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Colonial-era Brazilian music: a review essay of recent recordings.


What does the late 1960s Brazilian popular music movement Tropicalia have in common with the late 1700s Sao Paulo mestre de capela Andre da Silva Gomes (1752-1844)? They both had a collaborator--in a manner of speaking--in the composer and arranger Rogerio Duprat. When the Silva Gomes manuscripts were discovered in 1960, Duprat devoted himself to their transcription and edition. This was a couple of years before he would spearhead the avant-garde musica nova movement, and it was seven years before his involvement with Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Tom Ze, and the rock band Mutantes as the musical arranger for the seminal album Tropicalia, ou panis et circensis (Polydor LPNG 44.018 [1967]; reissued on compact disc as Polygram 119 271 [1997]). Having known of Duprat for his avant-garde work and his distinctive arrangements for rock and popular musicians, I was at first surprised to see his name associated with eighteenth century sacred music. I should not have been: Duprat is referred to as "the George Martin of Brazil," in part for his pioneering work with the Tropicalist musicians, but also for his familiarity with Western classical traditions. His brother, Regis Duprat, is a musicologist and performer of colonial music. Indeed, the lasting influence of Tropicalia owes to its original mixture of erudite and popular culture. (1) The Sao Paulo based classical music label Paulus has released two recordings of music by Silva Gomes, as well as other recordings of sacred music from roughly the same period. These CDs are among several I will review in this essay on recordings of music from colonial-era Brazil released since 1995. My intention here is not primarily to evaluate the quality of these recordings, although I will do so to some extent, but rather to draw attention to their existence and to elaborate in broad terms the current status of recorded performances of music from Brazil's colonial period. Among the ensembles whose recordings will be described in this essay are: the Brasilessentia Vocal Group and Orchestra, Collegium Musicium de Minas, Camerata Novo Horizonte de Sao Paulo, Ensemble Turicum, Quadro Cervantes, Vox Brasiliensis, and a group called XVIII-21 Musiques des Lumieres. All of these CDs were released on small labels or, in some cases, by the artists themselves, and thus are difficult to acquire in the United States.


Brazil's colonial period is generally said to have begun when Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral landed on the shores of Bahia in 1500, and to have ended in 1822 after King Joao VI--who brought his entire court to Rio de Janeiro in 1808--returned to Lisbon, leaving his son Prince Pedro in charge of the colony. The Portuguese royal court had fled Napoleon's armies in 1807 in more than 70 ships escorted by the British Navy. In exchange, Britain secured favorable trading rights with Brazil, which gave it considerable control over the country's economy for about 100 years. Nevertheless, the presence of King Joao and his court invigorated public life in Rio de Janeiro. The residency of this monarch in his colony is unique in the history of European colonialism. The city suddenly became more cosmopolitan. Among the important items that accompanied the court's transfer to Rio was Dom Joao's library of some 60,000 volumes, which were made available to the public in Brazil. In 1811, Portugal's most renowned composer, Marcos Portugal, also came to Rio, displacing the exceptionally gifted but less famous priest Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia, known in Brazil as Jose Mauricio, from the position of mestre de capela of the Royal Chapel. Shortly after his father's departure for Lisbon in 1822, Prince Pedro read the writing on the wall and declared the country's independence. He created the Empire of Brazil and named himself emperor. The empire remained under the control of descendents of the Portuguese royalty until 1889 when the army overthrew Emperor Pedro II and formed a Republic. Hence, Portuguese metropolitan culture--and European culture more generally--remained dominant in the former colony for several years after formal independence from Portugal.

Almost no written music remains from the period before the mid-1700s, with the exception of a few pieces from the second quarter of the eighteenth century (the Mogi das Cruzes folios, for example, discussed below). The majority of existing manuscripts date from 1770 onward. During this period, art music composition was overwhelmingly centered on religious music. Hence, when we speak of written music from Brazil's colonial era we refer primarily to what is known from manuscripts and other sources of a relatively limited period of time beginning with the second quarter of the eighteenth century and ending in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Since Portugal did not allow any publishing in the colony, all such sources are hand copied and many scores have had to be reconstructed from various incomplete parts.

Many colonial manuscripts were destroyed, although it is likely that there are still historically important works to be discovered in Brazil. Uruguayan musicologist Fransisco Curt Lange (1903-1997), the pioneer of the study of Brazilian colonial music in the state of Minas Gerais, peppered his articles on the topic with prickly stories of neglected, destroyed, or narrowly salvaged manuscripts: "A lot of music was sold by the pound for packing meat and various articles in shops," he wrote. "I learned of 27 archives burned in the street ... because they 'were inconvenient.' Many scores were sacrificed for making fireworks rockets, preferred for their high resistance to the gunpowder." (2) Lange provided a monumental impetus for the development of a serious historical musicology of Brazilian colonial music and, indeed, for the development of the discipline of musicology in general in Brazil. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, there was a significant intensification in the study of Brazilian art music from the later colonial period and from the beginning of the Imperial era (1822-1889).

New research, performances, and recordings were also spurred by the cultural celebrations surrounding the commemoration of 500 years since Pedro Alvares Cabral's landing on the littoral of what would become Brazil. Many local and state government institutions and national businesses such as the Itau Bank and oil giant Petrobras began to sponsor musicological endeavors. (3) Attractive editions of works were published by scholars such as Paulo Castagna, Regis Duprat and others; (4) the biographies of the composers and musicians active in the colonial period were augmented; the number of public performances of such repertoire expanded considerably, with increased overseas exposure; and new recordings were released of the works of important composers such as the above-mentioned Andre da Silva Gomes and Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia (1767-1830), Luis Alvares Pinto (1719-1789), Jose Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita (1746-1805), Manoel Dias de Oliveira (1738-1813), and Marcos Coelho Neto (ca. 1750-1823). The quality of such recordings varies; some present rather lifeless interpretations and poor audio quality, while others feature spirited performances with period instruments.

Carlos Alberto Figueiredo accurately outlines several challenges that remain for historical musicology of Brazilian sources: (1) a clearer understanding of what stylistic elements characterized the music of this period in Brazil; (2) the publication of critical editions rather than mere transcriptions intended primarily for performance; (3) greater ease of access to the archives that hold original manuscripts; (4) a deeper understanding of the performance conventions of the period, especially through the study of Brazilian treatises, however few have survived; and, of course, (5) greater funding--whether private or public--to help realize these challenges. (5) These are formidable challenges in a country suffering from economic hardship and instability, and where academics are paid little, have poor library resources, and can ill afford to travel on a regular basis to international conferences.

The first Brazilian sacred compositions were written in the Northeast around Recife in the state of Pernambuco, and in Salvador, Bahia, the colony's capital until 1763, at which time Rio de Janeiro became the capital. (6) In 1695 gold was discovered in the interior state now known as Minas Gerais (General Mines). The subsequent gold rush brought baroque splendor to the region, as did the later discovery of diamonds and other precious stones and metals. By the late eighteenth century, magnificently decorated churches had been built, musical directors (mestres) appointed and, in some cases, organs built or imported. (7) Fransisco Curt Lange showed that many of the sacred music composers of the region surrounding the town Ouro Preto (Black Gold) were of mixed African and Portuguese descent, referred to in Brazil as mulatos or pardos (the latter meaning "brown"). Opportunities for studying music composition were restricted for "mixed race" Brazilians and hence many were self-taught or had very limited formal training. They were very active in the Catholic brotherhoods (irmandades), such as the Irmandade de Sao Jose dos Homens Pardos (Brotherhood of Saint Joseph of Colored Men) in Minas Gerais, and much music was commissioned by and performed for these brotherhoods. (8) Many of these composers also served in the military. Manoel Dias de Oliveira (ca. 1735-1813), for example, was named Captain of the Company of Foot Soldiers of Freed Coloreds (Ordenanca de Pe dos Homens Pardos Libertos).

