Francisco Mignone and the Sixteen Waltzes for Solo Bassoon

Benjamin Coelho

Iowa City, Iowa

 

 

Introduction

 

The Mignone waltzes have become a standard part of the bassoon repertoire with many performances and recordings around the world. To my knowledge there are four different complete recordings of the Waltzes by bassoonists NoĎl Devos (Brazil, 1981), Andris Arnicans (Russia, 1986), Barrick Stees (U.S.A., 1993) and Arthur Grossman (U.S.A., 1994). A few other bassoonists have recorded some of the waltzes and many others have included them on their recitals.

 

I became familiar with the existence of the waltzes in 1985 when I was a student at the Sarasota Music Festival. In Sarasota, Sol Schoenbach asked me to help him translate the titles of the waltzes and some interpretive markings in Portuguese. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find out about these waltzes since I am from Brazil as Mignone was also.  As I was translating the titles for Mr. Schoenbach, I could see how Mignone was a person with a witty sense of humor since many of the titles were parodies, jokes or simply homage to musicians and friends.  Some of the titles I came to find out later were not as simple to understand as I had initially thought. When I returned to Brazil and lived in Rio de Janeiro and studied with Devos I learned a great deal more about Mignone and his waltzes. 

 

In my travels around the world, people often inquire about the Portuguese and the markings in these waltzes. I hope that in this article I can assist a larger portion of the bassoon world to become more familiar with the style of Mignone’s waltzes.

 

Francisco Mignone

 

Francisco Paulo Mignone was born in Sčo Paulo, Brazil, on September 3rd, 1897, the year after his parents Alfério and Virginia Mignone arrived in Sčo Paulo from Italy.  The father was a virtuoso flutist who also played the violin, clarinet, cello, piano, and French horn.  His five children; Francisco, Filomena, Guilherme, Domingos, and Renato were all musically trained, but only the boys pursued it professionally.[1]

 

In a letter from Francisco Mignone to Bruno Kiefer, written on March 21st, 1981, he talks about his first musical lessons: “My father was really the one that put me in front of an old upright piano, either rented or borrowed. I should have been only about five or six years of age.”  In another section of the same letter: “Early I started to learn flute with my father, and sometimes I had cello lessons.  On the flute I graduated in 1917, a course taught by my father at Conservatório Dramático e Musical de Sčo Paulo .  I also graduated in 1917 with degrees in piano and composition.”[2]

 

Other important teachers of Mignone were: Agostino Cantúm, counterpoint, composition and piano; Sílvio Motto, piano; Savino de Benedictis, theory and harmony.  It is worth mentioning that all of Mignone’s teachers were Italians.  At that time in the early 1900s, the Italian immigrants dominated the music scene in Brazil, particularly in Sčo Paulo.

 

At the age of thirteen Mignone was earning his own money playing the piano and conducting small dance orchestras and soon after by playing flute in larger orchestras in Sčo Paulo.[3]

 

 As a young flutist Mignone loved to improvise and play serestas/serenatas[4] in the

streets of Sčo Paulo with Grupos de Chôro.[5]   This experience developed rapidly into composing.  At that time he composed strictly popular music under the pseudonym Chico Bororó (after a Brazilian Indian tribe). One might ask: Why use the pseudonym?  Mignone himself answers that question, “It is because at the beginning of the century, to write popular music was something disqualifying and vile.”   He didn’t start to use his real name until he graduated from the Conservatório .[6]

 

Together, Mignone and his father decided to prepare a concert where Mignone would show off his qualities as a pianist, conductor and especially as a composer. On September 16th of 1918 the concert was performed at the Teatro Municipal de Sčo Paulo.  This was Francisco Mignone’s formal debut and the concert was decisive to his career.  He was awarded a scholarship by the Sčo Paulo government to study in Europe.  Senator José Freitas Vale was the main figure that helped Francisco to obtain that governmental scholarship.[7]  At the age of 23 Francisco Mignone departed to Europe where he lived for nine years.  He made sporadic trips to Paris and Vienna and lived in Spain for an extended period of time. 

