Proof positive that life provides us all with an embarassment of riches whether we are wealthy or poor. Today is the day we set aside each year to remind ourselves as much as our loved ones that, perhaps, love is the greatest of all riches.
I wanted to post something for Valentine’s Day that says, very simply, how much we appreciate our readers. The task was enormous for several reasons. First, “Thank you” doesn’t cover the enormity of gratitude we feel for our readers who have boosted Grand Rants into one of the top blogs in our first year. It seems perposterously inadequate. But since sending candygrams to each of you is, let’s just say, out of our budget, I wanted to do something else today that says “Thank you” in a special way. I think I’ve come up with just the thing.
A quick back story: in 1978 I was working for a major computer manufacturer as a senior software instructor. I was chosen to represent the company to provide training for scientists at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Serpikov, several hours outside of Moscow in the former Soviet Union. While spending week-ends in Moscow, I met and fell in love with a beautiful young Russian woman who would later become my wife.
She had a cassette of a young Italian singer named Claudio Baglioni. He was not only a talented singer whose every note exhuded his passion for life, he was also a brilliant composer and arranger. I didn’t understand a word of what he was singing, but that’s what made it so interesting. His phrasing and his emotion rang true in a way that transcended any language barrier. I guess it also helped that I was a young and hopeless romantic.
Over the years, I have followed Baglioni’s career, even though he has never actively pursued the American market (outside of a brief tour early on in his career). His more recent works include the official Anthem for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin. He has worked with such musical luminaries as Vangelis, Youssu N’Dour, Phil Palmer, Tony Levin and many others.
For years, I worked through a record importer in Washington DC just to locate and obtain Baglioni’s records. Indeed, my love for his music has lasted longer than my marriage did. I take some comfort, believe it or not, in thinking that she still listens to his music as well. The hopeless romantic lives!
The advent of the Internet has made it much easier to follow his career. Today, Baglioni is still seen as one of Italy’s top singers/composers and continues to enjoy a huge following. Yet he remains all but unknown here in America.
What does this have to do with you? Me? Grand Rants? Simply this: I wanted my “gift” to give you something memorable that would take you by surprise rather than merely just being another song by Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles that you all know by heart. Something of serendipity, that takes you to a place you’ve never been, at least musically. And where today’s subject is all about “amore,” what better way to present this than by a singer, composer and arranger whose work has defined passion for over 30 years?
My gift to you all is “Ora Che Ho Te” (I believe the translation to be “Now That I Have You”) by Claudio Baglioni. May his music help you to rediscover your passions in life wherever they may lie.
Happy Valentine’s Day from Grand Rants. And thank you.
Bonus: If you would like to see more on Claudio Baglioni, here’s a link to a recent live performance of him doing one of his most popular songs, Strada Facendo.
Also, he now has his own Youtube channel, Claudio Baglioni TV.