About this work
Tosti was a noted song-writer of the late Romantic period, and mostly wrote salon-type songs. He specialized in light, rather sentimental music, often using elements of folk songs such as traditional song patterns or the occasional use of dialect. They are rarely technically
demanding, but require strong stylistic skills. While his best known songs are to Italian texts, he also wrote songs in English and French.
This song, "The Serenade, " uses a sweeping accompaniment, and a quick, light tempo to establish the mood of a singer under his beloved's window. The accompaniment sometimes imitates the strumming or plucking of a guitar or mandolin, further setting the atmosphere. And while the lover sings of how the beloved refuses to give a home to his kisses, the reproach is definitely a playful one. The verses each start and end with the lines, "Vola, o serenata, " (fly, serenade), and in each, the singer imagines his lover lying half-asleep in bed, and then depicts the tranquil, beautiful night. "The waves dream on the shore, and the wind in the branches."