Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giulio Rapetti, Mogol al Centro Europeo di Toscolano

On My recent trip to Umbria in Italy, The Italian Consul and I visited the Centro Europeo Toscolano founded by the great MOGOL (see profile below) we hope to commence a collaboration with CET and that they will tour to Australia next year as part of Italian Week 2009. This footage shows the amazing Music Acadamy founded by MOGOL.

Giulio Rapetti (born August 17, 1936 in Milan), in art Mogol, is an Italian lyricist. He is best known for his collaborations with Lucio Battisti.

His father, Mariano Rapetti, was an important director of the Ricordi record label, and had been in his own time a successful lyricist of the 1950s. Young Giulio, who was likewise employed by Ricordi as a public relations expert, began his own career as a lyricist against his father's wishes.
His first successes were Il cielo in una stanza ("Heaven in a room" or "The sky in a room"), set to music by Gino Paoli and sung by Mina; Al di là ("Beyond"), a piece that won the 1961 Sanremo Festival when performed by Luciano Tajoli and Betty Curtis; Una lacrima sul viso ("A tear on the face"), which was a huge hit for Bobby Solo in 1964. Another famous song from 1961 was Uno dei tanti (English: One from many) which was rewritten by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in 1963 and released under the title "I (Who Have Nothing)".

In addition to writing new lyrics in Italian for a great many singers, Mogol also took it upon himself, in years in which familiarity with the English language in Italy was still sparse, to translate many hits from overseas, especially film soundtracks, but also works of Bob Dylan.
In 1965 he met Lucio Battisti, a young guitarist and composer from the Latium region of central Italy. Mogol's lyrics contributed to Battisti's initial success as an author, in megahits such as 29 settembre, and led him to undertake the role of producer as well, as happened with the song Sognando la California, which Mogol himself had translated from the signature number of The Mamas and the Papas, California Dreamin', and with Senza luce ("Without light"), an Italian rendering of A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum.

In 1966, Mogol, overcoming resistance from his record label, convinced Battisti to perform his own songs. The lyricist's intuition would have one of the most rewarding outcomes of the history of Italian music, as Battisti, after a halting start, would explode as a singer, becoming one of the most successful artists in the panorama of Italian music. In the same year, Mogol left the Ricordi label to create his own with Battisti, called Numero Uno, which brought together many celebrated Italian singer-songwriters. The pair wrote songs as well for Bruno Lauzi, Patty Pravo, and, especially, Mina.

In 1980, Mogol broke the artistic relationship with Battisti, and successfully continued his independent career as a lyricist with the noted singer-songwriter Riccardo Cocciante, with whom he wrote the texts for some successful albums, first in the series Cervo a Primavera ("Deer in springtime").

Lately, with the work of Cocciante moving in other directions, Mogol has formed a stable partnership with Adriano Celentano; his songs for Celentano are scored by the Sicilian singer-songwriter Gianni Bella. This collaboration has produced the delicate song L'arcobaleno ("The rainbow"), included in the CD Io non so parlar d'amore ("I know not how to speak of love"), which is considered openly dedicated to Battisti, who had recently died.

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