Friday, May 23, 2008

Gotas de Lágrimas

The shown sheet music extract has the title 'Gotas de Lágrimas' and is considered one of the most famous works for solo violão in the Brasilian guitar tradition. The tittle of the composition means in English 'Teardrops', and considering the fact that the music is a waltz, you can get an idea of the mood, if you to this put the reference to 'crying'. Teardrops usually are caused by crying, but - reflecting the meaning of the Portuguese 'choro' - you can 'cry' from sorrow or joy. Once Jacob do Bandolim stated that 'choro music' is a style of music expressing 'crying for joy', and with this reference, you have the - poetic - connextion to the choro music roots as a part of the ambigious meaning of the title of the composition, 'Gotas de Lágrimas'.

It's probably not a coincidence that this kind of playing with the meaning of words is a consciensous choice of title by the composer of 'Gotas de Lágrimas'. The piece was composed by Mozart Bicalho (1902-1986), poet, guitarist and composer of several challenging pieces for solo violão considered of the same high level as similar compositions by Américo Jacomino Canhoto and João Pernambuco in Brasilian guitar tradition. 'Gotas de Lágrimas' was recorded by Mozart Bicalho as soloist in 1930 for Odeon, and the record sold around 3 thousand copies that year - a very expressive number at the time. It was first presented by the composer in a radio broadcast and became popular with the public instantly, also among guitarists. In 1935 Dilermando Reis for instance was asked to perform the piece in a special radio feature, and later he would record 'Gotas de lágrimas' in 1963, when the piece had been published in written music.

Mozart Bicalho was born in Minas Gerais and lived for some time in Rio de Janeiro. Born in the city of Santa Barbara, district of Bom Jesus do Amparo, Bicalho was the author of the anthem of the city of Dom Joaquim composing lyrics and music. In 2001, was inaugurated in the city of Dom Joaquim a monument in his honor. Although less known by the general public, Mozart Bicalho is considered by many critics as one of the major Brasilian violonistas.

I found an impressive performance of 'Gotas de Lágrimas' on YouTube, enjoy Gilmar Martins playing this challenging piece for solo violão



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