authors like Bovio and E.A. Mario.
His style is unmistakable. Roberto Murolo managed to perfectly combine the joy, passion, and melancholy (which Neapolitans call pucundria) typical of Neapolitan song with his storytelling style.

Among Roberto Murolo’s many recordings, we find the most beautiful and famous Neapolitan songs. Needless to say, he sang O’ Sole mio, Funiculì Funiculà, Anema e core, Era de maggio.
His whispered voice was particularly suited to melancholic texts like Munasterio ‘e Santa Chiara, as well as lighter and more humorous songs like Dove sta Zazà, N’accordo in fa, and La tarantella.

Roberto Murolo in duet

It is in duets that we can see the admiration that the whole music world had for Roberto Murolo.
Among the many, we remember the famous Caruso made with Lucio Dalla and Cu’mm’è with Mia Martini. So, we should not be surprised by the meeting between Roberto Murolo and Fado, when Murolo was identified as a representative of classic Neapolitan song.

The meeting takes place with the queen of Fado, Amália Rodrigues. Already a lover of Neapolitan song, as demonstrated by her interpretations of La tarantella and Il coro delle lavandaie.

In an unforgettable duet, Fado and classic Neapolitan song meet in these two magnificent artists. They sing together Anema e core and Dicintencello vuje in a performance at the Teatro Mercadante that is still legendary.
We have paid tribute to this splendid artist of classic Neapolitan song, but now it’s your turn!

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By Davide Lancia