Stefano Donaudy: Come l’alodoletta (Like the little skylark)

19 11 2009
A skylark

by aaardvaark, under Creative Commons

“Peace and happiness flee a gentle heart in which love rules alone”


Stefano Donaudy’s music is timeless. Though written in the style of the 17th and 18th centuries, Donaudy himself lived early in the 20th century, and is known almost exclusively for his Arie di stile antico, the most commonly performed being Vaghissima sembianza (made popular by Enrico Caruso’s early recording), Sento nel core, O del mio amato ben, and Spirate pur spirate. They remain favorites of singers and teachers alike for their heartfelt texts (written by Donaudy’s brother, Alfredo) their simple yet effective accompaniments, and their exquisite sense of line.

Roberto Guarino recorded all 36 of the songs, which remains the gold standard reference recording. Though the University of Rochester only has the first 24 songs available online, there are volumes of all 36 songs commonly available for purchase in both high and low keys. Every singer should have these songs in his or her possession for their simplicity and beauty, as demonstrated in this song about the skylark.

Sebastián Yradier: La Paloma (The Dove)

7 03 2009
Si a tu ventana llega una Paloma, Tratala con cariño que es mi persona.

Si a tu ventana llega una Paloma, Tratala con cariño que es mi persona.

This beautiful tango tells of a man who dreams of running away with a pretty girl, and tells her whenever a dove sings on her window, it is his love song.

This song has been immensely popular – perhaps because it just sounds so characteristically Spanish – and has been performed by classical and popular singers alike from Maria Callas, Placido Domingo,and Beniamino Gigli to Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Chubby Checker, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Julio Iglesias, and Joan Baez.