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inflection, in an otherwise plain texture, serves this dance style admirably well.

Study n 3, tempo de chorinho, is technically and psychologically the simplest of


all, but the inherently mischievous, playful character of the choro genre is conveyed through continuous and minute changes of tempo, inflection, articulation and expression that can be quite hard to control in performance. Studies
6 and 9 employ typical rhythmic figurations of the xaxado and embolada, two
dance forms of African origin, most popular in the northeast of Brazil. In this
type of music, the choreographic element is a determining factor, dicult to understand from the classical standpoint: our notation, strongly based on the alternation of strong and weak beats, tends to consider rests as absences of movement; in African music, an absence of sound very often signifies the presence of
a preparatory movement (for instance the raising of the arm of a drum player).
This tends to displace the centre of interest to the upbeats. Mignone manages to
convey such a feeling of displaced accent by highlighting staccato chords or by
accenting single bass notes within a basically continuous sequence of crisp and
convoluted semiquavers. In this way the natural swing comes out in performance quite eortlessly, creating a careless and engaging atmosphere. Study n 8,
allegro, is more of a farce, where the binary, rapid march rhythm of the northeastern frevo is crossed with a fast gigue in 12/8 to create a mutating metre and
an atmosphere at times childish and fidgety or aggressive and threatening.
Studies 4 and 12 belong to the traditional toccata-like style and derive most
of their interest from the technical juggling required, and Studies 10, lento e con
muito sentimento, with its desolate chromaticism and stark style of wide, sobbing leaps and 11, Spleen andante, with its dark, Amazonian severity of expression, form a dramatic interlude near the end of the set.

oscar lorenzo fer nandez (18971948)


At his untimely death at the age of fifty, in 1948, Lorenzo Fernandez was the
most often performed composer in Brazil, enjoying unprecedented prestige as a
composer, conductor and teacher. His sudden death, however, marked the beginning of a steady weakening of this popularity. His musical education was a
hundred per cent Brazilian. As a lifelong adept in the profound study of harmony, his musical style became more refined in comparison to Villa-Lobos, but
also more laboured; this deep knowledge led him to found and direct the Brazilian Conservatory of Music in Rio de Janeiro. He has often been described as a
well-behaved composer, especially in contrast to the enfant terrible nature of
Villa-Lobos. To a certain extent this is true: overall, his work lacks the enormous
originality of his more famous contemporaries Villa-Lobos and Guarnieri, and
the outgoing personality of Mignone. But the strong symphonic argument and
richness and fluency of his inspiration have been a basis for a strong revival in
the last ten years, and he unreservedly deserves a high position on the rostrum
of Brazilian nationalistic composers. His vocal works are particularly strong, but
his two Symphonies, his vast production of chamber music and a short showstopper, Batuque, one of Leonard Bernsteins favourite encores, also deserve
wide circulation.
Fernandezs early death did not allow him to enjoy the benefit of the first generation of Brazilian guitarists of international standing (Laurindo de Almeida
coming first in the fifties, followed in the sixties by Turbio Santos, Barbosa

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fabio zanon