Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ernesto Nazareth

Ernesto Júlio Nazareth (1863 - 1934) was born in Rio de Janeiro and learned to play the piano as a child with his mother. After her passing away in 1873, Ernesto continued his piano studies and began composing. His first piece, the polka "Você Bem Sabe" was written and published when he was just 14 years of age. He had and open ear for the popular music beeing played in the streets and favoured by choro musicians, his own works for piano were influenced by maxixe, lundu, habañera and choro. Nonetheless, as a classical musician he would not allow such popular denominations into his own music, instead he would classify his pieces as i.e. 'Brazilian tangos'.
Nazareth worked as a pianist at the prestigious movie theater Odeon of Rio de Jainero, where he wrote one of his most famous compositions, "Odeon". Many musicians would go to the Odeon theater just to see and hear Nazareth play. Later he got a job at a music shop to support his living ang growing family, there he was hired to play the sheets asked for by customers. Among the music sheets were his own compositions and according to some sources he was very demanding towards people, who themselves would try to play his pieces, frequently telling the possible buyer to interrupt the performance!
By the late 1920'ies Nazareth began facing hearing problems that worsened towards the end of his life. A depression following the passing away of his daughter and wife intesified the decay of his mental health - he was hospitalizied in 1933 and died the following year.
Ernesto Nazareth left a legacy of compositions favoured by both classical and popular musicians. His first composition labeled 'choro' is "Apanhei-te Cavaquinho", other well-known pieces are "Brejeiro", "Ameno Resedá", "Bambino", "Dengoso", "Travesso", "Fon Fon" and "Tenebroso". Nazareth's works remain a core repertoire of Brazilian choro, performed by numerous artists in various settings to this day.
The above info was supplied from an artist profile at AllBrazilianMusic
More about Ernesto Nazareth including soundclips to be found here


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