The last city to become an important center of sacred music composition in Brazil was Rio de Janeiro, which was developing rapidly at the turn of the eighteenth century. As already mentioned, the arrival of the Portuguese court in 1808 signaled a vibrant final phase of sacred colonial composition, the outstanding figure of which was the mulato priest Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia. Obviously, there were other forms of music making during the colonial era, including folkloric music. However, almost no notated documentation of such practices exists. Jean de Lery, the Huegenot explorer who provided a rich ethnographic account of his travels in Brazil during the sixteenth century, transcribed a few indigenous melodies that later found their way into Rousseau's Dictionnaire de Musique (1768). (9) The next important surviving transcriptions of folk melodies date from around 1817-1820, when the Bavarians J. B. von Spix and K. F. P. von Martius traveled throughout Brazil collecting botanical specimens as well as zoological and geographical data. Von Martius's transcription of a rural lundu dance, the first extant musical transcription of this song form, is reconstructed and performed on two of the recordings discussed in this essay.

Although written music composition was almost exclusively sacred until around 1800 in Brazil, the church was actually not as strongly established there as in Spanish America. Hence, the centralized church did not control music production as much as might be expected. Instead, the Catholic brotherhoods, voluntary associations with religious and social functions, were more often the institutions spurring religious music composition and performance. These confraternities sponsored various celebrations such as feasts for their patron saints and competed with each other for the most impressive festivities. There were separate brotherhoods for the different classes and races, including ones for Brazilians of mixed race. Mauricio Soares Dottori argues that
 The survival in Brazil of this pre-capitalist form of socialization
 ... made possible a music that was continually impregnated by a
 baroque sensibility, attached to a popular religion which emphasized
 ritual to [sic] the excesses of ostentation. It was only with the
 transference of the Capital of Portugal to Rio de Janeiro that the
 artistic needs of the society prompted a new stylistic answer. (10)

The use of the term "baroque" in the Brazilian context requires some comment. Although the word is French, its origins are in the Portuguese term barroco, a derogatory reference to an irregularly shaped pearl. (11) If by the last quarter of the eighteenth century the baroque in European music had been superseded by what would come to be known as the classical style of Haydn, Mozart, and then Beethoven and others, composers of sacred music in Brazil were mostly influenced by the music of the Portuguese court which, in turn, was focused on Italian styles. The discovery of gold in Minas Gerais led to a new prosperity in Lisbon, which led to an increase in musical activity there, particularly during the reign of Joao V (1707-1750). (12) The music of the Portuguese court and royal chapel subsequently influenced composition in Brazil, including, of course, in Minas Gerais.

The Lisbon royal chapel was raised to a patriarchal chapel by papal bull in 1716 and important Italian musicians were hired for the chapel and court, among them Domenico Scarlatti, who arrived in Portugal in 1719 and remained there until 1728. Portuguese composers such as Antonio Teixeira (1707-after 1769) and Francisco Antonio de Almeida (ca. 1702-?1755) studied composition in Rome and absorbed both the baroque polychoral tradition and the new Neapolitan operatic style. In 1752 King Jose I hired Italian composer David Perez (1711-1778), an Italian architect, and some of the best Italian singers, and built three new opera houses. The largest of these, the Casa de Opera was destroyed in the earthquake of 1755, as was much of Lisbon, including the Royal Music library, which had been one of the best in Europe. Dottori observes that the "character and taste" of King Joao V kept Portuguese music in a style of its own, "one that emulated the most conservative aspects of the Roman musical style." (13) After the earthquake musical production in Portugal focused on sacred music for a time. According to Dottori, "an enormous amount of music imbued either in penitential character or in Baroque pietism was composed thereafter. This pattern of alternating impulses for an Arcadian neo-classical and for a Baroque style may be seen well into the late part of the century." (14)


One eclectic recording that reaches back to the period before which substantial documentation exists in Brazil is Ninguem morra de ciume (No One Dies of Jealousy) by the Collegium Musicum de Minas. The CD begins with pieces from Jesuit composers active in the early eighteenth century. Fathers Antonio Sepp von Rechegg (1655-1733) and Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726) introduced the stilo moderno of basso continuo into the music of the Latin American missions. No Jesuit music of this period survives in Brazil, but the compositions of missionaries such as Zipoli, who was born in Italy and died in Cordoba, Argentina, were performed in missions throughout Latin America. They "reveal a preoccupation with the search for an encounter between European baroque aesthetics and the musicality of the Indians being catechized," observes flutist Domingos Savio Lins Brandao in the listening notes to this recording. The Zipoli piece performed on this CD was preserved in Chiquitos, Bolivia. An anonymous Jesuit piece, Domine, quinque talenta, evidences the use of continuo. By contrast, the third track on this disc is a strictly homophonic work for the ceremony of a Palm Sunday procession (Procissao de Ramos) by mulato composer Jose Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita. (15)

Two instrumental secular pieces can also be heard on this recording. One, Cego de amor (Blinded by Love), dates from the nineteenth century (although precisely when is not specified) and is rendered on harpsichord by Antonio Carlos Magalhaes. This is followed by a sonata, also performed on harpsichord--a rare example of a keyboard work in sonata form from Brazil's colonial era. Domingos Savio Lins Brandao found the work in the Saint Cecilia Musical Archives in Minas Gerais and attributes it to sometime in the eighteenth century. Unique to this recording is the inclusion of four exercises (sofejos) from Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia's Metodo de pianoforte (1821), performed here by a trio consisting of baroque flute, harpsichord, and viola da gamba. The remarkable aspect of these short pieces is that the first three are written in a classical style, while the fourth suddenly shifts to a radically syncopated melody on flute, strikingly presaging (as Lins Brandao notes) the development of choro in Rio de Janeiro in the latter half of the nineteenth century. (16) Track seven is a modinha for two singers and keyboard accompaniment from a volume published between 1792 and 1795 in Portugal but including both Brazilian and Portuguese pieces. The modinha is a sentimental or amorous art song form indebted to the Italian aria style featuring simple accompaniment, often on a guitar. The text to this modinha, entitled Marilia tu nao conheces ("Marilia You Don't Know"), may have been written by the Brazilian poet Tomas Antonio Gonzaga (1744-1810), whose love poems were quite popular in Lisbon. Another modinha featured on this recording is No regaco da ventura ("In the Bosom of Adventure"), from a transcription collected by the above-mentioned Spix and Martius in the early nineteenth century and also attributed to Gonzaga, who, according to the Bavarian researchers, was the most popular poet in Minas at the time of their travels.

