Nanni Ricordi, a direct descendent of Giovanni Ricordi, the founder of Casa Ricordi, died on 15 January at the age of 79.
He founded Dischi Ricordi S.p.A., for which Maria Callas made her studio recording of Cherubini’s Medea in 1957.
Nanni Ricordi was known primarily as “the father of singer-songwriters.” Ennio Morricone wrote of him in Ti ricordi Nanni? L’uomo che inventò i cantautori:
Everyone knew that Nanni discovered talent. But few people know that he envisioned a revolution in Italian song. He invented singer-songwriters. He rethought melodies and poetic texts, opening the way for that freedom (in lyrics most of all) that utterly transcended the routine into which Italian song, with rare exceptions, had fallen.
From Act I of the 1957 Ricordi Medea, Maria Callas and Mirto Picchi perform the brief scene “Taci, Giasone.” Tullio Serafin conducts.