Arturo Buzzi-Peccia

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Arturo Buzzi-Peccia (13 October 1854? – 29 August 1943) was an Italian singing instructor and song composer whose career is very poorly documented.

He was born in Milan, Italy and died in the U.S. His year of birth is sometimes given as 1856. He studied with Massenet and Saint-Saëns in Paris. Most of his songs were written in Italian. His most famous novelty song, La Cigarette du Paradis (Song of the Cigarette), was written in French. However, he was apparently quite a linguist, since he wrote tunes for some English songs. One of his most famous works is Lolita (Serenata Espagnol for voice and orchestra). In the 1933 film My Song Goes round the World, Joseph Schmidt sang "Mal d'amore". His opera Forza d'amore was conducted by Arturo Toscanini in 1897.

He came to the United States in 1898. By 1906, Buzzi-Peccia was living in New York. He came across a singer called Reba Feinsohn and was so impressed by Reba's singing that he offered to give her free lessons. She eventually became famous under the name Alma Gluck (1882–1938) and as the wife of violinist Efrem Zimbalist, mother of the actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and grandmother of actress Stephanie Zimbalist.

Other pupils of Buzzi-Peccia included the poet Dorothy Caruso, wife of Enrico Caruso (he set some of her verses to music, and Enrico sang them), and Sophie Breslau.

Given his obscurity, Buzzi-Peccia's songs were widely recorded by such artists as Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Carlo Bergonzi, Mario Lanza, Luciano Pavarotti, Giuseppe Di Stefano, and Roberto Alagna.

A selection of his songs and piano works[edit]

  • Fair Dreams. Song. (Les beaux reÌves. Axel, English version by P. C. Warren.)
  • Ave Maria. Sacred Song
  • Baciami. Song
  • Black Magic. Song, poem by C. D. Isaacson
  • Brezza marina. Barcarolla per pianoforte
  • Capriccioso in re per pianoforte
  • Mariolina: a love call (c 1934)
  • Torna amore
  • Mal d'amore
  • Colombetta: Serenata veneziana
  • La Cigarette du Paradis. Song of the Cigarette, English version by R. Lorfin.
  • Colombetta. Columbine. Serenade Veneziana
  • Come buy. (Words from Shakespeare's "Winter's Tale.")
  • The Conscientious Deacon. (Words by V. Lindsay)
  • The Conscientious Deacon. For Three-part Chorus of Men's Voices, etc.
  • Two Encore Songs [No. 1.] My mother bids me spend my smiles. (T. Hood.)
    [No. 2.] Venus' runaway. (B. Jonson.)
  • Eternal Light! Lux eterna. Song
  • Lolita. Arranged for Male Voices by M. Andrews, etc.
  • A Fly Song. Tragicomical encore ditty, etc. (Words by J. D. Wells.)
  • Four French Songs (1915)
  • Galanteries. Causeries pour piano
  • Gloria. Duet for soprano and alto. (Words by M. C. Schuyler.)
  • Glory to Love. - Inno all' amore. - (Song.) (1904)
  • Going to War. (Song.)
  • Good Night my Love. (Song.) Words and music by A. Buzzi-Peccia