 

Mignone returned definitively to Brazil in 1929.  He was still to encounter the biggest of his challenges, and it was an important time for deep reflections about the direction his composing was headed. Nationalism was in fashion at that time, and the main leader of the movement was Mário de Andrade (1893-1945).  Andrade was a contemporary of Mignone and they both studied at the Conservatório at the same time.  Mignone and Andrade were very good friends and had a mutual respect for each other. 

 

Andrade didn’t sacrifice his strong beliefs about nationalism for their friendship and he criticized Mignone’s style vehemently.  In one of his chronicles in 1928 titled “Campaign against the Lyrical Seasons” he writes: “...they will justify that the opera guild presented The Innocent by Francisco Mignone in its repertoire and don’t only promote Italian operas.  That was true.  However, if the Sociedade de Cultura Artística movement was not well led, we would not be able to recognize that this composer was already able to compose operas like hundreds of other international musicians...”  Andrade continues “...I have to admit that today’s situation about Francisco Mignone is distressing, and we are to the point of losing him, a useful Brazilian talent.  An essentially dramatic musician, endowed virtually with a European culture, and completely influenced by Italian prototypes, Francisco Mignone faces a pathetic situation.  He does not find librettists who can provide national subjects.  If he finds them, there will be another problem to solve before the work may be staged: the libretto shall be translated into Italian because nobody sings in Brazilian......The Innocent belongs to Italy.  Brazilian music remains the same before and after this opera.  That is why I consider Francisco Mignone’s case so sorrowful.”[8]    

 

Mignone decided to redefine his style of composition after Andrade’s honest and frank criticism.  He believed he needed to search for a new style of composing and be true to the Brazilian spirit. He then went on to become one of the most important figures of musical nationalism in Brazil.  Some of his earlier works in the nationalistic style relevant to bassoonists are the Sexteto for woodwind quintet and piano (1935) and the Quatro pećas brasileiras written originally for piano in 1930 which he transcribed for bassoon quartet in 1983.

 

Even though Mignone earnestly composed music with nationalistic themes, in the 1960s he experimented with other styles of composition like serialism and atonalism.  As Mignone himself described his first contact with atonal music:  “It was not until 1960, after having finished the composition of my single concerto for piano and orchestra, and also having rehearsed and conducted the St. Marks Mass by Stravinsky, that I felt it necessary to improve my compositional technique through approaching other styles.  I began analyzing Stravinsky’s works.  Then I read and studied all the information available about dodecaphonism and serialism.”[9]

 

Again we bassoonists were very fortunate that Mignone wrote some works for the bassoon in this style including the Sonatina for solo bassoon (1961) and the Second Sonata for two bassoons (1967).

 

Mignone didn’t feel his incursions into serialism contributed much, so he decided to return to nationalism.  From that point on until the end of his life, the composer reinstated his interest in national idioms, cultivating a repertoire that includes mostly Brazilian characteristic pieces such as chôros, valsas, valsas-chôro, modinhas, and toadas, among others.[10]

 

Once again we bassoonists were blessed with works that include the set of sixteen waltzes and the concertino for clarinet and bassoon (1980) among others.  For a more complete list of works for solo bassoon and chamber music see appendix.

 

José N. Valle categorized Mignone’s work into five distinct periods: the popular (1910-1920), the European (1920-1930), the nationalistic (1930-1960), the experimental (1960-1970), and the neo-nationalistic (1970-1986).

 

Francisco Mignone was not only a great composer but he also excelled as a pianist, teacher and conductor.  As a pianist he constantly performed with pianist Josephina Mignone (his second wife), as a duo, concertizing throughout Brazil.  As a teacher of composition and conducting at the Instituto Nacional de Música  (today called Music School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), he taught some of the most important musicians in Brazil such as: Eleazar de Carvalho, Roberto Duarte, Mário Tavares, Henrique Morelembaum, and Ricardo Tacuchian.  As a guest conductor he conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Germany; the NBC and the CBS Symphony orchestras, U.S.A.; Accademia de Santa Cecilia , Italy; and the most important Brazilian orchestras.  As the principal conductor he led the Jornal do Brasil Radio Station Orchestra, Globo Radio Station Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, and the Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional da Rádio MEC.

