Enrico Toselli's Serenata "Rimpianto" (Regret), from 1900, is the only work he is remembered for, despite his having written many other songs, as well as tone poems and operettas. It is also one of his earliest works, composed when he was only seventeen, hardly an age when anyone would expect to have suffered a lost love so deeply. However, given Toselli's later shocking love life, it isn't unimaginable. Toselli was a concert pianist who became even better known for his marriage to, and divorce from, Archduchess Luise Antoinette Marie of Tuscany, the former crown princess of Saxony. Less than a year after the divorce, in 1912, he published a tell-all book about the four-year marriage.
Serenata's words are by Alfredo Silvestri. English lyrics were written in the mid-1950s by Carl Sigman for Perry Como. The song is one of those typical turn-of-the-century pieces, very sentimental and light on musical complexity, that would sound emotionally impressive when performed by concert artists, but would also be easily performed at home by amateurs. The difficulty is restraining the emotion in the piece, not letting it get too schmaltzy. The melody of the ABA-structure song is carried over a gentle, almost swaying, accompaniment. The picture that comes to mind is of an Italian singer, accompanying himself on the guitar, telling the story of lost love to his friends, as they meet informally on an evening.
The song was so popular, Toselli himself made an arrangement for violin and piano. Arrangements for almost every other instrument and ensemble have been made over the years as well.
(Music : Enrico Toselli)
Mario Lanza & Mary Schneider
Like a golden dream, in my heart e'er smiling.
Lives a vision fair of happy love I knew in days gone by.
Still I seem to hear, your laughter beguiling.
Still to see the joy, the love light beaming from your radiant eyes.
Will my dreaming be in vain?
Will my love ne'er come again?
Oh, come, shall we waste the golden hours of youth far apart?
What care I for live, without you by my side?
Do not delay, the hours slip away.
Your arms are my paradise.
You and only you can fill my heart.
Oh, star of my heaven,
Come back and shed your light upon my way.
Come back! Come back!