The anonymous nineteenth century Minha Lilia ("My Lilia") is an example of lundu-song (lundu-cancao), an urban salon style that derived from the African-Brazilian lundu dance. Although lundu-song was a relatively stylized dance popular among Portuguese-descended urban Brazilians, the underlying rhythm still evidences a characteristically Brazilian syncopation reminiscent of what would much later become the baiao and forro dance genres in the Brazilian Northeast. Track eleven is a cachucha, a dance of Iberian origin spread throughout Europe and Latin America by sailors in the beginning of the nineteenth century. It was popular in Brazilian theaters and salons, and bears some similarities to the lundu-song and to the fandango. It was unpopular, however, with the clergy for its sometimes vulgar lyrics. Another interesting inclusion here is an instrumental from Antonio Jose da Silva (1705-1739), known as The Jew (O Judeu), born in Rio de Janeiro but taken to Portugal by his mother when he was eight after she was accused of practicing Judaism. As a student in Coimbra, da Silva was imprisoned for being a Jew, and he was later burned at the stake in Lisbon by the Inquisition. His operas and theater pieces were well-regarded. The aria De mim ja se nao lembra ("You've Already Forgotten Me") is from a theater piece published in facsimile by musicologist Mozart de Araujo. The title song of the recording, Ninguem morra de ciume, is a modinha by the famous Domingos Caldas Barbosa (1740-1800), a mulato born in Rio de Janeiro. At age 30 he moved to Lisbon, where his songs were enormously popular, though also decried for the sensuality of their texts. Bruno Kiefer transcribed this aria from an eighteenth century manuscript which specified the rhythm, the harmony, and the manner of performing this song. This piece features strikingly modern-sounding syncopations that almost evoke 1930s American jazz rhythms. A very curious work from another mulato composer, Manoel Dias de Oliveira (ca. 1735-1813), is a motet for Easter Sunday, Surrexit dominus, that mixes renaissance, baroque, and pre-classical stylistic traits, thus ignoring, as Lins Brandao notes, the contemporary stylistic canons of European music and creating a strange, even futuristic amalgamation. (17) The CD ends with a "moda de lundu" published in the Lisbon Gazette (Gazeta de Lisboa) in 1792. This song bears some similarity with the lundu transcribed by von Martius. The performances on Ninguem morra de ciume are good, as is the sound quality. Listening notes, however, are in Portuguese only.

Another eclectic recording is Brasil 500 anos (Brazil 500 Years) from the ensemble Quadro Cervantes. The group, which includes professors from the music department at the University of Rio de Janeiro (UNI-Rio) and the Federal Fluminense University (UFF) in nearby Niteroi, use period instruments, some of which could only be reconstructed from iconography, such as the vielle used by Mario Orlando, musical director of the Early Music Consort of UFF and a member of Quadro Cervantes. In order to reconstruct music from the early colonial period, the ensemble drew on several Portuguese manuscripts: the thirteenth-century manuscript of seven secular songs attributed to Martin Codax (ca. 1240-1270), which was discovered in 1913 in Madrid and is currently at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York; the Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Publica Hortensia (Songbook of the Public Library of Hortensia), from Elvas, Portugal; the Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa (Songbook of the National Library in Lisbon); two sixteenth-century Portuguese manuscripts of songs; the Spanish nobleman Luys Milan's (ca. 1500-after 1560) Libro de musica de vihuela de mano intitulado El maestro (Book of Music for Vihuela Entitled The Master, 1536), the first publication for the vihuela; pieces for viola da gamba from Spanish theoretician and composer Diego Ortiz's (ca. 1510-ca. 1570) Trattado de glosas (Treatise on Ornamentation, 1533); and, finally, the seventeenth century Portuguese composer Manuel Rodrigues Coelho's (ca. 1555-ca. 1635) anthology of sacred works Flores de musica pera o instrumento de tecla e harpa (Musical Flowers for a Keyboard Instrument or Harp; Lisbon, 1620).

Quadro Cervantes also performs a short Beata virgo by Luiz Alvares Pinto (ca. 1719-ca. 1789), a composer active in the state of Pernambuco in the northeast of Brazil. (18) Pinto wrote a sightsinging method entitled Muzico e moderno sistema para solfegar sem confuzao (Musical and Modern Method for Sightsinging without Confusion) which concludes with five brief Divertimentos harmonicos, of which Beata virgo is one. This recording concludes with eight modinhas and lundus, some of which come from anonymous Brazilian songbooks, and some from the composers Xisto Bahia (1841-1894) and Antonio da Silva Leite (1759-1833). (19) Of particular interest in these selections is the recording of the anonymous instrumental lundu (track 21) that C. F. P. von Martius transcribed in the early nineteenth century, as described above. (20) The beautiful modinha for solo voice Hei de amar-te ate morrer ("I Will Love You until Death") is taken from musicologist and novelist Mario de Andrade's Modinhas Imperiais (1930). (21) Another piece is from the anonymous songbook Modinhas do Brasil, which Gerard Behague found in the Biblioteca de Ajuda library in Lisbon in the 1960s, and which has recently been published in a handsome edition that includes facsimiles of the original manuscripts and a CD recording of the pieces. (22) Brazil 500 Anos is a useful teaching resource, but the singing leaves something to be desired. The listening notes, furthermore, are spare and have some minor inaccuracies. (23)

Mention should be made of some other individuals and groups who reconstruct poorly documented colonial era music, but whose recordings I have not had the opportunity to evaluate closely. Grupo Anima, several of whose members are active in international early music scenes, have released interesting discs that explore musical affinities between traditional Brazilian folkloric styles and European medieval and Renaissance music practices, taking some creative--but musicologically informed--liberties because of the lack of adequate documentation. Their latest release is Amares (Animamusic AN003 [2004]). (24) On the album Teatro do Descobrimento (Akron CD05 [1999]) the group worked with musicologist and singer Anna Maria Kieffer, whose independent Akron Cultural Projects label releases expensively packaged and attractive CDs of historical Brazilian music, such as the CD Viagem pelo Brasil (Akron CD06 [2000]; previously released under the same title by Gravadora Eldorado 94-834934 [1990]), or Marilia de Dirceu (Akron 97-831179 [1994], previously released on LP by Tacape T-016 [1985]). The latter recording is a collection of love poems by the Brazilian poet Tomas Antonio Gonzaga in anonymous musical settings from early nineteenth century Portugal. Among the most interesting earlier musical reconstructions is musicologist Rogerio Budasz's recording with his group Banza, along with the accompanying book by the same name, Musica no Tempo de Gregorio de Mattos (Sonopress 070.684 [2004]). Gregorio de Mattos Guerra (1636-1696), known as the "mouth of hell," was exiled to Angola (then under Portuguese control) in 1681 for the audaciousness of his poems. (Mattos Guerra eventually returned to Pernumbuco to live out his last days.) Musicologist Jose Ramos Tinhorao has argued that the majority of Mattos Guerra's poems were written to be sung. No autograph musical accompaniment for his poems exist, but Budasz found pieces in Portuguese manuscripts that Mattos mentioned in his writings, and he matched some of them to the poems for the recording and book.


A similar type of musical reconstruction of a Mattos poem is found on the second recording in an apparently derailed project that was to present the history of Brazilian music up to the early part of the twentieth century. Historia da Musica Brasileira: Periodo Colonial I (Estudio Eldorado 946137, [ca. 1999]) and Historia da Musica Brasileira, Periodo Colonial II (Estudio Eldorado 946138, [ca. 1999]) were recorded by Ricardo Kanji and the Vox Brasiliensis orchestra and choir in the late 1990s as part of a larger project that was to include a fifteen-episode television series and five CDs presenting the history of Brazilian music up to the early part of the twentieth century. It is unclear what happened to the remaining planned recordings and what the current status of this project is. Paulo Castagna of the Paulista State University (UNESP) in Sao Paulo undertook the musicological research, and baroque flutist and conductor Ricardo Kanji, who spent 25 years working in Holland but now lives in Brazil, served as artistic director. The first volume focuses on religious music of Pernambuco, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo, the principal centers for sacred music in Brazil during the second half of the eighteenth century. Among the pieces are works discovered by Francisco Curt Lange in the 1940s such as the Novena de nossa senhora do pilar by Francisco Gomes da Rocha for four voices, two trumpets, strings, and continuo (1789, transcribed by Lange in 1951). The listening notes to these CDs, written by Castagna, provide a wealth of useful information about the provenance of the manuscripts, their reconstruction, and where they are housed, but these notes are all in Portuguese. The pieces selected include works for which a positive attribution cannot be made, and some lesser-known composers such as Inacio Parreiras Neves (ca. 1730-ca. 1791), most of whose works were lost or destroyed.