 

Unfortunately, most of Mignone’s works are not published or are out of print.  Fortunately we are seeing a rise in interest about his music with new recordings and dissertations about him and his works. This will certainly produce a positive change and make his music more available to the world.  As he stated once:

A vida de todo artista criador é um compromisso com a posteridade.” (The life of every creative artist is a commitment with posterity).[11]

 

Francisco Mignone died on February 19, 1986, leaving over 1000 works to posterity.

 

Sixteen Waltzes for Solo Bassoon

 

Francisco Mignone was given the nickname “Rei da valsa” (King of the waltz) by the writer and poet Manuel Bandeira.  It is a perfect nickname; Mignone wrote five different sets of waltzes in his life.  It is curious to notice these waltzes were written in sets.  Three out of the five sets have 12 pieces, one 6 pieces, and the last one has 16 pieces.  Three sets of this genre were written for piano, one for guitar and the last one for the bassoon.  There is no question that Mignone was influenced by his early life as a popular musician.

 

Why did Mignone become so interested in the Brazilian waltz?   In some of his discussions with Mário de Andrade, Mignone concluded that the waltz was not influenced commercially like the other genres.  Mignone said:  “...at one time, in a discussion, always with Mário de Andrade, the person that most helped me with aesthetic concerns, we denoted from all of the Brazilian music, the one that had suffered the least amount of commercialization by the United States was the waltz.  The waltz stayed genuinely Brazilian...”[12]

 

These waltzes clearly use elements of Brazilian popular music.  These elements are presented to the bassoonist in forms of expression markings, as for example, in the 6­Ľ Valsa brasileira, imitando violčo (like a guitar, m. 38).  This interpretative mark does not clarify to the interpreter what the composer really meant. If the interpreter is not familiar with the serenata guitar style of Brazilian urban music at the turn of the 20th Century, it would be unlikely that he or she would understand Mignone’s interpretation markings. 

 

One visible characteristic of these pieces is the mode. Most European waltzes are in  major keys, Brazilian waltzes are usually in minor keys and in simple binary form or variations of that, with some exceptions. The mood is essentially sentimental sometimes sounding overemotional as in the popular Brazilian waltzes.

 

The waltz went through cultural transformations in Brazil.  The most important difference between the traditional waltz and the Brazilian waltz is the Brazilian one was not meant to be danced to but instead to be played in the traditional street strolling serenade style of Rio de Janeiro’s nightlife.  The improvised solo part, rubatos, and interpretative markings were always evoking a sentiment or emotion.

 

The Sixteen Waltzes for Solo Bassoon were written in 1979 and 1981. Mignone wrote the first two waltzes on October 10th and 11th of 1979 and the other fourteen in 1981.  The month of April was the most productive one for him.  Eleven waltzes were written between the 7th to the 23rd of April of 1981, one was written in January of 1981 and the two others only have the year 1981 printed in the manuscript.

 

The reason for the lapse between the first two and the rest is a simple and funny one.  Elione de Medeiros tells us in his dissertation how the waltzes for solo bassoon came to life. “In 1979 the pianist and professor of the Music School of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Irany Leme, created a project for a cycle of recitals entitled Em Tempo de Valsa  (In Waltz Beat).  This traditional musical gender was very much appreciated and well suited for an artistic-didactic occasion.  In this cycle of six recitals, all of them regarded waltzes in their many different aspects, both in the classical and/or popular style.  Various performers and composers were invited for the occasion, including Francisco Mignone and NoĎl Devos.  Devos was honored by the invitation but had to decline.  He did not have or he could not find, in his repertoire, such a style of composition in the bassoon literature.  Promptly, Irany Leme called Mignone urging him to write some waltzes for Devos.” [13] Mignone gladly wrote the first two waltzes in October of 1979.  Bassoonists around the world are indebted to Irany Leme for these wonderful Brazilian waltzes that are a landmark in the bassoon repertoire.

