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Un Sospiro – Italian Art Songs – July 7 juillet

Saturday, July 7, 2018 | 13:00 EDT

$10 – $70

Air conditioned! / Climatisé!

Download Program / Télécharger le programme


CD Launch / Lancement de CD

Un Sospiro – Italian Art Songs

Julie Nesrallah – mezzo-soprano

Caroline Léonardelli – harp / harpe


Un Sospiro – Italian Art Songs


In the vast sea of classical song collections artists have the challenge to create something that is fresh, and unique.  Typically art songs are available in a format of composer anthology and performed in the standard piano accompaniment.  For this recording the artists have assembled a set of repertoire that has a common thread of the Italian language and plays like a varied concert recital.  Eight different composers are featured with Verdi, Puccini, and Respighi writing their songs as a way to launch their operatic and symphonic careers while Tosti and Leoncavallo forged a career of song composition.  The songs range from the very well known to the obscure and the subject matter from love, romance, and joy, to betrayal, scorn, and death.  The majority of the program is from the late 19th and early 20th century with two early music songs at the end of the set.  The final twist is while all the songs were originally composed for piano they are presented here on the concert harp, with many in their premiere on the instrument.


Nos chères artistes ont décidé de concocter un repertoire unique parmis une multitude panoplie de choix d’arias.  Ces oeuvres sont typiquement accompagnées au piano mais pour cet album Caroline Léonardelli a elle-même arrangé la plupart des arias pour son instrument la harpe.  Ce nouvel album représente 8 compositeurs, certains faisant carrière dans des  maisons d’opera et orchestres (Verdi, Puccini, Respighi), les autres compositeurs étant respectés pour leurs airs (Tosti, Leoncavallo).

Ces airs sont soit extrêmement connus ou tristement souvent oubliés.  Pour cet album la majorité du programme represente la période romantique de la fin du 19 ème et 20ème siècle en Italie.  Cette époque était particulièrement foisonnante et riche.  Certaines pièces accompagnées par la harpe représentent une première car elles sont généralement écrites pour un autre instrument .



Vincenzo Bellini (1801 – 1835)

The Tre arietta were composed and published at different times, but were later published together as Tre ariette per camera, and then included as one in the 1935 collection. Il fervido desiderio and Vaga luna che inargenti were composed between 1827 and 1833, when Bellini had settled in Milan. They are both dedicated to women, Contessa Sofia Voina and Giulietta Pezzi, respectively. It is during this period in Milan that Bellini first achieved notoriety for his operas, and these two pieces exhibit the same gift for melody within a very simple harmonic vocabulary that propelled his operatic success. The middle piece, Dolente immagine di fille mia, was composed earlier, in 1821, while Bellini was a student at the Naples Conservatory.


Ces trois arias ont été composés à diverses périodes de la vie du compositeur,en particulier entre 1827 et 1833 ( Il fervido desidario et Vaga luna che inargenti) quand Bellini vivait à Milan.

Ces œuvres sont toutes dédiées à la gente féminine,la Contesse Sophia Voina et Giulietta Pezzi.

À cette même époque,Bellini commencait  à être reconnu pour ses opéras.  Dolente Immagine di fille mia a été composé en 1821,quand Bellini était étudiant au Conservatoire de Naples.



Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)

These two songs are taken from the cycle Sei Romanze, which came out in 1838, which constitutes Verdi’s first published works.  He was twenty-five years old.  In solitaria stanza is set to a poem by Jacopo Vittorelli.  Deh, pietoso, oh Addolorata is a setting of Gretchen’s prayer to the Virgin Mary from Goethe’s Faust, in an Italian translation by Luigi Balestra.


Ces deux pièces sont tirées du cycle 6 Romances 1838 ,œuvres de jeunesse.  Verdi avait  alors 24 ans .

In Solitaria Stanza est un poème de Jacaopo Vittorelli.  Deh, pietoso, oh Addolorata représente une prière dédiée à la Vierge Marie,ceci tiré de l’œuvre Faust de Goethe.  La traduction est de Luigi Balestra.



Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

Sole e amore (Mattinata) was published on December 15, 1888 with dedication to Paolo Tosti.  This charming little song, whose title translates as “Sun and love” is more familiar to Puccini listeners as the melodic theme of the quartet in the third act of Boheme, as the two pairs of lovers separate. However, the mood of this song is quite different.  It’s a morning greeting song by a lover, in which the singer tells the beloved that both the sun and love are calling to her to awaken and think of the lover. The sentimentality of the text, probably written by Puccini himself is a perfect complement to the melody, which is light but tender.


E l’uccellino(Ninna-Nanna) is a tender little lullaby, dedicated to the infant son of a close friend. Like most of the salon music of the time, it is sentimental, but Puccini’s simple, delicate writing for the vocal and instrumental parts keep it from being mawkish. The image of the little bird (l’uccellino) appears not only in the text, but also in the music, which depicts a bird singing, and hopping along the branches.  Each verse starts with a description of a little bird singing, then tells the baby to sleep, and the song ends with the lines “You will learn so many lovely things, but if you want to know how much I love you, nobody in the world will ever be able to say!” The text is by Renato Fucini, an engineer, teacher, and poet.