Among the most important Minas composers was Jose Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita (1746-1805), whose Ego enim accepi a domino for soprano, two violas, and cello, transcribed by Andre Cardoso in 1995, is performed on this disc. The son of a Portuguese and his slave, Lobo de Mesquita worked in what is now known as Diamantina for confraternities before moving to Rio in 1801 to work as organist for the Chapel of the Third Order of Our Lady of Carmo until his death. This piece was intended to substitute the chant traditionally used for the reading of the Eighth Lesson of the Matins of Holy Wednesday, using a solo vocalist. Another Curt Lange transcription given voice here is that of Francisco Gomes da Rocha's (ca. 1746-1808) Novena de Nossa Senhora de Pilar for four voices, two horns, strings, and continuo. (25) Castagna informs us that this piece is intended for a non-liturgical nine-day novena celebration of the apparition of Maria to Saint James the Apostle (San Tiago) which originated in Spain and which was brought over by the Portuguese.

A Veni sancti spiritus from Andre da Silva Gomes is, unfortunately, not very well sung. Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia's Tota pulchra es Maria, an antiphon for the Novena of Our Lady of the Conception, written in 1783 when Nunes Garcia was 16 and given the number "1" in Cleofe Person de Mattos's catalog of the composer's work, is also performed here. This piece is important in that it shows that Nunes Garcia had already assimilated a more classical style by 1783, in contrast with the still largely baroque style of composition in Minas Gerais at that time. Two other pieces from Nunes Garcia are featured on this disc, the latest a gradual from 1799 Justus cum ceciderit, (number 143 in C. P. de Mattos's catalog) intended for the celebration of the patron Saint of Rio de Janeiro, Saint Sebastian. This work, which seems to reflect the influence of Mozart and perhaps Haydn, also appears on the CD Missa Pastoril para Noite de Natal (K617 102 [1999]), discussed below. An antiphon from an early eighteenth century Portuguese manuscript found in Minas Gerais, but likely derived from compositions found in a seventeenth century manuscript from Elvas, Portugal, is also included.

In 1984 a small number of folios, probably copied around 1730 by various musicians associated with a local church, were discovered in the town Mogi das Cruzes of Sao Paulo state. These relatively simple religious pieces are stylistically quite distinct from the mid-1700s manuscripts found in the Brazilian Northeast, where the Portuguese baroque style had a strong influence. Although the pieces are not particularly exciting musically, they are of great historical interest. Two recordings on this CD are of works from the Mogi manuscripts: a matin written in stilo antico copied around 1730, probably from a sixteenth-century Portuguese source; and a Christmas vilancico, Matais de incendio, for four voices and accompaniment. Vilancicos, which were more popular in Spanish America (the Spanish spelling is villancico) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries than in Portuguese America, are non-liturgical but have religious themes, and employ popular song forms. Such song forms were explicitly prohibited by the Bishop of Rio de Janeiro in 1737 who, until 1745, was also the Bishop of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. This rare example of an eighteenth-century Brazilian vilancico probably dates from the 1730s or possibly even the 1720s, according to Castagna. The Mogi das Cruzes manuscripts are amongst the oldest surviving sacred compositions in Brazil. Evidence suggests the use of baroque guitar and percussion accompaniment for such vilancicos, and that is the instrumentation used here. Luis Alvares Pinto's five Divertimentos harmonicos, with which he concludes his solfeggio treatise, are featured on this recording. The Beata virgo on the Quadro Cervantes recording, discussed above, is one of these divertimentos; it is also performed here.

The second CD, Periodo Colonial II, features a mix of sacred and secular works, beginning with a rendition of the lundu transcribed by von Martius. Castagna's listening notes for this rendition are quite good. He cites eighteenth- and nineteenth-century observers of the dance, and he points out that von Martius never identified where he heard this lundu, leaving open the possibility that the transcription was not from Brazil at all. As Castagna explains in his notes, the folk lundu (as opposed to the salon lundu-cancao) was a rural dance based in the same scheme for variations as the Spanish fandangos of the eighteenth century, in which a brief motive constructed on tonic and dominant harmony is continually varied with improvisation. Here the lundu is performed with rabeca (folk fiddle), viola (referring here to a steel-string guitar of Iberian origin strung in five double courses), and pandeiro (tambourine). While it is difficult to reconstruct a performed lundu from the basic transcription left by Martius, this version certainly sounds plausible.

Also of interest is the reconstructed setting for the poem Mariniculas by the poet Gregorio de Mattos Guerra, already mentioned above in connection with musicologist Rogerio Budasz's work with Grupo Banza. Although melodies that were unquestionably set to this poet's texts do not survive, scholar Heitor Martins noticed that Mattos Guerra's Marinicolas was based on the construction of a well-known sixteenth-century romance, Marizapolas, for which melodic settings do exist. Only one of these melodies, however, fits the meter of the Marinicolas--a melody found in the Libro de varias curiosidades (Book of Various Curiosities), surviving in a manuscript copied in Cuzco, Peru between 1666-1709 and published by Carlos Vega in 1962. It is, perhaps, a fanciful reconstruction, but quite clever and musically suggestive. Although the sound quality of these two recordings could be better, and some of the performances are uninspired, both CDs of Historia da Musica Brasileira, Periodo Colonial are fine teaching and research resources. It is a shame that the highly informative listening notes are not translated into English. It is also regrettable that these discs seem no longer to be commercially available.


Two recordings that offer better sound quality and more engaging performances are Sacred Music from Eighteenth Century Brazil, vols. I & II, on the Swiss Claves label (CD 50 9521 [1995] and CD 50 9610 [1997]), which feature Ensemble Turicum. The ensemble was founded in 1990 by Brazilian singer Luiz Alves da Silva to perform baroque chamber and vocal music (not exclusively Brazilian) with historic instruments. These interpretations are expert and lively. Members of the group have performed with baroque ensembles such as Hesperion XX and the Clemencic Consort. Ensemble Turicum is perhaps the group of performers who best realize the baroque rhythms, harmonies, and dynamics of much of this music, or the simplicity and straightforwardness of some of the homophonic pieces or sections. This is particularly evident in the first piece on Volume I: Luis Alvares Pinto's Te Deum laudamus of 1760. The instrumental accompaniment is largely invented, as all that remains are the vocal parts, a figured bass, and a horn part. Assuming that the horn part suggests an arrangement for small orchestra, Klaus Miehling wrote instrumental parts that accord a suitable respect to the vocals, the latter performed with spirit and sensitivity by the ensemble.