 

It is imperative to mention the great teacher and virtuosi bassoonist NoĎl Devos.  Devos was born in France and went to Brazil in 1952 to be the principal bassoon soloist with the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro by invitation of the maestro Eleazar de Carvalho. In 1952 Francisco Mignone and NoĎl Devos met at the time that Mignone was the director of the Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro.  Up to that point, Mignone had not written any solo pieces for the bassoon.  The first work that emerged from this relationship was the Concertino for solo bassoon and orchestra written in 1957. It was premiered in the same year, more specifically on July 6th with NoĎl Devos as the soloist and Mignone conducting the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira. The concert was performed at the Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro.[14] Devos was the catalyst that inspired Mignone to write so many works for the bassoon. Their relationship was based on mutual respect and admiration for each other.

 

 

Description and Translation of Titles and Portuguese Terms

 

1.     Macunaíma (Valsa sem carater)

Macunaíma (Waltz with no Character)

 

This waltz was composed in October 10 of 1979 and is the first one of the set. The title is definitely an homage to Mário de Andrade. Macunaíma is perhaps the most representative literary work by him. Macunaíma is a prodigious creature of Amazon mythology, a hero of woeful and curious character.  As in many of the waltzes by Mignone, Macunaíma also has a strong improvisational feeling like the novel by Andrade, and presents the happiness, spontaneity, and customs of Brazil.

 

Š      Cantando (m. 1) - singing

Š      Sem precipitar (m. 18) - without anticipation

Š      Cedendo um pouco (m. 75) – giving in a little

 

2.     Valsa-Chôro 

Chôro-Waltz

 

This was the second waltz that Mignone wrote.  It is a classic example of a traditional Brazilian style waltz.  This waltz shows Mignone reminiscent of his days as Chico Bororó.  Valsa-Chôro is a style of a Brazilian waltz that is to be played in a moderately slow tempo.

 

Š      Sem repetićčo (m. 31) – without repetition

Š      A última vez bem rall. (m. 24) – the last time a lot of ritardando

 

 

 

3.     Valsa improvisada

Improvised Waltz

 

As the title suggests this waltz should give us the impression of improvising in an introverted and intimate way. The loudest dynamic marking is a “p” with some occasional crescendo – decrescendo markings.

 

Š      Moderadamente - moderately

Š      Devagar (m. 31) – slow

 

4.     Valsa ingźnua

Naive Waltz

 

This is a very happy sounding waltz.  As the title and tempo markings suggest we witness an interior simplicity and grace.  The piece is flirtatious and playful yet depicts a sense of purity.

 

Š      Deciso (m. 17) - decisively

Š      Cantando (m. 34) - singing

Š      Calmo (m. 52) – calmly

 

5.     Apanhei-te meu fagotinho (Valsa paródia)

I Got You, My Little Bassoon (Parody Waltz)

 

This is a parody of a chôro by Ernesto Nazareth entitled Apanhei-te meu cavaquinho. This particular piece is well known among popular musicians because of its virtuosic character with the tempo always very fast to demonstrate the performers technical abilities. It is the only waltz in the set in a major key.  See examples below.

 

Š      Bem rápido (tempo marking) - very fast

Š      Devagar (m. 49) - slow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.     6Ľ valsa brasileira

6th Brazilian Waltz

 

This waltz was originally written for the piano.  Mignone wrote a set of Valsa Brasileiras (Brazilian Waltzes) for piano solo. Each waltz is dedicated to different people.  Mignone literally took the right hand of the piano and transcribed it for the bassoon with some occasional octave displacement.  When there are interjections of the left hand, Mignone simply changed dynamics to give the impression of a different voice. There are some differences between the piano and the bassoon version, as can been seen in the examples below.  The piano version was dedicated to Irany Leme the key figure responsible for the birth of the sixteen waltzes for the bassoon.

