Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Italian composer Trovajoli dies

Italian composer Armando Trovajoli composed music for some 300 films and wrote a serenade to Rome popular with tourists (AP)

Armando Trovajoli, an Italian who composed music for some 300 films and whose lush and playful serenade to Rome is a much-requested romantic stand-by for tourists, has died at the age of 95.

The capital's mayor, Gianni Alemanno, mourned Trovajoli's passing, saying in a statement that "the voice of Rome has been extinguished".

The Italian news agency Ansa said the composer's widow, Maria Paola Trovajoli, announced his death today, saying her husband had died a few days ago in Rome but declining to give the exact date.

Roman by birth, Trovajoli began his musical career as a pianist, playing jazz and dance music. He appeared with many jazz stars, among them Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.

In the 1950s, his prolific relationship with the film world took flight. Travojoli composed for many of Italy's hit movies of the next decades, especially comedies.

He wrote the music for two of Sophia Loren's most famous films, A Special Day and Two Women, which won her an Oscar. Others included the neo-realist classic Riso Amaro (Bitter Rice) and Marriage Italian Style, another Loren film.

Among the directors turning to him were some of Italy's best in the decades following the Second World War, including Ettore Scola, Vittorio De Sica, Dino Risi and Luigi Comencini.

But it was the lushly orchestrated Roma Nun Fa' La Stupida Stasera, written for the 1962 stage musical Rugantino, that became Trovajoli's most famous song.

The title, translated from the Roman dialect, literally means "Rome, don't act silly this evening". Composed as a duet, it is sung by would-be suitors who beg the city to put on its magic so romance might bloom.

The first performance was sung by Nino Manfredi and Lea Massari, and it is featured on a recently released Andrea Bocelli album of popular favourites.

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