Brazilian Mozart

He had two brothers, one named Verdi, the other Rossine, so it isn’t surprising that his parents had musical ambitions for Mozart Guarnieri. In an act of self effacement (and probably to ward off unkind comments) he changed his name to M.Camargo Guarnieri (Camargo was his mother’s maiden name, and M. stands, of course, for Mozart).
He is arguably the most important Brazilian composer after Heitor Villa-Lobos having written 6 symphonies, 6 piano concertos and many chamber works.

I had first come across him as one one of the composers in the collection Antologia per Chitarra published by Ricordi and edited by Abloniz – Manuel Barrueco played his Etude No.1 beautifully on an early recording.
This piece was dedicated to Isaias Savio, genial educator and performer. At that time Guarnieri had already composed Ponteio (1944) and Valsa Chôro (1954) for guitar solo.
Incidentally the Antologia is well worth getting hold of, as it contains, amongst other things original guitar pieces by Auric (one of Les Six), Poulenc, Petrassi, Sauget and Rodrigo.

I was reminded of the composer when chatting to Fabio Zanon at West Dean this year, and have come across some other works and arrangements of his, which give a fairly rounded view of this important Brazilian composer’s work.

First off, the “Brazilian Guitar Quartet plays Camargo Guarnieri” playing arrangements of Dança Negra, Valsa No.8 and Dança Brasileira

Cello Concerto

Choro for piano and orchestra

Concerto for strings and percussion

Ponteios for piano

Symphony No.4 ‘Brasilia’


2 thoughts on “Brazilian Mozart

  1. This is great, thanks for all the good info. I’m really interested in more material from Guarnieri. I seem to recall seeing some editions from Angelo Gilardino via Berben but can’t seem to find them anymore. I’ll have to look into it…

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