The Tercio (1783) from Minas Gerais composer Jose Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita, by contrast, survived in full score. It shows a style more influenced by the classical aesthetics already in full bloom in Europe, particularly when contrasted with, for example, Pinto's Te Deum of twenty-three years earlier. (26) After a short four-voice hymn from another Minas Gerais composer, Marcos Coelho Neto (1750-1823), the first volume ends with eight lovely a cappella motets from Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia, whom most consider Brazil's greatest colonial-era composer. The accompanying listening notes to these recordings, written by musicologist Sergio Dias, unfortunately provide only very brief biographies of the composers and limited discussion of the pieces. Given that the musicological preparation of editions of colonial music is still a developing art in Brazil, the reader might want more information on the editions used. (27)

The second volume is devoted to works of Manoel Dias de Oliveira (1738-1813), another mulato composer of Minas Gerais (from the town today known as Tiradentes). The recording includes, besides a gradual and an offertorium, two Te Deum settings, one of which can only be attributed to Dias de Oliveira on stylistic grounds, but which is a delightful inclusion regardless of its actual authorship. The other Te Deum features Gregorian chant insertions and exists in two complete manuscript copies. Sergio Dias's listening notes provide an anecdote that, whether accurate or not, presents a picture of the musical life associated with the church at this time:
 The story is told that Father Francisco da Piedade, as he was crossing
 the courtyard, was amazed to hear the young mulato singing parts of a
 composition by Josquin while playing with the ants. The priest
 immediately invited the boy to join the choir and gave him the
 opportunity to study theory, counterpoint, and organ. In order to earn
 a little money, Oliveira began to work as a music copyist, quickly
 earning a reputation in this field.

Also provided in the listening notes are the liturgical texts in Latin, English, French, and German. Portuguese translations of the notes and texts are not provided. What is missing from these fine recordings, given the incompleteness of so many Brazilian manuscripts, is more detail on where and when the manuscripts were found, how many parts had to be reconstructed, and who edited the scores. Similarly, more discussion of the choices in instrumentation and the stylistic dimensions of the vocal performances would be nice (although none of the listening notes to the recordings reviewed in this essay specifically address issues of performance practice). Sergio Dias does correctly observe that Brazilian liturgical music from the colonial times was frequently written for a trio antiquo ensemble of two violins and basso continuo, and the arrangements here do not stray far from this standard instrumentation. Yet I wonder if it is accurate to assume that Brazilian performance practice mirrored Portuguese and European practices for similar styles of music? Given the lack of documents relating to performance practice in Brazil during this period, it is, of course, hard to say, but this does highlight the need for a more systematic analysis of style and performance matters in Brazilian musicology. Dias de Olivera's works are still performed, notes Sergio Dias, "in an unbroken tradition" in the cities of Tiradentes, Prados, and Sao Joao del Rei.


The Paulus releases provide more musicological information in the listening notes, which are written by scholars such as Regis Duprat and Paulo Castagna. (28) Three of the Paulus discs under review here feature the Brasilessentia vocal group and orchestra, directed by Vitor Gabriel. The fifth, a premiere recording of Nunes Garcia's Officium 1816, features the Camerata Novo Horizonte of Sao Paulo, but is no longer in print, despite being the last of the five to be released (in 1998). Two Paulus CDs (7715-1 [1994] and 11107-4 [1995]) are dedicated to the music of Andre da Silva Gomes, who was born in Lisbon and arrived in Brazil in 1774 to become mestre de capela of the See of Sao Paulo for fifty years. About 130 of his works survive, spanning the entire duration of his tenure as mestre. The first release of his music on Paulus commemorated the 150th anniversary of his death at age 92 and inaugurated the recording career of the Brasilessentia group. (29) In his listening notes Regis Duprat explains in general terms the context for each piece in the worship service and in the historical development of the Catholic mass; he offers basic analytic and stylistic commentary, and he provides essential information about the manuscripts and restorations. For example, he notes that one of the psalms (112, Laudate pueri) included in the first Andre da Silva Gomes CD (1994) and dating from 1785, is part of a work containing three psalms in complete parts, one of the very few autograph manuscripts to have survived in full parts in Brazil. Another interesting detail is that almost all the offertories by Silva Gomes that have survived bear the autograph date of 1810, but "the sequential baroque harmony that characterizes them strongly suggests the hypothesis that they were composed much earlier." Duprat suggests that for reasons of conservation, Silva Gomes himself may have copied over the manuscripts, adding the new date on the frontispiece. While this is certainly plausible, this instance again highlights the lack of a systematic analysis of style in Brazilian colonial music. A recent discovery informing Duprat's analysis of the harmony employed in the Mass in C, featured on the first CD, is Silva Gomes's Arte explicada do contraponto (The Art of Counterpoint Explained), a 150-page manuscript. Silva Gomes wrote that he regards dissonances as "indispensable for the coordination of the voices, for the realization of consonances and the 'harmonious and complete adornment of the music.'" (30) Aside from the Mass and offertories, a hymn, an antiphon, and five motets are featured on the first CD.

The second Paulus release devoted to the music of Andre da Silva Gomes (Paulus 11107-4 [1995]) includes the Mass in B flat for 5 Voices (ca. 1800) and eight Christmas matins from 1774. For this second release, a fine translation into English of Duprat's notes is provided by musicologist James Melo, who was born in Brazil but works in New York City. (31) Vitor Gabriel, the director of Brasilessentia, transcribed and edited the mass from a manuscript copy housed at the Inconfidencia Museum in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. This museum also holds many of Curt Sach's discoveries. The laudamus of the mass features a pleasant soprano solo, reasonably well executed here by one of the three sopranos in the group (which one is not specified). In general, however, I find the Brasilessentia interpretations--in contrast to those of Ensemble Turicum--to be on the ponderous side. Tempos sometimes lumber along and the choir and orchestra as a whole would benefit from greater dynamic sensitivity and a lighter approach to the rhythms. The matins, in particular, seem to demand a much gentler vocal style. In addition, no mention is made as to why Gabriel typically chose to employ two voices to a part in the choral pieces. This, along with an orchestration that seems heavier than that chosen by Ensemble Turicum, adds to the weightiness of these performances.

The director of the Inconfidencia Museum, professor Rui Mourao, initiated a project devoted to transcribing, cataloguing, and preserving the museum's musical archive and engaged for this purpose a team of musicologists headed by Regis Duprat and Carlos Alberto Baltazar. The Paulus recording Musica do Brasil Colonial: Compositores Mineiros (Paulus 11562-2 [1997]), also featuring the Brasilessentia group, is part of this initiative. Featured here are works by Jose Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita, Marcos Coelho Neto, Francisco Gomes da Rocha, Jose Joaquim da Paixao (dates unknown), Joao de Deus de Castro Lobo (1794-1832), and an anonymous eighteenth century collection of motets for Holy Week. Duprat's and Baltazar's listening notes (also provided in English translation by James Melo) provide many details about the composers, about stylistic aspects of the pieces, and information about the manuscripts. Among the most interesting performances on this recording are the anonymous eight-part motets for Holy Week edited by Francisco Curt Lange. These vocal pieces with a simple continuo accompaniment feature rich harmonies and contrapuntal lines, although the tempos and rhythmic feel of the performances again seem a bit languorous to me. In Francisco Gomes da Rocha's Spiritus domini, the eight voices are split into two choruses that sing in lively antiphony in the first two movements, while the third movement is written for three voices only and sounds more somber. Maria Alice Volpe provided the edition of the motet, O vere Christe, by Jose Joaquim da Paixao, a composer about whom very little is known.

