52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


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

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Schubert Symphony 9


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)





Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

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



Not currently available new.
Used CD: AmazonUK

Enrico TOSELLI (1883 - 1926)
Le romanze ritrovate
1. L’enfant [3:22]
2. Serenata (Rimpianto) [2:45]
3. La bella birichina [2:32]
4. Fuggente ebbrezza [2:37]
5. Viole bianche [1:28]
6. Cantate de Bettine [2:53]
7. Una barca vuota [2:33]
8. Mattinata [2:15]
9. Spera! [1:01]
10. Impressioni d’autunno [3:57]
11. Notte nostalgica (La seconda serenata) [1:51]
12. L’istante benedetto sia (from La principessa bizzarra) [1:52]
13. Il canto del dolore (from La principessa bizzarra) [3:08]
14. Lévres menteuses [1:52]
15. Fior d’amaranto [1:02]
16. Nell’aria della sera [1:07]
17. Dormi bimbo [2:52]
18. Voce d’amore [2:05]
19. La primavera dell’emigrato [2:36]
20. L’ultima serenata [3:56]
Daniela Dessi (soprano) (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19); Fabio Armiliato (tenor) (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20); Leonardo Previero (piano)
rec. Gustav Mahler Saal, Toblach/Dobbiaco, Italy, 4-6 September 2003
Sung texts enclosed
REAL SOUND RS 051-0105 [47:53]

Experience Classicsonline

When I grew up Toselli’s Serenata was regularly heard on the radio in various arrangements. It was so well known that it was mentioned in a pop song: ‘From the hotel is heard a trio in Toselli’s serenade’. And who was Toselli? Nobody knew and nobody asked. He was the man who wrote Toselli’s serenade - Period. And he shared this fate with some other one-piece composers: Boccherini’s minuet, Sinding’s Rustle of Spring, Mascagni’s intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana to mention just three. Today we know that these three were prolific … but Toselli?

A child prodigy, born in Florence, he made his debut as pianist at the age of ten. Between 1897 and 1907 he toured extensively, not only in Europe but also in Africa (Cairo and Alexandria) and in America, where he attended fifty music festivals. He even played with Pablo Casals in London and in the USA. He composed, mainly salon music, and his Serenata was published as his Op. 6 in 1900, when he was seventeen. The front page of the first edition is reprinted in the booklet. It was originally written for violin and pianoforte. In 1907 he suddenly married a thirteen years older former princess, who had escaped her husband. The cover photo shows them together in 1910, and at least Toselli looks happy. That happiness didn’t last very long. Unfortunately their liasion caused such a scandal that Enrico’s career was ruined. He died at the age of 43, totally forgotten - except for the little violin piece that could be heard everywhere, without anyone bothering about its originator.

Until now. When pianist and historian Leonardo Previero, with a special interest in what is generally known as the Belle Epoque - the decades around the turn of the last century - found these twenty songs and decided that they should be heard by today’s music-lovers. Here is also the little Serenata, which was once sung by Caruso and Gigli under the title Rimpianto. Many of these songs were composed after the marriage with the Princess Luisa of Hapsburg-Lorraine had crashed and Toselli found himself a second wife. There are even two songs from an opera, La principessa bizzarra (1913). Whether the title refers to the princess he had just separated from is beyond my knowledge.

Don’t expect to find on this disc sensational masterpieces. The history books will not have to be rewritten and Toselli will continue to be a name in the margin. But those who appreciate the songs of Tosti and his contemporaries - and I know they are many - should be happy to find melodious, well-crafted songs in the same mould. Many of them are likely to attract singers and, it is hoped, to be included in recital programmes, at least as encores. I will certainly return to some of them when I am in belle époque mood. Serenata is self-recommending but the opening number, L’enfant, a contemplative setting of a beautiful poem by Victor Hugo, is atmospheric. La bella birichina (tr. 3) has a certain likeness with Erik Satie’s cabaret songs. I also found Viole bianche much to my taste and, in a contrasting mood, darker and more dramatic, Cantate de Bettine.

The melancholy, autumnal Impressioni d’autunno (tr. 10) is arguably the finest track on the disc, in competition with L’ultima serenata (tr. 20). Others may find their own favourites.

The accompaniments are mostly just accompaniments and there are few traces of the composer’s background as an international piano virtuoso. In L’ultima serenata, however, there is both an instrumental introduction and an interlude. The playing of Leonardo Previero is tasteful and discreet.

The married couple Daniela Dessi and Fabio Armiliato have long been leading names on international opera stages but here they turn out to be just as attuned to the intimate scale of songs. Dessi’s voice is in prime condition, slightly hard at the top but employed with taste and feeling. There is always a risk that a large operatic voice insensitively used can kill songs of this kind but Ms Dessi’s singing is very often restrained and lyrical. She lets the music speak without superimposing too much ‘interpretation’ on them.

Fabio Armiliato is even better. His is one of the most glorious tenor voices now before the public with a heroic ring and brilliance up high that reminds me of Mario Del Monaco at his best - but without the excessive use of lung-power that his older compatriot too often utilized. But he also has a warmth and beauty in the middle register and a willingness to scale down to chamber size that makes him more or less ideal for this repertoire. His pianissimos are often ravishing and his phrasing stylish.

The recording is excellent and the booklet has useful information about the composer - the biographical details in this review are culled from these notes - artists’ bios and the sung texts, but no translations.

These century-old songs have aged in beauty and are well worth getting to know - especially when they are so sensitively sung.

Göran Forsling



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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.