Luna Rossa (Prima edizione)
(Vincenzo De Crescenzo-Antonio Vian) – Giorgio Consolini – 1950
Luna Rossa was presented to the public for the first time by Giorgio Consolini, at the Teatro Augusteo in Naples in 1950, on the occasion of the Piedigrotta Festival that year. It was an immediate hit and the start of a journey that continues today, thanks above all to the fact that it became a cornerstone in the repertoire of Renzo Arbore's Orchestra Italiana, with which it traveled the whole world. But it had already practically conquered the world in 1952 when Frank Sinatra recorded an English version called Blushing Moon, also performed later by Tony Martin, Vic Damone and the orchestras of Norrie Paramor and Michel Legrand. The melody, written by Vian (real surname Viscione) in the form of a beguine (a type of Caribbean rhythm closely related to the rhumba) aroused a lot of criticism in the beginning from the proponents of the traditional Neapolitan song who judged the beguine to be culturally foreign to the Neapolitan tradition. But its capacity to draw in audiences overcame any cultural resistance. In the version by Claudio Villa, arranged by Virgilio Piubeni, it became a signature piece for the little king of Italian song. This was followed by a very long series of Italian artists who recorded Luna rossa, including such memorable artists as Nilla Pizzi, Renato Carosone, Sergio Bruni, Roberto Murolo, Peppino Di Capri and Gabriella Ferri. The lyrics by Vincenzo De Crescenzo tell of the sad wandering in the middle of the night of a man in search of his beloved. As he wanders he holds a dialogue with the moon, who, disconsolate, claims to not actually have seen his beloved. The version that Renzo Arbore released in 1992 on the first of his albums dedicated to the rediscovery of the Neapolitan repertoire (Napoli. Punto e a capo) has the singular characteristic of being sung by Eddy Napoli, the stage name for Eduardo De Crescenzo (namesake of the author of Ancora) son of the author of the lyrics, Vincenzo De Crescenzo.