The Paulus CD Duetos Concertantes (Paulus 11100-7 [1995]) is a recording of the only known instrumental chamber works from the colonial period. Gabriel Fernandes da Trindade was born in 1790, much later than the other composers under consideration here. Musicologists Paulo Castagna and Anderson Rocha restored these duets from manuscripts with "excessive amounts of errors" such as missing measures, altered repetitions, and doubtful passages. These violin duets, which scholars date to around 1814 (after the arrival of the Portuguese Royal Court to Rio) are important primarily because they document "the establishment of a courtly style of life in Rio de Janeiro with the performance of chamber music during the reign of Joao VI," observes Castagna. By and large, these pieces are written in a late eighteenth-century Italian style. Trindade seems to have written them for his teacher, the Italian Ignacio Ansaldi, who arrived in Rio in 1810. The duets are performed by Maria Ester Brandao and Koiti Watanabe.

The last Paulus recording under review is Padre Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia's Officium 1816 (Paulus 00068-2 [1998]), performed by the Camerata Novo Horizonte de Sao Paulo under the direction of Graham Griffiths, a musicologist educated at Edinburgh and Cambridge who emigrated to Brazil in 1986. Nunes Garcia was born in Rio in 1767 and died there in 1830. He is sometimes referred to as the Mulatto Priest, an allusion to Antonio Vivaldi, the "Red Priest." Musicologist Henry L. Crowl writes of Nunes Garcia in his introductory notes to the recording:
 He is the most important composer that lived in the Americas during
 the colonial period, not only for the amount of good quality music he
 created, but for the unique style he forged from the earlier mannerist
 Portuguese polyphony of the seventeenth century brought together with
 the so-called homophonic classicism in all his compositions prior to
 1808. The operatic postancien regime style, that was introduced in
 Brazil after the arrival of the Portuguese court in 1808, was added to
 his technique creating a completely eclectic music that makes his
 works unmistakably different from anything of that time.

Crowl's bold claim that Nunes Garcia is the "most important" colonialera composer in the Americas, while likely to ruffle some feathers (the cathedrals in Mexico, just to give one example, also produced some impressive sacred music), does merit consideration. Although we know that the composer studied Latin, languages, and philosophy, there is little evidence that Nunes Garcia had formal musical training. (32) He is known to have composed at least 400 works (some estimate over 600), although only 237 survive, according to musicologist Cleofe Person de Mattos. He participated in the foundation of the Brotherhood of St. Cecilia, an important professional musical organization, and he entered the Brotherhood Sao Pedro dos Clerigos in 1791. He was ordained a priest in 1792. He became mestre de capela of the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral in 1794, and of the Royal Chapel in 1808 when Prince Dom Joao arrived. The Austrian composer Sigismund Neukomm (1778-1858), a former pupil of Haydn who lived in Rio from 1816 to 1821, apparently referred to Garcia as "the first improviser in the world." (33) He premiered Mozart's Requiem in Brazil in December 1819. Cleofe Person de Mattos published the edition of the Officium used for this recording in 1982 and wrote in her preface that "the composer was particularly sensitive to the liturgy for funeral ceremonies ... For its beauty, its severity, its intense yet controlled sense of drama, this can be considered one of Jose Mauricio's masterpieces." The listening notes quote a Danish music critic by the name of John Christiansen who commented about the European premiere of the Officium in Aarhus in 1992: "Far from dwelling on mournful aspects of the text, alternately repentant or apprehensive, this remarkable Brazilian helps us to learn how to meet our Creator with joy, in a way no European music does." This office for the dead was composed for the grandiose state funeral of Queen Maria, but Nunes Garcia's own mother, Vitoria Maria da Cruz, an African-Brazilian, died on the same day. Griffiths chose to employ both organ and harpsichord on the recording because, as he writes in the listening notes, he believes that Nunes Garcia "expected as rich and as varied a continuo as possible for performances of this great work." In contrast with the Minas Gerais school, classicism is the dominant stylistic element in this work. The Dirige, domine Deus meus (track 20) is an andante tenor aria in which the second verse is a setting of Requiem aeternam dona eis pacem, a text usually set for chorus.

Another interesting feature in the Officium is a brief andantino for soprano and alto titled Deus in nomine tuo salvum me fac, interpreted in the style of a modinha, the sentimental song genre described above. For this andante, Griffiths uses two violins and continuo, with the lute stop set on the harpsichord to suggest a typical guitar accompaniment. Modinhas were often somewhat humorous and Griffiths suggests that this brief vocal duet may have been intended to remind the audience, "affectionately, of the many comic eccentricities of the late Queen, nicknamed Maria Louca [crazy Maria]." Such an inclusion demonstrates a quirky balance between the sacred and the secular in Nunes Garcia's work. This performance uses period instruments and evidences a lively sense of rhythm and dynamics, but there are occasional dubious pitches and tenuously executed vocal passages, and the recording has a muffled sound that obscures the subtleties of the music's distinct parts. In 1811 Nunes Garcia was replaced in his post of mestre de capella by the Portuguese composer Marcos Portugal, who was well known in Europe for his operas. Some commentators suggest that race played a part in Nunes Garcia's losing his position to Portugal. While this may have been the case, Marcos Portugal's reputation in Italy and Portugal was probably a more important factor. After being displaced by Portugal, Nunes Garcia's career slowed down considerably. He died in poverty in 1830.


K617 is a French label specializing in Baroque music, including a small number of recordings focusing on Latin American colonial music. (34) The sound quality of these CDs is better than that of many of the Brazilian releases. They feature attractive packaging and listening guides, although the latter are not nearly as informative as those of the Paulus releases. The notes, however, are provided in French, English, Portuguese, and German (with some odd turns of phrase in the English). Liturgical texts are provided in Latin and French.

The first K617 release is Nunes Garcia's Missa pastoril para noite de natal (Pastoral Mass for Christmas Eve, 1811, K617 102 [1999]) with Ensemble Turicum. Interestingly, this work exists both in an 1808 version for voices and organ, and in an 1811 version with orchestration. In the accompanying notes, Alan Pacquier writes that this suggests that in 1808, when Dom Joao just arrived, instrumental formations in Rio de Janeiro were inadequate or unskilled, while in 1811, better musicians from the Lisbon Royal Chapel must have been available. (35) Included on this recording are selected psalms and graduals, such as the gradual for Saint Sebastian heard also on Historia da Musica Brasileira, Periodo Colonial, Vol. I. As with the two Turicum recordings discussed above, the performances here, with period instrument accompaniment, are quite good. Ensemble Turicum recently released a recording of the works of Antonio dos Santos Cunha (1786-1815) on the K617 label (K617 168 [2005]). Regrettably, I did not have the opportunity to examine this new CD before going to press with this essay.

Also on K617 is the provocatively titled Negro Spirituals au Bresil Baroque (K617 113 [2000]), with the curiously-named ensemble XVIII-21 Musiques des Lumieres, under the direction of French conductor Jean-Christophe Frisch. Luis Alvares Pinto's Te Deum, which is on Sacred Music of Eighteenth Century Brazil, Vol. I with Ensemble Turicum, is heard here too, but in a reconstruction by Jacques Frisch (Jean-Christophe's father). While the version performed on the previous recording was reconstructed by Klaus Miehling and has a recorded time of 21:21, this later version lasts 24:48. The performances are good and the recorded sound is remarkably warm and clear. This album was recorded in the priory church of Saint-Quirin in the Moselle, evidently to commemorate cultural exchange between France and Brazil (though what precisely they are commemorating is unclear). Alan Pacquier's introductory notes attempt to explain the title of the recording: "Politically incorrect; would the title of this compact disc be 'musicologically incorrect' as well?" Pacquier hopes the provocative aspect of the title "invites the listener and the reader to join ... in drawing a parallel between these two certainly strongly distinct forms of musical expression which nevertheless have at least the merit of occurring at the same period and both originating from the most representative organized black communities in the New World." The issue for such a comparison, writes Pacquier, is "to try to understand how Africans in the New World expressed [themselves] in the domain of religious music, which was the fundamental expression of an imposed or accepted faith."

