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Torna a Surriento

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Wikipedia article

'"Torna a Surriento"' is a Neapolitan song composed in 1894 by Italian musician Ernesto De Curtis to words by his brother, the poet and painter Giambattista De Curtis. The song was copyrighted officially in 1905, and has become one of the most popular of this traditional genre; others include "'O sole mio", "Funicul funicul", and "Santa Lucia".


Tradition holds that the origin of the song dates to 1902, when Guglielmo Tramontano, mayor of Sorrento, asked his friend Giambattista De Curtis to write the song for the Prime Minister Giuseppe Zanardelli, then vacationing at his seaside hotel, the Imperial Hotel Tramontano; it was claimed that the piece was meant to celebrate Zanardelli's stay.

Some claim the song is a plea to Zanardelli to keep his promise to help the impoverished city of Sorrento, which was especially in need of a sewage system. The song reflects the beauty of the city's great surroundings and the love and passion of its citizens.

More recent research indicates that the song may merely have been reworked for the occasion; family papers indicate that the brothers deposited a copy with the Italian Society of Authors and Editors in 1894, eight years before they claimed to have written it.

Neapolitan lyrics ("Torna a Surriento")

English translation ("Come Back to Sorrento")

Other recordings

"Torna a Surriento" has been sung by performers as diverse as:

*Zhanna Aguzarova

*Frank Sinatra

*Ahmad Zahir

*Beniamino Gigli

*Dean Martin

*Jerry Vale

*Anna German

*Connie Francis

*Enrico Caruso

*Jos Carreras

*Plcido Domingo

*Luciano Pavarotti

*Ruggero Raimondi

*Meat Loaf

*Mario Lanza

*Franco Corelli

*Nino Martini[https://archive.org/details/78_torna-a-sorriento-come-back-to-sorrento_nino-martini-de-curtis-alfredo-antonini_gbia0044988b/Torna+a+Sorriento+(Come+Back+to+Sorrento)+-+Nino+Martini.flac 'Torna a Surriento' as sung by Nino Martini with conductor Alfredo Antonini on archive.org]

*Robertino Loreti

*Giuseppe Di Stefano

*Muslim Magomayev

*Francesco Albanese

*Jerry Adriani

*Roberto Carlos

*Alfie Boe

*Anna Calvi

*Karel Gott

*Il Volo

*Anatoliy Solovianenko,

*Robertino Loreti

*Katherine Jenkins and Norton Buffalo with George Kahumoku Jr.

*Sergio Franchi covered the song for his 1962 RCA Victor Red Seal debut album ('Romantic Italian Songs'), which peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Top 200.http://www.discogs.com Sergio Franchi

*A comedic version by Billy Connolly entitled, "Saltcoats at the Fair".

*Claude Aveling wrote the English-language lyrics, which are titled "'Come Back to Sorrento'". Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman re-arranged it and wrote a new set of lyrics for Elvis Presley ("Surrender").

*Roberto Alagna

*Elna Garana

Popular culture

*In the television show 'The Honeymooners', Ralph Kramden identifies the song in preparing for his appearance on a quiz show called "The $99,000 Answer". He mistakenly identifies it as "Take Me Back to Sorrento" and says it was written by "Ernesto Dequista", which his friend Ed Norton says is "absolutely correct".

See also

*Bing Crosby recorded a version titled "The Story of Sorrento" on December 11, 1947, with Victor Young and His Orchestra.

*"Surrender" is an English version recorded by Elvis Presley.

*"Take Me In Your Arms" is an English version recorded by Dean Martin and included in his album 'Dino: Italian Love Songs' (1962).


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