 

After the eight bar introduction the tempo marking is Bem seresteiro meaning "Very Seresteiro.  Seresteiro comes from the word Seresta that translates as Serenade.  Seresta is a type of musical activity that happened in the evenings using small ensembles that included guitars, mandolin, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and bandeiro (tambourine). 

 

The term seresta is derived from the word sereno, meaning after dark until dawn.  It became very popular in Brazil at the turn of the 20th Century where popular musicians would gather together to perform in the streets after dark to serenade their loved ones.  They played different types of music such as waltzes, modinhas, chôros, and other styles of music.

 

Seresteiro also describes the composer or interpreter in the seresta group.[15]  Fast arppegios emulating the strumming of a guitar are heard on the descending staccato notes (measure 38) where Mignone indicates imitando violčo (like a guitar). It is common for the chôro groups to utilize a seven-string guitar usually played as the bass instrument of the group. The extra low “C” string was often used to make the connection between parts of the composition, Mignone uses a similar technique here.  In measure 73, the indication in French trés agile comme une flute (agile as a flute) Mignone depicts the very common flute improvisation style of 16th note ascending arpeggios of the serestas.  

 

Š      Com muito entusiasmo (tempo marking) - very enthusiastically

Š      Marcado (m. 1) - accented

Š      Bem seresteiro (m. 9) - genuinely like a person that plays serenades

Š      Imitando violčo (m. 38) - imitating a guitar

Š      Dramatizando (m. 46) - dramatizing

Š      Mais devagar (m. 68) - slower

Š      Desaparecendo (m. 69) - disappearing

Š      Violčo (m. 70) - see imitando violčo

Š      Forte e dramático (m. 79) - strong and dramatic

Š      Tempo seresteiro (m. 85) - tempo of seresta

Š      Suplicante (m. 82) - to beg; to supplicate

Š      Cantando (m. 93) - singing

 

Mignone, 6Ľ valsa brasileira for solo bassoon, FUNARTE. Rio de Janeiro. 1981.

 

 

Mignone, Valsa brasileira Nľ 6 for solo piano, Editora Arthur Napolečo Ltda., Rio de Janeiro. 1981.

 

 

7.     Valsa em si bemol menor (Dolorosa)

Waltz in B flat Minor (Painfully)

 

NoĎl Devos described this waltz as “spectacular” because of the expressiveness of the piece.  Mignone used the whole range of the bassoon with large leaps to symbolize the sentiment of pain.  In measure three, five, seven, and ten the grace notes are clearly notated before the beat by Mignone. These grace notes give us the impression of a sigh, thus adding a sense of drama to the music.

 

Š      Valsa lenta (tempo marking) - slow waltz

Š      Doloroso (m. 2) – painfully

 

 

 

8.     A escrava que nčo era Isaura (Valsa sem quadratura)

The Slave who wasn’t  Isaura (Waltz without form)

 

A escrava que nčo era Isaura best characterizes Mignone’s style of the valsa seresteira.  This work is dedicated to the memory of Mário de Andrade.  The title of this waltz was taken from an essay written by Andrade in 1922 about the tendencies of the modernistic poetry in Brazil. The Mignone waltz is not a variation nor should be confused with the novel written by Bernardo Guimarčes entitled The Slave Isaura, which was a very popular soap opera in Brazil in the 1970s.

 

Š      Valsa sem quadratura (sub-title) – waltz without form

Š      Valsa Lenta (tempo marking) - slow waltz

Š      Cedendo um pouco (m. 36) - giving in a little

Š      Cantando (m. 40) - singing

Š      Calmo (m. 92) – calmly

 

 

9.     Valsa da outra esquina

Waltz of the Other Corner

 

Valsa de esquina are waltzes that were played on the street corners.  The street corners were considered neutral territory, that is, not in front of a particular persons house. The seresta groups strolled from house to house serenading their loved ones. 

