Songs of Paolo Tosti
Paolo Tosti (1846-1916)
Francisco Corujo, tenor. Ángel Cabrera, piano.
Musicstry Studios: TRT® sound (calibration 2.0f). Recorded: April 27 and May 4 2014. Released: January 23 2020. Photo: Fran García. Liner notes: José Luis García del Busto. Producer: Mario Martínez. PC13005 ℗ & © 2020 PlayClassics.
Paolo Tosti (1846-1916)
Born in Ortona (Italy) in 1846, Francesco Paolo Tosti studied music in his hometown and at Naples Conservatory, where he was a disciple of the renowned Saverio Mercadante. Success smiled upon him when he became known in Rome as a singer and songwriter: the Princess (later Queen Consort) Margherita Teresa of Savoy, who wished to have Tosti as her singing teacher, soon became one of his admirers. He received great praise for teaching this music specialty while his songs quickly achieved growing and sustained success. Settled in London where he obtained the British nationality, Tosti was singing teacher to Queen Victoria and Edward VII, and was raised to the nobility in 1908 by the latter. Upon the King’s death in 1910, Francesco Paolo Tosti returned to Italy and died in Rome during the First World War in 1916.
Generationally Tosti can be found between Amilcare Ponchielli and Giacomo Puchini, which means he experienced Italian romanticism at its peak, which was musically dominated by opera, a music genre ruled by Verdi. But neither his singing role nor his capacity for melodic creativity or his inclination to write songs where the voice would be revealed in all its splendour made Tosti show interest in opera. His talent was indeed not theatrical but strictly lyrical. He never addressed grand genres, his world revolved around singing, a product he deemed as condensed, wellrounded, selfsufficient and highly communicative. He didn’t need anything else.
Undoubtedly Tosti chose the right path. His songs immediately found success and were therefore requested by performers and editors. Almost all tenors (and we should suppress the “almost” when referring to Italy and Spain) have willingly performed Tosti’s songs, taking advantage of their melodic inspiration, their warm expressivity and of course the possibilities they offered to singers to show off their raw material as well as their vocal technique. Out of interest, it is worth noting that among the Tosti performers of the 1900s was Alessandro Moreschi, who was wellknown not as much for his exquisite musical talent as for the fact that he was the last castrato.
And as demonstrated by this CD, Tosti remains a litmus test and a hallmark even well into the 21st century.
José Luis García del Busto
Born in Lanzarote, Francisco Corujo is one of the most promising young Spanish tenors, with awards in competitions such as Francisco Viñas or Iris Adami Corradetti. He received his training in Spain and Italy, with Mary Oran in Canarias, Manuel Cid and Tom Krause in the Reina Sofia School of Music, and Carlo Bergonzi in the Accademia Verdiana in Busseto. His repertoire includes operas such as Traviata, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Cosi fan tutte or Romeo and Juliet. He is also an accomplished performer of oratorio and symphonic with Mozart's Requiem, Puccini's Glory Mass or Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. He has worked with conductors such as Plácido Domingo, Jesús López Cobos, Phillipe Entremont, Joseph Pons, Giancarlo Del Monaco, Emilio Sagi, Liu Já, Nicola Luisotti, Luc Bondi, Eric Hull, Michael Zilm, Robert Carsen, Vassili Petrenko and Mario Pontiggia.
He made his debut in 2006, with Die Fledermaus by Strauss for the Amigos Canarios de la Ópera in Las Palmas, Mozart's Idomeneo in the Teatro Real in Madrid, and as Macduff in Verdi's opera Macbeth in La Coruña. Thereafter Francisco debuted in the major concert halls and theaters in Spain and Italy such as Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, Fenice in Venice, Verdi in Salerno, Arena in Verona, etc...