Endearing love melodies and spirited folk ballads. Brave patriotic songs and passionate opera pieces. Are you thinking “yeah, I guess the Italian oldies are ok…”?
Well, if you and your mates think Italian classical music is outworn and old-fashioned you’d better reconsider! I’ll prove it taking you on an exciting rhythm-filled trip.
A swinging journey through the accent of Italian sound
Whistle a tune, and pick up the beat. Follow me through chords and cantabiles, I’ll take you on an unforgettable journey through Italian Classical music. All aboard, let’s discover Italian classical composers and Italian songs!
Free Soundtrack Music and Classic Italian Songs
As you go on you’ll listen to free soundtrack music and songs, and get to know the composers that enhanced world-famous cinema masterpieces. Plus, you’ll finally learn the name of that Italian song you’ve always sort of known, but never could place.
Italian Classical Music – Opera and Classic Italian Singers
Italy has music in its veins. It’s the birthplace of virtuoso authors such as Giuseppe Verdi – La Traviata and Aida – Puccini – Tosca, La Boheme etc- and Bellini (never heard of him? listen to him here).
It’s the country of Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Scarlatti and grandiose voices like Domenico Modugno, Bocelli and Pavarotti.
Classic Italian Songs – Folk and Award-Winning Soundtracks
Italian Classical music includes the popular folk medleys that everyone, everywhere, instantly recognizes as Italian… like Funiculì Funiculà:
It also comprises the genius of Italian original soundtrack creators like Ennio Morricone, and other amazing Italian classical composers who have reached the stars. Nino Rota, Piero Piccioni, Riz Ortolani and Piero Umiliani for example. Can’t recall the names? Well… listen on… I can bet you’ve heard the music!
Italian Classical Composers – Ennio Morricone
Remember Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight? It’s by Ennio Morricone, winner of two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, five BAFTAS, and an Academy Honorary Award for “magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.
The Contemporary Soundtrack – Spaghetti Westerns and More
Almost everyone recalls the name of the Italian classical composer who scored the spaghetti westerns that made Clint Eastwood a star. The inspiring chanting, guitars, whistling and bells in A Fistful of Dollars, The Good The Bad And The Ugly, and Once Upon A Time In The West. The harmonica-laced background rhythms of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time In America. That’s what Morricone created: the contemporary soundtrack, something unique and unforgettable. Like the stirring background of The Mission.
La Dolce Vita and creative Italian Classical Music
The Italian Classical Music written by Morricone and his colleagues is brilliant and inventive. Everlasting pieces were written by Ortolani and Umiliani, composer of the undying “Mah Nà Mah Nà” universalized by The Muppets show.
Other memorable refrains were created by former jazz player Piero Piccioni. Author of soundtracks for world class directors such as Dino Risi, Bernardo Bertolucci, Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica, he scored the famous movie Camille 2000.
Leading Italian Classical Composers
These Italian classical composers were the leading figures in the thriving cultural scenario of Rome Cinecittà movie studios from the 50s to the 70s, the fabulous years of La Dolce Vita. They were then rediscovered in the 90s, when Italian DJs used their pieces in remixes. And finally called back on stage by a variety of award-winning directors like the Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderbergh.
Tarantino and Italian Composers
When you watch a Tarantino movie you’re never 100% sure whether he first chose the story or the music. Because they blend. Always. Perfectly. When choosing soundtracks Tarantino uses a scientist’s approach. He never stops at the first most obvious choice, and very often selects extraordinary Italian Classical Music. Django Unchained’s soundtrack, written by Morricone and sung by Italian female singer Elisa, is a great example.
Our Favorite Classic Italian Songs of all times
Memorable melodies that enrich Italian Classical Music. All time favorites that everyone knows, loves and cherishes (yes, the list includes that one Classic Italian Song you always hum but don’t know the title of!)
- Mambo Italiano by Renato Carosone – vigorous, refreshing, joyful. A hymn to the best of Italy and Italian lifestyle
- Eri Piccola Così by Fred Buscaglione – playful, frisky and buoyant… Italian swing at its best!
- Bella Ciao – one of the most well-known, and moving, Italian agricultural and partisan songs.
- Volare by Domenico Modugno the tale of a dream, almost an Italian national anthem!
- Funiculì Funiculà – a lively folk chant written in honor of the first funicular on Mount Vesuvius in 1880. Ever since it has been performed by many Italian and international singers. This version is by Neapolitan singer Sergio Bruni.
- O’Sole Mio – probably the most famous of all Southern Italian songs. Listen to this wonderful version by Caruso.
- Con te partirò by Andrea Bocelli – an emotional all time classic performed by Italy’s most touching voice.
- Mamma by Claudio Villa – dedicated to all Italian men’s sweethearts: their mothers!
Top 10 Pop and Classical Italian Singers Male
Italian Classical and pop Music showcases great Italian voices. Chorals that make us smile, laugh, gasp and cry. Sensuous melodies that sweep us off our feet.
Top 10 everlasting Classical Italian Male Singers, in alphabetical order:
An offbeat gem in the Italian music scenario. Acutely brilliant and highly cultured he masterfully writes and performs songs with catchy music and profound lyrics.
Tenor and international superstar. Visually impaired, but endowed with a melodious voice and great energy, he is able to link lyrical and pop music, making classical opera arias popular worldwide.
The first Italian superstar lyrical singer. Born from a very poor family in Naples he became a musical sensation, performed in the world’s greatest theatres and was one of the first musicians to record his voice. Listen to him in Tosca here.
Known as il molleggiato, i.e. the springy-flexible one, because of his dancing abilities. Ingenious singer, songwriter, musician, actor and film director beloved by all Italians. The quintessence of simpatico! See Celentano dance and listen to his duo with Mina.
one of the most creative, sharp and versatile Italian songwriters and performers of all time. The song Caruso, dedicated to the great Italian tenor, is among his greatest successes. Here it is, live:
Fabrizio De Andrè
Anarchist, poet, and grandiose songwriter. Native of Genoa he wrote a variety of unforgettable, intensely captivating ballads on a variety of social issues, war and religion. A meaningful example is La Guerra di Piero, namely Peter’s War, about the ruthlessness of war.
Mario del Monaco
Celebrity lyrical singer of the 1950s/60s. Devoted to Italian opera he was acclaimed worldwide for his robust voice and vigorous acting.
Legendary opera singer often considered the heir of Caruso. Renowned performer of Puccini he enjoyed 41 full years of successful career, recorded over 400 records, and performed in 2249 operas.
Iconic Italian singer. Widely regarded as the forefather of Italian songwriters he was among the most remarkable singer-composers in Europe. His rendering of the Neapolitan Tu si’ ‘na cosa grande is memorable.
One of the greatest lyrical singers of the 20th century. With his powerful showmanship, recordings and television appearances he was able to increase the popularity of Italian Classical Music.