 

The music that was played on the street corners was often performed in a faster tempo as well as in major keys. Although this waltz is in the key of E minor the piece has an uplifting sound with its ascending sixteenth note pick-up followed by staccato notes.  This type of writing, again, emulates the improvising character of the serestas.  The title of this waltz is a good example of Mignone’s acute sense of humor at play.  This waltz is not from “this” corner but from “that” corner.

 

Š      Valsa viva (tempo marking) – lively waltz

Š      Seco (m. 27) - dry

Š      Expressivo (m. 63) – expressive

 

10.   Pattapiada – (Homage to the flutist Patápio Silva)

 

This piece is homage to the virtuosi flutist Pattapio Silva.  On the cover of the manuscript Mignone writes a note about Pattapio. “Pattapio da Silva, flutist carioca (a person from the state of Rio de Janeiro), mulatto, celebrated by his distinguished virtuosity in his instrument.  Lived in the first decades of this century (1900).  Was one of the pioneers of popular music recording in Rio de Janeiro.  He had a short life due to tuberculosis.”  

 

Mignone uses a very famous waltz written by Pattapio called Primeiro Amor (First Love) as a model.  Each of the sections of this waltz resembles Silva’s work.  Again, this waltz allows the musician the opportunity to show off their technical abilities and talents.  Pattapio Silva was always challenging other flute players with this piece and could never find a flute player that could play this piece faster than him.  Mignone indicates in parenthesis and in French the tempo marking le plus vite possible (as fast as possible).  See the beginning measures of each section of Pattapio’s piece and compare to those of Mignone’s valsa.  

 

Š      Um pouco calmo (m. 35) - a little calmer

Š      Deciso (m. 67) – firm and decisive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.  Aquela modinha que o Villa nčo escreveu

That Modinha that Villa Didn’t Write

 

This waltz not only honors Heitor Villa-Lobos, it also demonstrates Mignone’s sense of humor. Modinha is a lyrical and sentimental song derived from the Portuguese moda.  At the end of the 18th Century in Portugal, the word moda was generically used to define any Aria, Song or ballroom song.[16] Mário de Andrade defines the origin of the word Modinha as the way that Portuguese and Brazilians love to loosely designate the diminutive to words for things that are delicate or small.[17]

 

The Modinhas of the 18th Century were usually in 4/4 or 2/4 time signature.  At that time, the Modinhas were only played and sung as part of the royal court and aristocracy and were known as Modinhas Imperiais.  Italian opera arias and the waltzes influenced Modinhas, which became part of the popular culture and Modinhas started to appear in the 3/4 meter.[18] Aspects of the opera aria were retained in the popularization of the modinha. This style of music leaves the closed ballrooms and goes out onto the streets, in the moonlit nights always accompanied by the guitar, an instrument that became an inseparable companheiro.

 

Š      Villa (title) - That is short for Villa-Lobos

Š      Implorante, saudoso e triste (tempo marking) – imploring, longing and sad

Š      Delicado (m. 32) - delicate; tender

Š      Mais devagar (m. 37) -slower

Š      Bem devagar e completo abandono (m. 41) - very slow and with complete abandon

 

12.  Mistério (Quanto amei-a!)

     Mystery (How Much I loved Her!)

 

There is speculation that this waltz along with Valsa Declamada (O viúvo), are about Mignone’s own personal loss.  His first wife Liddy Chiafirelli disappeared in an airplane accident in 1961.  Neither the airplane nor any of its occupants were ever found. 

 

Š      Tempo de Valsa sentimental e doentia (tempo marking) - in time of a sentimental and feeble waltz

Š      Conclusivo (m. 29) - conclusive

Š      Preludiando (m. 33) – as if improvising, like a prelude

Š      Apaixonado (m. 54) - passionately

 

 

13.  A boa Páscoa para vocź, Devos! 軐Happy Easter to You, Devos!

 

The waltz A boa Páscoa para vocź, Devos! (Happy Easter to You, Devos!) was written on April 16, 1981 during Easter week. The melodic line, along with Mignone’s expression markings, alternations of animandos, ritenutos, a tempo, vivo, etc., depicts a rhythmic freedom with the impression of improvisation.  This is very much like the seresta style.

