The fourth volume in an acclaimed series, presenting the work of a gifted Victorian-era songsmith in unprecedented depth.
Based on 33 years of scholarship and promotion by the Istituto Nazionale Tostiano and a lifetime of studies on the part of this volume lives up to its predecessors in bringing to wider attention the work of a born melodist, at home in the English and French tongues as well as his native Italian, and one who brought the genre of salon song to a peak of perfection.
The greatest singers of each era from Caruso to Pavarotti and Bartoli have always reserved a corner of their repertoire for Tosti, but he has hardly ever been given the spotlight, perhaps nervous of the sheer popular appeal of songs such as ‘A vucchella' which opens CD2 of the present set. The chronological approach to his work taken by this project proves that he was certainly not confined within the limited universe of love requited, rejected, desired, misunderstood, suffered or unspoken. The songs in this fourth volume cover the years 1905 to his death in 1916 having become a British subject in 1906, knighted in 1908, and retired to Italy in 1912.
Despite their relative youth, the singers chosen to record this project are all Tosti experts, having won various editions of Ortona’s international voice competition devoted to the interpretation of drawing-room songs and ballads. Other actors of lesser skill almost always seem to be portraying the same person. Much the same thing can happen with music, but not here, thanks to the idiomatic command and fresh, unselfconscious artistry of the singers in responding to the wide range of poets set by Tosti, including Gabriele d’Annunzio, Thomas Carlyle and Frederic Weatherly.
The booklet includes a full contextual introduction to the Tosti edition by the late Francesco Sanvitale, and sung texts are available at brilliantclassics.com.
This is the 4th and last 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.
He is known for his vast quantity of light, expressive songs, 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: Maria Bagàla, John Viscardi, Glen Morton, Donata D'Annunzio Lombardi, Giuseppina Piunti, Riccardo Della Sciucca, Cinzia Forte, Giovanni Meoni, Monica Bacelli, and pianists Isabella Crisante and Marco Scolastra.