Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bonfiglio de Oliveira - Trumpet Ace of Brazil Choro

If you liked the music beeing played in the trailer of Mika Kaurismäki's film, Brasileirinho, you would probably ask who composed this excellent choro, here performed by brass players accompanied by the Trio Madeira Brasil. The answer to that question is the name of Bonfíglio de Oliveira, the legendary Brazilian trumpeter and composer. Bonfíglio de Oliveira (27-9-1894 to 16-5-1940) is deservedly hailed as a remarkable performer of the trumpet in choro.
Alvaro Neder writes about him in AMG: "He first learned musical concepts from his father, a double-bassist. He played kick drums with Banda Beneficiente, soon joining Banda Mafra as trumpeter. His first song was written when he was at school, the military march "Padre Frederico Gióia." He then formed a band that performed in upstate São Paulo. In one of those performances, de Oliveira was heard by conductor Lafaiete Silva, who hired him for the orchestra that played at the cinema Ouvidor. He completed his musical studies and worked extensively as a double-bassist and trumpeter in several orchestras and groups,including the Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Municipal, conducted by Francisco Braga. In 1917, with Pixinguinha, he participated in Grupo de Caxangá. In the '30s he performed on Programa Casé, both as a soloist and a member of the studio orchestra." - About his role as a composer, Alvaro Neder mentions the following: 'He also excelled as a composer, with several marchas-rancho, the march "Carolina" (a hit of the Carnival of 1934, written with Hervé Cordovil), the waltzes "Glória" (with lyrics by Branca M. Coelho and recorded in 1931 by Gastão Formenti) and "Mar de Espanha," the song "Frô do Ipê" (lyrics by Nelson Abreu), and the choro "Flamengo" (recorded in 1931 by de Oliveira on trumpet)."- Moreover Neder states, that '(...) De Oliveira was the trumpeter for Pixinguinha's Grupo da Guarda Velha in 1932, continuing in the group when it became Diabos do Céu. He was also diretor de harmonia of the famous rancho Ameno Resedá. De Oliveira toured through Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal."
The title of the composition by de Oliveira beeing played on the soundtrack of the Brasileirinho-trailer (- it's on the cd also) is 'O bom filho a casa Torna' according to the sleeve info of the cd release of the Brasileirinho soundtrack (-track 07 on the cd). I have not been able to locate this in the Funarte database of Brazilian recordings, but in my ears this tune is the same as the one recorded by Bonfiglio de Oliveira himself on 08.06.1932 as LEMBRANCAS DO PASSADO (VICTOR, 33570-A, mx 65510). You may listen to this recording by consulting the online search facility at the Instituto Moreira Salles.
Jo

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