Although one really cannot take the comparison too far, presenting the work of these Brazilian mulato composers in such a comparative setting does provide some food for thought on the subsequent evolution of African-American musics in North and South America. Pacquier compares the European religious influences in early African-American and Brazilian sacred music: while in the North the faith imposed or accepted was within the framework of the Anglican or Reform Liturgy, in the South "navigators and missionaries arrived with the psalters used in Sevilla and Coimbra as well as the religious works by Palestrina and Cristobal de Morales, obedient to the Roman Catholic religion." The travelers on the Mayflower and the Arabella, he goes on, brought with them the Old Book of Psalms in the Sternhold and Hopkins collection. (36) The Reformed psalmody would give rise to the "Negro Spiritual." Pacquier points out that in Brazil as in "any zone under the Vatican's influence the liturgical text can in no way be altered or added to," while in the Negro Spiritual the insertion of improvised verses is a central feature. He writes that the different criteria for analysis are "only the shadows cast by a great European religious dissension." His thoughts here are worth quoting:
 Obviously no posterity would be allowed for the Brazilian religious
 expression whose integration into the strict canons of European
 musical language would condemn any development, while the black slaves
 from the North would generate gospel and its subsequent metamorphoses.
 Though we may wonder if the modinha which appeared as early as the
 eighteenth century and developed through the following century into
 chorinho before later giving birth to bossa nova (each of these
 metamorphoses being marked by a change in social class) is that
 different from the passage of gospel to rag-time and then to jazz?
 ... The composers of Minas Gerais ... provided the soil which gave
 bloom to the bossa nova and Heitor Villa Lobos. Hence our title which
 sounds less like a certainty and more like a question.

The connections and stylistic evolution may be questionable, but the recording is pleasant. One Brazilian musicologist has commented, however, that Jacques Frisch's reconstruction of Pinto's Te Deum sometimes sounds "very virtuosic or artificial," suggesting a lack of familiarity with Brazilian music from the period. (37)


Over the past two decades serious musicological research into Brazil's colonial era has grown considerably. New and better editions of sacred music were published; various baroque ensembles were formed; and interesting, sometimes quirky recordings were issued. The celebration, in 2000, of 500 years since the Portuguese "discovered" Brazil was an added impetus for corporate and government sponsorship of research, performances, and recordings. In the town of Juiz de Fora in Rio de Janeiro state the Pro-Musica Cultural Center held its sixteenth International Festival of Brazilian Colonial and Early Music with more than forty concerts in July 2005. Many of the musicologists and ensembles described herein were either involved in the preparations for the festival or took part in the festival's concerts, workshops, and other activities. (38) What is surprising is that the overwhelming majority of Brazilians involved in colonial-era music today--much of which, as we have seen, was composed by persons of "mixed race"--are white. This can perhaps be attributed to a social structure in which blacks and mulatos still face limited access to the level of education needed to pursue historical music studies and performance, possess limited financial resources for purchasing and studying on historic instruments, and lack adequate access to the institutional support necessary to sustain such research and performance. In today's global music industry blacks and mulatos from the so-called Third World tend to be identified with "world music" and "world beat" rather than with the performance of baroque music. (39)

Not all of the music reconstructed from the colonial era is especially interesting, but much of it is historically important in helping to understand the character of colonial society in Brazil. Recordings of colonial music vary considerably in quality, and I suspect that many of the pieces already recorded will see new and better interpretations in the years to come. An urgent task for musicologists and performance ensembles is a more systematic study of style and performance practice in the various musical centers active during the colonial period. It is important for libraries at universities and colleges where musicology, Latin American studies, and colonial history are priorities to acquire new recordings and editions like the ones described here as they are released because they go out of print quickly. One worthy and cost-effective initiative that makes it easy to purchase new Brazilian recordings is administered by the Library of Congress Office in Rio de Janeiro. For a reasonable annual charge, plus shipping and administrative fees, libraries can receive a package of pre-selected Brazilian recordings (not limited to classical) once a year. Libraries cannot choose the CDs--this is done by a field officer in Rio--but the Columbia University music library receives most of its colonial recordings in this manner and it seems a very effective way to acquire rather unusual recordings that are simply not available in the United States, and to do so without having to go through the trouble of researching and selecting discs. The Web site for this program is (accessed 24 August 2005), and the contact address is Pamela Howard-Reguindin is the current field director at the Library of Congress Office in Rio. The recordings discussed in this essay include a wide range of significant musical works from Brazil's past, many of which are not easily found on disc. As such, they are valuable research and teaching resources for libraries.


(All selections listed are compact discs, except as noted.)

Brasil 500 Anos. Quadro Cervantes. Sonhos e Sons LSB150484, 2000.

Gomes, Andre da Silva. Andre da Silva Gomes. Brasilessentia Grupo Vocal. Paulus 7715-1, 1994.

Gomes, Andre da Silva. Musica do Brasil Colonial: Andre da Silva Gomes (1752-1844). Brasilessentia Grupo Vocal e Orquestra. Paulus 11107-4, 1995.

Historia da Musica Brasileira: Periodo Colonial, Vol. I. Orquestra e Coro Vox Brasiliensis. Estudio Eldorado 946137, n.d. (ca. 1999).

Historia da Musica Brasileira: Periodo Colonial, Vol. II. Orquestra e Coro Vox Brasiliensis. Estudio Eldorado 946138, n.d. (ca. 1999).

Musica do Brasil Colonial: Compositores Mineiros. Brasilessentia Grupo Vocal e Orquestra. Paulus 11562-2, 1997.

Negro Spirituals au Brasil Baroque. XVIII-21 Musique des Lumieres. K617 113, n.d. (ca. 2000).

Ninguem Morra de Ciume. Collegium Musicum de Minas. Sonhos & Sons SSCD015, 1997.

Nunes Garcia, Jose Mauricio. Missa Pastoril para Noite de Natal. Ensemble Turicum. K617 102, 1999.

Nunes Garcia, Jose Mauricio. Officium 1816. Camerata Novo Horizonte de Sao Paulo. Paulus 00068-2, 1998.

Oliveira, Manoel Dias de. Sacred Music from 18th Century Brazil, Vol. II: Manoel Dias de Oliveira (1738-1813). Ensemble Turicum. Claves CD 50 9610, 1997.

Sacred Music from 18th Century Brazil, Vol. I. Ensemble Turicum. Claves CD 50 9521, 1995.

Trindade, Gabriel Fernandes da. Duetos Concertantes. Maria Ester Brandao e Koiti Watanabe. Paulus 11100-7, 1995.

Tropicalia, ou panis et circensis. Polydor LPNG 44.018, 1967 (reissued on CD as Polygram 119 271 [1997]).


For Gerard Behague (1937-2005).

1. Although as a movement Tropicalia involved various art forms, its greatest impact was in the sphere of popular music.

2. Fransisco Curt Lange, "Un fabuloso redescobrimento," Revista de historia (Brazil) 54, no. 107 (July-September 1976): 45-67.

3. For example, Petrobras sponsored the Collection of Brazilian Music Project for the Restoration and Distribution of Scores (Projeto Acervo da Musica Brasileira--Restauracao e Difusao de Partituras).

