One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews

Love-violin-NI6428
Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Francesco Paolo TOSTI (1846-1916)
Romanze Popular Love Songs by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Aprile [3:12]; Ideale [3:16]; Mali [2:26]; Rve [3:08] ; That day! [3:57]; Infidlit [2:37]; Non t'amo pi! [4:52]; La Serenata [3:11]; Chanson de l'Adieu [2:35]; L'ultimo bacio [2:04]; I dare to love thee (1892) [2:25]; Mattinata [2:50]; Si tu le voulais [1:54]; T'affretta [3:04]; Luna d'estate [1:57]; Goodbye! (1880) [4:31]; Vorrei morire [4:17]; Pour un baiser [1:46]; Segreto [4:50]; Ninna nanna [3:47]; L'alba sepra dalla luce l'ombra [2:19]; A vucchella (1907) [2:41]
Yves Saelens (tenor); Inge Spinette (piano)
No recording details
EUFODA 1365 [67:41]



Single discs devoted to Tosti are rare. More common by far is the popular album or recital with a selection or maybe just the one song. So this collection of twenty-two songs is a brave undertaking, given that not all Tostis effusions have survived the decades with their cachet intact.
 
Eminent singers still dust off the crowd pleasers of course the Three Tenors have had their say but in past days the list of singers who essayed these songs on disc would last the length of this review. Gigli of course recorded a number, Schipa fewer. Caruso had set the Gold Standard early on when it came to Ideale and Goodbye! Melba had even descended in her lofty chariot to give us Mattinata and Goodbye! the latter also recorded, incongruously one would think, by Eva Turner. But enough of nostalgia you wont want to know that the following also left behind precious examples of their individual ways with Tosti songs; Bjrling, Ponselle, Gobbi, Tauber, Schmidt, Piccaver, Edith Mason, Battistini, Tetrazzini, Eames, Lauri-Volpi, de Luca, Maurel, Anselmi, Smirnov, Galli-Curci, Patti, Destinn, Supervia, Pinza, Corelli, di Stefano, Lanzaits quite a list and weve barely made it to the LP age.
 
So Yves Saelens has his work cut out, when shellac-hoarding critics prove eager to judge him against the great ghosts of the repertoire. So lets first note that he is a sensitive singer, warm of voice and with an attractive timbre. His approach to the songs can be highly persuasive and he generally makes good tempo choices. The partnership with Inge Spinette is good; many old-timers on disc eschewed piano accompaniment for small orchestral forces. And as he has to sing in several languages its good that hes clearly adept linguistically; his English for example is fine with pretty reasonable diction as well.
 
I suppose whats sometimes missing concerns matters both idiomatic and technical. He seems emotionally rather recessive for much of the time somewhat in the manner of contemporary English singers tackling Elgars songs - and lacking the spirit of emotional generosity and expressive nuance that can make these songs live. Theres also a technical point; he sometimes seems uncomfortable in the more strenuous moments and climaxes; the voice sounds forced and the vibrato widens.
 
A few examples will suffice. Ideale is a marvellous song and Saelens sings it at precisely the right tempo. But he tends to over-colour the line and to fuss with articulation; Bjrling and Schipa sing it with honeyed legato and unforced power. Goodbye! is taken rather slowly and can sound inert. He struggles in the climax and the piano part isnt as triumphantly ringing as it might be. Gigli shows the way here for all his terrible English. So too in Segreto where the half-catch in Giglis voice is one of the myriad of expressive touches that brings the song passionately to life. The same comments apply to La Serenata where one does rather miss the portamenti and inimitable touches of older generations. Saelens just seems very straight and matter-of-fact when judged by the highest standards.
 
Still the selection is astutely chosen to show some of the breadth that exists in the songs. And its in that respect valuable for presenting songs one may not have much encountered such as L'alba sepra dalla luce l'ombra and the gauzy Franco-salon charms of Si tu le voulais.
 
The recording slightly blunts immediacy. The song texts are all here, in the original language. One for the song enthusiast then, but one whos also arrayed with a smattering of classic Tosti performances on 78.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 



 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 

 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.