Friday, September 19, 2008

Anacleto de Medeiros

When choro evolved as a style of playing popular music in Brazil during the late decades of the 19th Century, one of the pioneers, who helped shaping this music style, was Anacleto de Medeiros (1866-1907). The son of a freed slave, Medeiros began to study music at the age of nine, and earned a degree from the Rio Conservatory when he was 20. He became well-known locally as a composer and performer on flute, clarinet and saxophone. His greatest musical impact, however, began in 1896, when he founded and conducted Rio de Janeiro's most famous military band, the Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros (Band of the Firemen's Corps).

Under Medeiros' baton, the Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros became known for its precision and its lavish Carnaval spectaculars. In 1902, it was the first Brazilian group asked to record cylinders and discs for the newly-established recording studio of Casa Edison.

Several compositions by Medeiros were recorded by the Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros for the Casa Edison label - he wrote and arranged over 100 marches and choro for the Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros. He had the lyrics to some of his compositions written by the poet Catulo da Paixão Cearense, who even wrote an ode praising him. One of these compositions written by Catulo was the xote "Iara," which, published in 1912 under the name "Rasga Coração," was later used by Heitor Villa-Lobos as the theme for his "Choros No. 10". Some researchers allege that Medeiros was the creator of the Brazilian xote (- a genre descended from the European Schottisch). To hear a recording of "Iara" as played by Medeiros' band for Casa Edison, use right mouse button and click here

Many of Medeiros' pieces, including "Iara", achieved great popularity at the time, and are still performed by choro groups today. In 1999 Kuarup Discos released a cd, 'Sempre Anacleto', containing 12 compositions by Medeiros (- and one homage piece to his wife, "Cecy", by Chiquinha Gonzaga). The music on the disc is played by the Art Metal Quinteto with the Banda de Câmara Anacleto de Medeiros, click picture below to learn more and to listen to sound clips.

To give you an impression of the way Anacleto de Medeiros' music is played today, I insert a couple of uploaded video performances. - Here's a rendition of Medeiros' march 'Jubileu' as performed by the Orquestra de MP do CBMERJ

Another popular piece by Anacleto de Medeiros often played by choro ensembles is his tango with the title " Os Bohemios"

To end this, here's a rendition of Anacleto de Medeiros' xote, "Santinha"



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff, Jo.

The first film isn't playing ...........


19 September, 2008  

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