 

Š      Com serenidade (m. 47) – with serenity

 

 

14.  Valsa quase modinheira (A implorante)

Almost a Modinheira (Modinha style) Waltz (The imploring woman)

 

The title, sub-title, and tempo marking of this waltz are very important to help the interpreter decide what the character of this piece will be. The upward motion in the beginning gives the impression of someone trying to attain something with great difficulty.

 

Š      Valsa quase modinheira (title) – Waltz in an almost modinha like style

Š      A implorante (sub-title) – A woman imploring or begging.

Š      como saudosa canćčo suspirada (tempo marking) – like a sighing yearning  song

Š      Insistente (m. 33) – insistent

Š      Largamente (m. 47 and 67) - broad

 

 

15.  Valsa declamada (O viúvo)

      Recited Waltz (The Widower)

 

This waltz is in the key of A-flat minor with constant repeated notes. Mignone indicates as a tempo marking the expression quase falando (almost speaking, parlando) suggesting to the interpreter the manner in which these repeated notes should be played. In this monologue-like waltz Mignone is perhaps implying his own grief as a widower as mentioned in the waltz Mistério.

 

Š      Moderadamente [quase falando]  (tempo marking) - moderately [almost speaking, parlando]

Š      Acalmando (m. 8) - to calm down

Š      Calmo (m. 41) - calmly

 

 

16.  +1 3/4 (One more in 3/4 meter)

 

Once again Mignone’s sense of humor is apparent.  The piece itself is very challenging technically. This piece was written on the day that the Brazilian people celebrate the initial uprising of the colony of the Brazil.  This subsequently failed.  At the bottom of Mignone’s manuscript he reminds us of this event by signing the name Tiradentes who was the martyr of this battle.

 

Š      Com alegria interior (tempo marking) - with inner joy

Š      Como cadźncia virtuosística (m. 45) - like a virtuosic cadenza

 

 

Selective Bibliography

 

Andrade, Mário.  Dicionário musical brasileiro.  Belo Horizonte: Editora Itatiaia, 1989.

 

Kiefer, Bruno.  Mignone, Vida e Obra.  Porto Alegre, Brasil:  Editora Movimento, 1983.

 

Marcondes ,Marcos Antônio, editor.Enciclopédia da Música Brasileira, popular, eurudita e folclorica.  Sčo Paulo, SP : Art Editora : Publifolha, 1998.

 

Mariz, Vasco, editor. Francisco Mignone – o homen e a obra.  Funarte: Editora da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, 1997.

 

Medeiros, Elione de.  Uma abordagem técnica e interpretativa das 16 valsas para fagote solo de Francisco Mignone.  Master of Music Dissertation: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 1995.

 

Mignone, Francisco, et al.  A parte do Anjo.  Sčo Paulo: Editora Mangione, 1947.

 

________.  Catálogo de obras.  Ministério das Relaćões Exteriores.  Brasília, 1978.

 

Valle, José Nilo.  The Operatic Works of Francisco Mignone: An Analytical and Textual Guide with Reference to his Contribution to Brazilian National Opera.  Doctoral of Musical Arts Dissertation: University of Washington, Seattle, 1992.

 

Verhaalen, Sister Marion. The Solo Piano Music of Francisco Mignone and Camargo Guarnieri. Doctor of Education Dissertation: Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, 1971.

 

 

 

APPENDIX

 

The list below includes works that were originally composed for the bassoon and works that were Mignone’s own transcriptions.

