To Robert Elmore from CDJ
Today, I just have to tell you about a piece I’m working on. If you remember James Burke’s great series called “Connections,” my memories of it and meeting the author is what brought this one to the top, so to say. It’s not a ‘perfect storm,’ but it’s really interesting to me. So, here are the facts.
Two Italians emigrated to the United States in New York City. They were named Casimiro and Antoinette DeGioio. Notice that the piece shown above was written by Casimiro, an organist, pianist, and vocal coach.
Belle of Mexico, one of Casimiro’s pieces published by Carl Fischer
In 1913, a son named Nicodemo was born. His godfather was Pietro Yon, then organist at St Francis Xavier. Nicodemo, whose name was later changed to Norman, studied with Pietro Yon.
Casimiro, being from Italy, had no greater way to show respect than to write a piece that related to his home country, so he wrote “Neopolitan Night” for organ and dedicated it to the organist he greatly admired, Robert Elmore. (See the dedication above.) Remember, Casimiro was an organist and teacher, just like Elmore.
Both father and son later changed the spelling of their names, as did so many immigrants: Casimiro Dello Joio and his famous son, Norman. Look for the restoration of “Notturno Napoletano” later this year.