WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Italian Songs And Ballads / Stefano Secco, David Abromovitz


Release Date: 01/25/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572471  
Composer:  Francesco Paolo TostiPietro MascagniStefano Donaudy
Performer:  Stefano SeccoDavid Abramowitz
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 48 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



TOSTI Malia. ’A vucchella. L’ultima canzone. Aprile. Non t’amo più. Luna d’estate. La serenata. Ideale. Marchiare. Sogno. L’alba separa dalla luce l’ombra. Partie c’est mourir. MASCAGNI Serenata: Come col capo sotto l’alta bianca. DONAUDY O del mio amato ben Stefano Secco (tn); David Abramovitz (pn) NAXOS 8572471 (47:47)


Return with us now Read more to those glorious days of yesteryear, when Italian tenors (especially but not exclusively) regaled their concert audiences not with Respighi, Berio, or whatever Italian composer du jour was in vogue that season, but with the well-loved and time-tested songs of Francesco Paolo Tosti, Queen Victoria’s favorite song composer and a man whom at least one Internet blogger has claimed was a greater song composer than Schubert. (Don’t look at me.) Greater than Schubert he may not have been, but there is no question that Tosti, with his superb if more limited melodic gift, captured to a high degree the poetic inflections of the lyrics he set, which makes it more the pity that Naxos has once again thrown the texts online where the home listener cannot access them while listening (unless you are one of those nuts who has the Internet up while you listen to CDs … I certainly don’t).


Fortunately, Stefano Secco has a nice tenor voice, light in weight with a bright timbre, good breath support, open high notes, and a good sense of style. Yes, I miss the more honeyed tone that Caruso and di Stefano brought to some of these songs, but you can’t have everything. He’s particularly good in one of my absolute favorite Tosti songs, ’A vucchella , which requires the utmost in legato and voice control. There’s a slight touch of Pavarotti in his tone—not a bad thing. Fans of the Caruso and Björling versions may miss the midrange power they produced in L’alba separa dalla luce l’ombra , but Secco has his own way with the song and, within the limits he sets for himself, it works.


Some listeners, used to the orchestral accompaniments that Caruso, Gigli, and di Stefano received in these songs, may be disappointed by a piano-only accompaniment. I am not. David Abramovitz is not severely challenged in these readings—indeed, the simplicity of the piano accompaniment is one major difference between Tosti and Schubert—but he certainly plays well so far as it goes. Collectors of historical recordings, of course, have multiple versions of most of these pieces, but it’s a pleasure to have the very best of Tosti, along with two choice samples of Mascagni and Donaudy, in one album. Just one caveat: How can you do an album of Tosti and leave his biggest hit song, Addio , off? That song was so incredibly popular, even among nonclassical listeners, that around 1918 the famous comedian Bert Williams wrote his own sequel: I Wonder Where Tosti Went When He Said Goodbye?


If you aren’t prejudiced against “the Italian Reynaldo Hahn,” whose songs languished in obscurity for decades before their more recent revival by Susan Graham, you’ll find yourself enjoying the Mediterranean flavor and accent of Tosti’s music, especially in these beautifully and sensitively sung interpretations.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Romanze (3): no 2, Malia by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; London, England 
2.
Canzoni napoletane (3): no 1, 'A vucchella by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Italy 
3.
Canzoni-stornelli (3): no 2, L'ultima canzone by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Italy 
4.
Romanze (3): no 3, Aprile by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; London, England 
5.
Romanze (2): no 2, Non t'amo più! by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Italy 
6.
Canzoni-stornelli (3): no 3, Luna d'estate by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Italy 
7.
La serenata by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; London, England 
8.
Romanze (2): no 1, Ideale by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1882 
9.
Serenata by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Italy 
10.
Canzoni napoletane (3): no 3, Marechiare by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Italy 
11.
Sogno by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; England 
12.
L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907 
13.
Chanson de l'adieu by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898 
14.
O del mio amato ben by Stefano Donaudy
Performer:  Stefano Secco (Tenor), David Abramowitz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 

Sound Samples

Malia (version for voice and piano): Malia
A vucchella, "Arietta di Posillipo" (version for voice and piano): A vucchella, "Arietta di Posillipo"
L'ultima canzone (version for voice and piano): L'ultima canzone
Aprile (version for voice and piano): Aprile
Non t'amo piu (version for voice and piano): Non t'amo piu
Luna d'estate (version for voice and piano): Luna d'estate
La serenata (version for voice and piano): La serenata
Ideale (version for voice and piano): Ideale
Serenata (version for voice and piano): Serenata
Marechiare (version for voice and piano): Marechiare
Sogno (version for voice and piano): Sogno
L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra (version for voice and piano): L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra
Partir c'est mourir un peu
O del mio amato ben (version for voice and piano): O del mio amato ben

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In