One of the most grown-up review sites around

Apollo's Fire

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano"
IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra

Sinfonie Concertanti for two flutes and orchestra

TUDOR RECORDS

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

NORTHERN FLOWERS

World Premiere
Weinberg’s Concertino (cello)!

AVIE

Irish-Appalachian Celebration

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review



an inspirational performance


An indispensable acquisition


The finest we have had in years


bewitching sound


Simply amazing


A splendid addition


One of the most enjoyable


quite superb!


utterly essential


A wonderful introduction


An outstanding CD


cheer-raising


One of the finest versions


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Francesco Paolo TOSTI (1846-1916)
1916: The Last Songs for Soprano and Piano
La Sera [10:10]
Consolazione [16:22]
Due piccoli notturni [4:57]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Piccolo valzer (1894) [3:49]
Riccardo PIACENTINI (b. 1958)
Aimez quand on vous aime! (2016) [9:58]
Duo Alterno ((Tiziana Scandaletti (soprano), Riccardo Piacentini (piano))
rec. 2017, Lazzarino Pianoforte Studios, Acqui Terme Studio in Sintesi, Torino,
Sung texts enclosed but no translations
URANIA RECORDS LDV14033 [57:01]

Tosti’s songs have long been favourites by singers as well as audiences, and in particular tenors – Italians as well as other nationalities – have with great pleasure taken them to their hearts. Recordings also exist with most of the big names from Caruso and onwards – and they continue to arrive. Lest than a year ago Brilliant Classics issued a 5-CD-box with 114 songs in chronological order (review), the first volume in what is to be a complete survey of Tosti’s songs, and keeping in mind that he wrote nearly 400, we can expect at least two more boxes. The project was initiated in 2014/2015 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death in 1916. What struck me, and probably many others, was that a considerable number of these supposedly ‘tenor’ songs was performed by female voices, and the issue now under consideration follows suit and presents an all-soprano recital.

Here we are at the other end of the chronology, concentrating on mainly songs from Tosti’s last years, with the main emphasis on two cycles from 1916, La sera (The Evening) and Consolazione (Consolation) – both settings of poems by Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863 – 1938). The titles of both cycles give a hint that the eternal sleep is approaching – an equivalent to Richard Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder, and most of the songs are permeated with afterglow, brevity, lapidarity. The piano introduction to Non pianger più, the first song of Consolazione, is hesitant, fragmentary – minimalistic in a way – and there is a restraint that is far removed from the Tosti we know. In the last two songs of La sera, both at least partly in ¾-time, we recognise melodic phrases that he might have penned in the 1880s as well, even more so in Resta in sogno!, a separate song from the same year.

In the appendix we find three further songs from a few years earlier, all three settings of D’Annunzio. Also here there is a nocturnal mood that glues them together with the rest. I only wish they had been better sung. Tiziana Scandaletti certainly has the feeling for the songs and the texts, but today the vocal resources are insufficient. The tone is frayed and acidulous and the vibrato disfigures so many of her insightfully moulded phrases. Listening through the deficiencies one realises that if recorded a few years earlier this could have been a valuable disc, considering the well-chosen programme and the comprehensive liner notes, though the English translation is sometimes rather quirky.

The appendix also contains two piano pieces. The first For Ever and For Ever, a charming little ditty by Tosti from 1879, and, for some reason a Piccolo valzer from 1894 by Puccini, which is nothing else but a blueprint for Musetta’s aria from the second act of La bohème. Under the heading “After a Century…” we find a composition by Riccardo Piacentini, the pianist of the disc, titled Aimez quand on vous aime!, which is a rare duet by Tosti. The composition, in two parts, is a “foto suoni”, the photo sounds (!) from Ortona, Tosti’s home town. The first part is “without piano” which means we hear real sounds, distant voices, some traffic noises for a little more than 4 minutes. The second part is the same sounds, but “with piano” – improvisations on the Tosti duet. This piece is moreover 1½ minutes longer than the first one. Seems utterly pointless.

Regrettably I wasn’t able to foster more enthusiasm for this issue; it feels like a golden opportunity sadly wasted.

Göran Forsling

Contents (Tosti)

La sera (Text by Gabriele D’Annunzio) (1916)
1. Introduzione [1:30]
2. I. Rimanete, vi prego, rimanete qui [0:33]
3. II. Ci ferirebbe forse, come un dardo la luce [1:41]
4. III. Ma chi vide più larghi profondi occhi [1:37]
5. IV. E quale cosa eguaglia nella vita del mio respiro [2:17]
6. V. Piangi, tu che hai nei grandi occhi la mia anima [2:37]

7. Resta nel sogno! (Text by Bruno Vignola) (1916) [2:33]
8. Anima mia (Text by Gabriele D’Annunzio) (1915) [1:06]
9. Parole del ricordo mio! (Text by Roberto Bracco) [1916) [2:11]

Consolazione (Text by Gabriele D’Annunzio) (1916)
10. I. Non pianger più [2:31]
11. II. Ancora qualche rosa è ne’ rosai ... [1:11]
12. III. Tanto accadrà, ben che non sia d’aprile ... [1:38]
13. IV. Perché ti neghi con lo sguardo stanco? [1:30]
14. V. Sogna, sogna, mia cara anima! [3:16]
15. VI. Settembre (di’: l’anima tua m’ascolta? ...) [2:13]
16. VII. Quanto ha dormito, il cembalo! [1:09]
17. VIII. Mentre che fra le tende scolorate... [2:56]

Appendix:
18. Ninna Nanna (Text by Gabriele D’Annunzio) (1912) [3:05]

Due piccoli notturni (Text by Gabriele D’Annunzio) (1911):
19. I. Van li effluvi de le rose [2:43]
20. II. O falce di luna calante [2:14]

21. For ever and for ever (1879) [2:43]




Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

Sample: See what you will get

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