Posted by: Abe's Blog | July 13, 2010

Torna a Surrento

Last week I recorded my studio’s first client. Mark Baratta, a local performer brought his custom guitar and resonant vocal style and we recorded a mix of originals and classics in a series of live takes. Mark is a man of many talents, a modern-day renaissance man, with a background in musical theatre, media production, and a deep interest in the local lore and history of our Umpqua Valley. Mark can be found regularly performing in venues throughout Douglas County, Oregon, including Sandy’s Place,  Delfino Vineyards, and many community events.

I had a great time recording Mr. Baratta and I am looking forward to working with more artists. I have included one of the songs recorded during the session. The song is Torna a Surriento:

Torna a Sorrento (or Surriento) is a very old song, written sometime between 1894 and 1905. It is believed the song may have been composed at the request of the mayor of Sorento, Italy, to celebrate the prime minister,  Giuseppe Zanardelli’s visit to the town. Versions of this tune have been performed by a wide variety of artists, including Pavaratti, Elvis Presley, and Meat Loaf. I have posted the lyrics translated into English here:

Look at the sea, how beautiful it is,

it inspires so many emotions,

like you do with the people you have at heart

you make them dream while they are still awake.
Look at this garden

and the scent of these oranges,

such a fine perfume

it goes straight into your heart.
And you say: “I am leaving, goodbye”

you go away from my heart

away from this land of love.

And you have the heart not to come back.
But do not go away,

do not give me this pain.

Come back to Surriento,

let me live!
Look at the sea of Surriento,

what a treasure it is!

Even who has travelled all over the world,

he has never seen a sea like this one.
Look at these mermaids,

that stare amazed at you, that love you so much.

They would like to kiss you.
And you say: “I am leaving, goodbye”,

you go away from my heart,

away from the land of love.

And you have the heart not to come back.
But please do not go away,

do not give me this pain.

Come back to Surriento,

let me live!



  1. mmmmmmmmmmmm……


    • 🙂 I think you will be a fan of Mark’s stuff. This song was my favorite, but we recorded 14 songs in this session.

  2. Yay, I’m finally at home when one of your audio posts pops up. Lucky me — it’s very nice. Classical guitar is my favorite when I’m reading, studying, or writing something other than blog posts.

    What an educational blog. I never would have known that Pavarotti, Elvis, and Meatloaf had a connection. Who knew?!

    And since this is the fourth reference to come my way about Italy’s wine country in the past week, I’m starting to get more serious about checking out the travel websites.

    Congrats on your first client recording!

    • I am glad you enjoyed this. I made a note to follow up on this song when I heard Mark perform it during the recording session. Very cool history. A trip through the Italian wine country sounds fabulous!

  3. You effectively captured Mark’s strong voice and intricate guitar work.

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