4. See, for example, Regis Duprat's and Carlos Alberto Baltazar's Musica do Brasil Colonial, vols. I & II, published by the Museu da Inconfidencia and the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in 1994 and 1999 respectively.

5. Carlos Alberto Figueiredo, review of Marcelo Fagerlande, O Metodo de Pianoforte de Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia (Latin American Music Review 21, no. 1 [Spring/Summer 2000]: 66-69), p. 66. There is a CD recording of the Metodo de pianoforte, published by the University of Rio de Janeiro (UNI 002 [1998]). Another important treatise is Luiz Alvares Pinto's Metodo de Solfejar (Solfege Method) of 1759.

6. The capital was moved to the interior city of Brasilia in 1960.

7. See, for example, Angela Camin, "El Arte del Organo en Brasil," Revista musical de Venezuela 14, no. 32-33 (1993): 129-149. Also, a recording not under review here: Orgaos Historicos no Brasil, vol. II, on the Paulus label.

8. For a detailed look at the workings of salaries, commissions, and pensions of musicians working for churches and brotherhoods during this period, see Nise Poggi Orbino, Regis Duprat, and Gilbert Chase, "O Estanco da Musica no Brasil Colonial," Anuario 4 (1968): 98-109. On the brotherhoods in Minas Gerais specifically, see Francisco Curt Lange, "Os Irmaos Musicos da Irmandade de Sao Jose dos Homens Pardos, de Vila Rica," Anuario 4 (1968): 110-160.

9. See Ter Ellingson, "Transcription," In Helen Myers, ed. Ethnomusicology: An Introduction (New York: W. W. Norton, 1992), 110-152.

10. Mauricio Soares Dottori, "On Baroque Music and Brazil," Electronic Musicological Review 1, no. 2 (1996; [Web site accessed 24 August 2005]).

11. For commentary on the baroque in Brazilian art more generally, see the essays by Edward J. Sullivan, Affonso Avila, and Cristina Avila in the exhibition catalog Brazil: Body & Soul (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2002).

12. Most of the Brazilian gold, however, ended up in London because of Portugal's trade agreements with England.

13. Dottori, "On Baroque Music in Brazil," op. cit.

14. Dottori, "On Baroque Music in Brazil," op. cit.

15. A typographical error gives Lobo de Mesquita's birthdate as 1846(?) in the listening notes. It should be 1746(?).

16. In its earliest stages, choro was an accommodation of European salon dance styles such as the polka and schottische to syncopated African-Brazilian rhythms.

17. Interestingly, this type of eclecticism characterizes Brazilian music to this day, and it resonates with my research into contemporary popular music production in Rio de Janeiro, in which I found that many Brazilian musicians value stylistic mixing as a national tradition, and assert that such mixtures come naturally to them due to the country's history of miscegenation. See Frederick Moehn, "Mixing MPB: Cannibals and Cosmopolitans in Brazilian Popular Music" (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 2001).

18. Nicolas de Souza Barros provides 1713 as a birth date for Pinto in the listening guide, which is probably a typographical error; most sources give 1719 (see, e.g., Gerard Behague, "Pinto, Luiz Alvares," Grove Music Online, (accessed 24 August 2005).

19. There is another lundu included on this CD entitled La no largo da Se, which is attributed in the listening notes to F. M. Hidalgo, and on the CD cover to F. M. Fidalgo, about neither of which I have been able to find any information. In fact, I only know of a lundu by that title attributed to Candido Inancio da Silva (ca. 1800--ca. 1838), a student of Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia.

20. The transcription was published in Spix and Martius, Brasilianische Volkslieder und Indianische Melodien, a musical appendix to their book Reise in Brasilien, published in 1824.

21. There is a 1980 edition of Modinhas Imperiais on Editora Itatiaia.

22. In the listening notes to the Quadro Cervantes recording, Nicolas de Souza Barros incorrectly attributes the discovery of these manuscripts to musicologist Jose Maria Neves. See Gerard Behague, "Biblioteca da Ajuda (Lisbon) MSS 1595/1596: Two Eighteenth Century Anonymous Collections of Modinhas" (Anuario, vol. IV. Tulane University, 1968). The new edition, featuring facsimiles of the manuscripts and an accompanying CD recording of the pieces, is edited by Edilson de Lima and published by the University of Sao Paulo (2001).

23. Collegium Musicum de Minas and Quadro Cervantes CDs can be ordered from Sonhos e Sons, (accessed 24 August 2005).

24. The group's Web site is (accessed 24 August 2005). Unfortunately, my requests via e-mail for more information went unanswered.

25. Gomes da Rocha's birthdate is given as ca. 1752 in Castagna's listening guide; this appears to be a typographical error rather than a revision of the generally held date of ca. 1746.

26. Some Brazilian musicologists use the term pre-classical to describe the Tercio and specific portions of many of the pieces from this era, bearing in mind that European stylistic trends reached Brazil relatively slowly.

27. For example, I wanted to know what edition was used for the motets so I could read the scores with interested students. Ensemble Turicum director Luiz Alves da Silva graciously provided this information for me in e-mail correspondence: the edition used was Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia, Obras corais a cappella (Rio de Janeiro: Associacao de Canto Coral), 1976.

28. The label's Web site address is: (accessed 24 August 2005).

29. Another Paulus CD that is out of print and which I was not able to obtain at any library is Musica na Catedral de Sao Paulo: Obras do arquivo da curia metropolitana de Sao Paulo (Paulus CD 004383 [1999]). According to OCLC WorldCat, no member library owns a copy of this recording.

30. Duprat published an edition of this treatise: A "Arte explicada de contraponto" de Andre da Silva Gomes (Sao Paulo: Arte & Ciencia, 1998).

31. Melo and pianist Max Barros have a publishing company intended to bring wider dissemination of Brazilian art music abroad. Its Web site may be found at (accessed 24 August 2005).

32. Gerard Behague, in his entry on Nunes Garcia for Grove Music Online, writes "it seems that he had some training in solfege under a local teacher. Salvador Jose." Gerard Behague, "Garcia, Jose Mauricio Nunes," Grove Music Online, (accessed 24 August 2005).

33. Gerard Behague, "Garcia, Jose Mauricio Nunes," Grove Music Online, op. cit.

34. The label's Web address is (accessed 24 August 2005). Orders can be placed with credit card online. Harmonia Mundi USA ( [accessed 24 August 2005]) distributes K617 in the United States, but when I inquired with them about the CDs under review here. I was told that they do not carry these particular recordings. "Pathways of the Baroque" (Les Chemins du Baroque) is the name of the label's buyer's club, which offers their CDs at a discount.

35. On the other hand, this recording also includes a gradual for Christmas Eve of 1793 (Gradual Dies sanctificatus), written for choir and organ but also existing in manuscript in an orchestral arrangement dating from 1799, well before the arrival of the Portuguese king and thus seeming to challenge Pacquier's argument.

36. Pacquier is referring to early seventeenth century English editions of the Bible such as Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins, The Holy Bible, containing the Old Testament, and the New (London: Robert Barker, 1613). Various version of this Bible were published around that time.

37. Because this opinion was expressed in a personal e-mail communication, I prefer not to name the musicologist here.

38. See the Web site (accessed 24 August 2005). Recordings of selected performances for these festivals are released periodically. See the Web site for information about ordering.

39. Brazil recently instituted limited affirmative action-style policies for university admissions. Such policies remain highly controversial there (as in the United States). For an excellent introduction to issues of race in contemporary Brazil, see Rebecca Reichmann, ed. Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999).
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