 

BASSOON SOLO

 

- Concertino para fagote e pequena orquestra (1957)

- Sonatina para fagote solo (1961)

- Sonata para fagote solo (1971)[19]

- Concertino para clarineta, fagote e orquestra (1980)

- 16 Valsas para fagote solo (1979/1981)

 

 

TWO, THREE AND FOUR BASSOONS

 

- Sonata nľ 1 para dois fagotes (1961)

- Sonata nľ 2 para dois fagotes (1966-67)

- Tetrafônia e variaćões em busca de um tema para quarteto de fagotes (1967)

- Cinco pećas para canto e fagote (1976)

- Sonata a tre para trźs fagotes (1978)

- Mais uma lenda para quarteto de fagotes (1983)

- Minueto para quarteto de fagotes (1983)

- Quatro pećas brasileiras para quarteto de fagotes (1983)

- Serenada bem acabada para quarteto de fagotes (1983)

- Serenada humorística para quarteto de fagotes (1983)

 

 

DUOS

 

- Invenćčo para flauta e fagote (1961)

- Invenćčo para clarineta e fagote (1961)

- Passacaglia para clarineta e fagote

- Valsa brasileira nľ 2, 5 e 8 para clarineta e fagote

 

 

TRIOS

 

- Sonata a tre para oboe, clarineta e fagote (1964)

- Quatro Sinfonias para oboe, clarineta e fagote (1968)

- Invenćčo para oboe, clarineta e fagote

 

 

 

WOODWIND QUARTET

 

- Quarteto de sopros

- Baianinha para quarteto de madeiras

- Seresta nľ 3 para quarteto de madeiras

 

 

QUINTET/SEXTET

 

- Sexteto nľ 1 para quinteto de sopros e piano (1935)

- Quinteto nľ 1 para quinteto de sopros (1961)

- Quinteto nľ 2 para quinteto de sopros (1961)

- Aria para quinteto de sopros (1961)

- Sexteto nľ 2 para quinteto de sopros e piano (1974)

- Sexteto nľ 3 para quinteto de sopros e piano (1977)

- Urutaú, o pássaro fantástico para piccolo, flauta, clarineta, fagote e 2 pianos (1977)

- Gavotta para flauta, oboe, fagote e quarteto de cordas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Medeiros, Elione de, Uma Abordagem Técnica e Interpretativa Das 16 Valsas Para Fagote Solo de Francisco Mignone. Master of Music Dissertation.  Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1995, p. 7. 

[2] Bruno Kiefer,  Mignone Vida e Obra.  Porto Alegre, Brasil: Editora Movimento, 1983, p. 10.

[3] Verhaalen, Sister Marion, The Solo Piano Music of Francisco Mignone and Camargo Guarnieri. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, 1971 p. 21.

[4] Serenata is a style of Brazilian music performed in cities around Brazil mainly in the first half of the 20th Century.  Literally it means serenade. In his Dicionário de Músia Brasileira Mário de Andrade explains that serenata is a musical performance that happens after dusk.

[5] Chôro in Portuguese means to cry, to weep. Grupos de Chôro were popular music ensembles that played popular music called Chorinhos, bittersweet laments. They would improvise while strolling and serenading, usually at nighttime. This style of music was elevated to Brazilian art music and made world famous by the hands of Heitor Villa-Lobos.

[6] Kiefer, p.12.

[7] Kiefer, p.14.

[8] Apud Kiefer, p.16 and 17.

[9] Kiefer, p. 58.

[10] Valle, José Nilo.  The Operatic Works of Francisco Mignone: An Analytical and Textual Guide with Reference to his Contribution to Brazilian National Opera.  Doctoral of Musical Arts Dissertation: University of Washington, Seattle, 1992, p. 98.

 

[11] Mignone, Francisco, et al.  A parte do Anjo. Sčo Paulo: Editora Mangione, 1947.

[12] Apud Medeiros, p.2.

[13] Medeiros, p.22.

[14] Mariz, Vasco, editor, Francisco Mignone – o homen e a obra.  Funarte: Editora da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, 1997.

[15] Andrade, Mário.  Dicionário musical brasileiro.  Belo Horizonte: Editora Itatiaia, 1989, p. 471.

[16] Marcondes ,Marcos Antônio, editor.Enciclopédia da Música Brasileira, popular, eurudita e folclorica.  Sčo Paulo, SP : Art Editora : Publifolha, 1998.

[17] Andrade, Mário, Dicionário Musical Brasileiro.

[18] idem

[19] This sonata for solo bassoon appears to be lost.