Tosti: The Song of a Life, Volume 2

Composer Francesco Paolo Tosti
Artist Various
Format 4 CD
Cat. number 95429
EAN code 5028421954295
Release February 2018

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About this release

With this second volume of Tosti’s songs, Brilliant Classics takes listeners just half-way through a prodigious, career-long output, in which the key-notes are unfailingly memorable melody, lively charm and a gift for story-telling that rivals the very greatest song-writers past and present, from Schubert to Dylan.

Many of his songs have never been recorded, so this set makes a unique contribution to the catalogue. The booklet contains an extensive introduction to the project by Francesco Sanvitale, the scholar who devised the project and in whose memory it is being gradually realised and published after his untimely death in 2014.

There are a few French songs on Vol 2, reflecting Tosti’s great popularity in Paris, but most of the texts here are by Italian poets, mostly contemporaries such as D’Annunzio and Panzacchi. The discs work chronologically through the decade 1886-1895, during which time he was singing teacher to the English royal family. Perhaps in deference to his pupils, there are songs by the likes of Longfellow and Weatherly: the last disc concludes with his delicately wistful setting of In the Hush of the Night.

The first volume on Brilliant Classics BC95201) of this extraordinary project won wide critical praise. ‘All the singers are careful over nuances,’ remarked MusicWeb International. ’Tosti’s songs have, through the years, been bawled out of recognition by leather-lunged tenors, and it is a blessing to hear so many beautiful pianissimos and diminuendos in this repertoire. The accompaniments are discreet and the recording is well-balanced and natural-sounding.’ This set will be an essential acquisition for all lovers of art-song.

The booklet includes liner notes in English and Italian, the sung texts are available on the Brilliant Classics website.

This is the second instalment of a huge enterprise, a world premiere: the recording of the complete songs by Tosti!
Paolo Tosti (1846-1916) worked in poverty as a music teacher till he met the influential composer Giovanni Sgambati, who became his mentor. He introduced Tosti to Princess Margherita of Savoy, who became later queen of Italy. She was impressed by him and appointed him as royal music teacher. In 1875 Tosti went to London where his fame spread, and he was made Singing Master of the Royal family.
Tosti is known for his vast quantity of light, expressive songs, which are characterised by natural, singable melodies of a charming and sweet sentiment. They became immensely popular and Tosti made a fortune with them.
This new project is produced by the Tosti Institute in Italy, presenting an impressive line of excellent Italian singers: Monica Bacelli, Desirée Rancatore, Jurgita Adamonité, Piotr Lempa, Mark Milhofer, Benedetta Torre, Eugene Villanueva, the pianists include Marco Scolastra, Antonio Ballista, Luisa Prayer and Marco Moresco.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Apri!..., serenata popolare
  2. At the Convent Gate, Song
  3. In mare, melodia
  4. Prière
  5. Sogno, melodia
  6. Marechiare, canto Napolitano
  7. Pepìta, vecchia canzone spagnuola
  8. Lutto, melodia
  9. L’ultimo bacio, romanzetta
  10. Chanson de Fortunio

Disk 2

  1. Love Ties
  2. Malìa, melodia
  3. Segreto, melodia
  4. Vieni…, piccola barcarola
  5. We Have Loved, Song
  6. Malinconia: I. Dorme la selva
  7. Malinconia: II. Quand’io ti guardo
  8. Malinconia: III. L’ora è tarda
  9. Malinconia: IV. Or dunque addio!
  10. Malinconia: V. Chi sei tu che mi parli?
  11. La viuletta. Si na scingiate te putesse dà
  12. Luce d’amore!, melodia
  13. Due melodie: I. Deh, ti desta, serenata
  14. Due melodie: II. Au cimetière, mélodie
  15. Dreams of the Summer Night, Serenade
  16. Chanson d’automne
  17. Ici bas, mélodie
  18. Mio povero amor!, romanzetta
  19. Ridonami la calma!..., preghiera
  20. Tell Them!, Song

Disk 3

  1. Altre pagine d’album: I. Lasciali dir
  2. Altre pagine d’album: II. Tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse!
  3. Altre pagine d’album: III. Automne
  4. Altre pagine d’album: IV. Primavera
  5. Altre pagine d’album: V. Mon coeur est plein de toi
  6. Altre pagine d’album: VI. Fiaba
  7. Altre pagine d’album: VII. Si vous saviez!
  8. Altre pagine d’album: VIII. Carmèn
  9. Altre pagine d’album: IX. Je voudrais
  10. Altre pagine d’album: X. Guitare
  11. Altre pagine d’album: XI. Si tu le volais
  12. Altre pagine d’album: XII. Dimmi fanciulla
  13. Carmela, ballatella popolare
  14. La serenata
  15. Shall We Forget, Song
  16. Non senti tu…, melodia
  17. Un bacio, canzone
  18. Pianto di monaca, melodia
  19. Io mi domando, melodia
  20. Cadenza a la serenata, scritta appositamente per Nellie Melba

Disk 4

  1. Beauty’s Eyes, Song
  2. Ever Yours Sincerely, Chansonette
  3. Tell me to Stay, Song
  4. Venetian Song
  5. Canzone Veneziana
  6. Winged Echoes, Song
  7. Entra!, melodia
  8. Magìa, romanza
  9. My Memories, Song
  10. Triste ritorno, melodia
  11. I Dare to Love Thee, song
  12. Novena profana, melodia
  13. Neapolitan Song
  14. Per morire, melodia
  15. Comme va?, ricordo di Francavilla al Mare
  16. Nel mio segreto?, melodia
  17. Quattro melodie: I. Laggiù, laggiù!
  18. Quattro melodie: II. “La fioca anima mia”
  19. Quattro melodie: III. Non m’aspettare!
  20. Quattro melodie: IV. Per l’amor d’amore
  21. In the Hush of the Night, Song