Sole e amore (Mattinata) a été publiée le 15 décembre 1888 et dédiée à Paolo Tosti.  Cette chanson charmante représente l’amour et le soleil.  Elle est familière aux érudits de Puccini car en fait elle est le thème mélodique du quatuor vocal du troisième acte de la Bohème , chanté quand les deux couples se séparent.  Dans cette version , la situation est totalement inversée.  Nous sommes le matin, et nos amoureux se disent que l’amour et le soleil les attendent.  Le texte sentimental a probablement été écrit par Puccini lui-même.  La melodie est tendre et légère.


E l’uccellino (Ninna-Nanna) est une berceuse tendre dédiée au fils d’un ami.  Cette pièce,typique de musique de Salon est simple,délicate.  L’image de l’oiseau apparaît non seulement dans le texte mais dans la musique,décrivant ce petit animal sautant de branches en branches.  Le texte a été écrit par Renato Fucini ,poète de l’époque.


Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919)

Although he produced numerous operas and other songs throughout his career it is his opera Pagliacci (1892) that remained his lasting contribution.  Mattinata is a famous romance song written in 1904 expressly for the Gramophone Company. The first performer was Enrico Caruso, which was recorded on April 8th 1904, with Leoncavallo on the piano.  The two other songs featured are lesser-known gems.


Compositeur extrêmement prolifique ,on se souvient de lui grâce à son opéra Pagliacci écrit en 1892.

Mattinata est une romance écrite en 1904 pour  La Compagnie Gramophone.

Le premier enregistrement est avec Enrico Caruso et Leoncavallo au piano.

Les deux autres pièces sont moins connues.


Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)

The song cycle Cinque canti all’antica and the song Nebbie were very early Respighi compositions (1906).  In 1900, Respighi accepted the role of principal violist in the orchestra of the Russian Imperial Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia during its season of Italian opera.  During this time he found great influence as an operatic composer, and it was there that he met Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, whose orchestrations he greatly admired.  Respighi studied orchestration with Rimsky-Korsakov for five months. These songs would have been inspired during this period.  Later Respighi returned to Bologna to continue his studies in composition, which earned him a second diploma and his emergence as a symphonic composer.


Les Cinq arias et Nebbie sont des oeuvres de jeunesse de Respighi (1906).  En 1900, Respighi accepte le rôle d’alto principal de l’orchestre du Théâtre Impérial de Saint Petersbourg en Russie.  Il s’imprègnera de l’influence des compositeurs d’opéra tel que Nilolai Rimsky-Korsakov qu’il admire.

Il étudiera avec lui pendant cinq mois ,ceci afin de se parfaire en écriture orchestrale.  Ces chansons ont étés inspirées de cette période de sa vie.  Plus tard, Respighi retournera à Bologne pour continuer ses études musicales entre autre la composition.


Paolo Tosti (1846-1916)

Tosti is remembered for his light, expressive songs, which are characterized by natural, singable melodies and sweet sentimentality.  His style became very popular during the Belle Époque and is often known as salon music.  Born and educated in Italy Paolo moved to London in 1875 and by 1885 became the most popular composer of songs in England.
Donna vorrei morir was first publsihed in 1879 as part of Pagine d’album a cycle of five songs.

Lasciami! Lascia Ch’io Respiri is set to a poem by Gabriele d’Annunzio (1863-1938) this song is part of the cycle Quattro canzoni d’Amaranta, which was first published in 1907.


Tosti est réputé pour ses arias , légers et expressifs.  Son style est devenu extrêmement populaire pendant la Belle Époque et la musique de Salons.  Né et éduqué en Italie, Paolo déménage à Londres en 1875.  Dix ans  après en 1885, il est considéré comme le compositeur le plus prolifique en matière d’arias.  Donna Vorrei Morir est publié en 1879.  Lasciami,tiré du poème de Gabriele d’Annunzio fait partie du cycle, Quattro canzoni d’Amaranta, publié en 1907.


Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643)

Was an Italian composer, violin player and singer. His work marks the transition from Renaissance to Baroque music.  Lasciatemi morire is the only surviving music from Monteverdi’s lost opera, L’Arianna, composed and produced in Mantua in 1608.


Violoniste, chanteur et compositeur.  Son oeuvre marque la transition entre la Renaissance et la musique Baroque.  Cet aria est le seul survivant de l’opéra Arianna composé et produit à Mantoue en 1608.


Geminiano Giacomelli (1692-1740)

“Sposa son disprezzata” (“I am wife and I am scorned”) is an Italian aria written by Geminiano Giacomelli. It is used in Vivaldi’s pasticcio, Bajazet.  The music for this aria was not composed by Vivaldi but is sometimes attributed to him. The aria, originally called Sposa, non mi conosci, was taken from the Geminiano Giacomelli’s opera La Merope (1734). It was a common practice during Vivaldi’s time to compile arias from other composers with one own’s work for an opera.

Sposa Son Disprezzata est un aria souvent attribué à Vivaldi.  Il a été écrit par Giacomelli et fait partie de l’opéra La Morope (1734).  À cette époque il était normal de compiler différents arias de différents compositeurs et de former un opéra, pratiques plus que douteuses.


Saturday, July 7, 2018
$10 – $70


Music and Beyond


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