Tosti: The Song of a Life

Composer Francesco Paolo Tosti
Artist Romina Casucci soprano
Maura Menghini soprano
Marco Scolastra piano
Mark Milhofer tenor
Roberto Rupo pianoforte
Format 5 CD
Cat. number 95201
EAN code 5028421952017
Release November 2016

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About this release

This set inaugurates the first complete recording of Tosti’s songs on the occasion of the first centenary of his death. As such it is a project of considerable historical and cultural significance. Most of the performers are native Italians, and all have the command of language which so marked Tosti’s contribution to the world of song, and sees him still performed around the world today. His style recognised no barriers between ‘popular’ and ‘art’ music, and was all the more commercially successful for it.

Perhaps that success has contributed since his death to a certain snobbery which has led to his songs being neglected in the concert hall and more familiar from recordings, particularly those made in a Golden Age of Italian singing from the first decades of the last century. Where would Caruso be without Tosti? Singer and song, each fitted the other, hand in glove.

Tosti should properly be known as Sir Paolo Tosti. Having first visited London in 1875, he settled there five years later, became a British subject in 1906 and was knighted two years later, before finally retiring to his homeland in 1912. He composed with equal fluency in Italian, English and French, and these five discs contain many examples of ballads, serenades and love songs in all three languages. Much else of his life and indeed his art has been little explored until now; a situation which the project should rectify. It was masterminded by the late Francesco Sanvitale, whose death in April 2015 proved no obstacle to mounting 20 concerts covering his complete songs in Foligno and Ortona, his home-town, which formed the springboard to these studio recordings, supervised at every stage by staff from the Istituto Nazionale Tostiano. Those familiar with the composer’s evergreen hits such as Forever, Mattinata and Serenata should find a treasure-trove of songs, no less abounding in wit and charm.

The start of a new exciting series: the complete songs by Paolo 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, a huge enterprise, is produced by the Tosti Institute in Italy, presenting an impressive line of excellent Italian singers: Monica Bacelli, Valentina Mastrangelo, Maura Menghini, David Sotgiu, Nunzio Fazzini, Romina Casucci, and many more, the pianists include Marco Scolastra and Roberto Rupo.
Excellent liner notes in English and Italian, complete sung texts available on the Brilliant Classics Website.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. L’Augurio stornello
  2. Ai bagni di Lucca: I. Povero fiore!...
  3. Ai bagni di Lucca: II. Tutto per me sei tu!...
  4. Ai bagni di Lucca: III. Sognai!...
  5. Ai bagni di Lucca: IV. Ha da venir!...
  6. Ai bagni di Lucca: V. Vuol piovere!...
  7. Ai bagni di Lucca: VI. Altro è parlar di morte, altro è morire!...
  8. Ai bagni di Lucca: VII. Saprò morire!...
  9. Non m’ama più melodia
  10. Ti rapirei! Barcarola
  11. Oh! Quanto io t’amerei!... melodia
  12. La rinnovazione canzonetta
  13. Signorina!... letterina amorosa
  14. O ma charmante! Chanson
  15. M’amasti mai?... melodia
  16. Ne me le dites pas! Melodia
  17. Non mi guardare!... melodia
  18. Serenata d’un angelo
  19. T’amo ancora! Melodia
  20. Lontan dagli occhi… balata
  21. Oblio!... melodia
  22. Plaintes d’Amour, mélodie
  23. Chi tardi arriva, male alloggia! Proverbio
  24. Ride bene chi ride l’ultimo! proverbio: risposta a “chi tardi arriva male alloggia”

Disk 2

  1. Amore! tempo di valzer
  2. Prime melodie: I. Tenebre e luce
  3. Prime melodie: II. Sorridimi
  4. Prime melodie: III. Al mar!
  5. Prime melodie: IV. Il salice
  6. Prime melodie: V. Son matto?
  7. Ricordati di me!... melodia
  8. Dis-moi donc!... ballade russe
  9. T’affretta! canzone barcarola
  10. For Ever and For Ever! Song
  11. Canti popolari abruzzesi: I. Dal petto il cor m’hai colto
  12. Canti popolari abruzzesi: II. Mamma, mamma, lasciami andare
  13. Canti popolari abruzzesi: III. L’amor mio partì soldato
  14. Canti popolari abruzzesi: IV. Che mai t’ho fatt’amor?
  15. Canti popolari abruzzesi: V. Tu mi vuoi tanto bene
  16. Canti popolari abruzzesi: VI. La rosa senza spine non può stare
  17. Canti popolari abruzzesi: VII. Tu nel tuo letto a far de’ sogni d’oro
  18. Canti popolari abruzzesi: VIII. Crudele Irene tu m’hai lasciato
  19. Canti popolari abruzzesi: IX. Perché vuoi tu fidar la barca al mare
  20. Canti popolari abruzzesi: X. Mi dicon tutti quanti montagnola
  21. Canti popolari abruzzesi: XI. Se dirti una parola
  22. Canti popolari abruzzesi: XII. O mamma, mamma, stringimi al tuo cuore
  23. Canti popolari abruzzesi: XIII. Fanciullo appena ti parlai d’amore
  24. Canti popolari abruzzesi: XIV. Dammi un ricciolo dei capelli
  25. Canti popolari abruzzesi: XV. Perché chinati gli occhi
  26. Pagine d’album: I. Spes, ultima dea
  27. Pagine d’album: II. Nell’aria della sera
  28. Pagine d’album: III. Donna, vorrei morir
  29. Pagine d’album: IV. Quando cadran le foglie
  30. Pagine d’album: V. Quando tu sarai vecchia
  31. Les papillons mélodie
  32. Vieille chanson temps de valse
  33. Il pescatore di coralli melodia
  34. Vous et moi! Mélodie
  35. Dopo!... mélodie

Disk 3

  1. Adieux à Suzon
  2. Lungi romanzetta
  3. Preghiera
  4. Penso!... melidia popolare
  5. Visione!... melodia
  6. Sull’alba melodia
  7. Come to my Heart!
  8. E’ morto Pulcinella!... canzonetta
  9. Nonna,...sorridi?... canzonetta
  10. Ave Maria piccola melodia
  11. Senza di te! serenata. Reminiscenze abruzzesi
  12. Buon capo d’anno
  13. Vuol note o banconote?
  14. Aprile melodia
  15. Ideale melodia
  16. Patti chiari!... scherzo
  17. Plenilunio: I. Nel plenilunio d’agosto dormono
  18. Plenilunio: II. Vorrei la bianca mano diafana
  19. Plenilunio: III. Guardarti sempre. Rapita l’anima
  20. Plenilunio: IV. All’aria libera, dolce è sognar
  21. Povera mamma!... melodia

Disk 4

  1. En Hamac! tempo di valzer
  2. A Sera!... vogata
  3. Ask Me No More melodia
  4. La fille d’o-Taïti melodies: I. O dis-moi, tu veux fuir ?
  5. La fille d’o-Taïti melodies: II. Te souvient-il du jour ?
  6. La fille d’o-Taïti melodies: III. Tu rempliras mes jours
  7. La fille d’o-Taïti melodies: IV. Helas! Tu veux partir...
  8. La fille d’o-Taïti melodies: V. Loin de mes vieux parents
  9. La fille d’o-Taïti melodies: VI. Quand le matin dora les voiles fugitives
  10. Memorie d’amor! canzone popolare
  11. Notte bianca serenata
  12. Vorrei morire!... melodia. Remember Londra
  13. Arcano!...
  14. Ange d’amour
  15. La dernière feuille souvenir de Waddesdon
  16. Ninon mélodie
  17. Non t’amo più
  18. T’amo!... romanza vecchio stile
  19. At Vespers
  20. That Day!...
  21. Let It Be Soon
  22. Good-Bye!

Disk 5

  1. Allons voir
  2. Marina
  3. O dolce sera! piccolo notturno
  4. Rosa
  5. Vorrei
  6. La mia mandola è un amo serenata
  7. Yesterday
  8. Bid Me Goodbye
  9. My Love and I
  10. It Came With the Merry May, Love
  11. The Love That Came Too Late
  12. We Watch and Wait