Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

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Fernandez, Oscar Lorenzo

(b Rio de Janeiro, 4 Nov 1897; d Rio de Janeiro, 27 Aug 1948). Brazilian composer of Spanish descent. After theory and piano lessons with João Otaviano, he studied harmony with Nascimento, the piano with Oswald and counterpoint and fugue with Braga at the Instituto Nacional de Música. On Nascimento’s death in 1924 he was appointed professor of harmony at the institute, and during the early 1920s he took part in the foundation and activities of the Sociedade de Cultura Musical. He founded the short-lived review Illustração musical in 1930, and in 1936 the Conservatório Brasiliero de Música, which he directed until his death. He was also active as an orchestral conductor.

Fernandez’s first works, dating from 1918–22, are in the main Romantic and Impressionist piano pieces and solo songs, but with the Trio brasileiro (1924) and the Canção sertaneja (1924) he turned towards musical nationalism, combined with new techniques. In the cyclically formed Trio the themes have a clear mestizo folk character. The period 1922–38 was his most creative, seeing the composition of such characteristic works as the Suite sinfônica, the Amerindian tone poem Imbapara, Reisado do pastoreio and the opera Malazarte, all based on traditional Brazilian music. The Suite sinfônica takes material from two Bahia folksongs and from a nationally known lullaby; Imbapara uses melodies collected by Roquete Pinto from the Parecis Indians of Mato Grosso, as well as authentic percussion instruments. For Reisado do pastoreio Fernandez looked to the caboclo and Afro-Brazilian traditions, though without direct quotation; the finale, ‘Batuque’, became a standard item of the Brazilian orchestral repertory. Malazarte is specially important in the history of Brazilian opera in that it is clearly a nationalist work, both in subject matter and in musical content; it is considered the first successful Brazilian opera of this sort. The story is based on Iberian-Brazilian folklore and the music relies on popular themes. The characters, who depict specific Brazilian ethnic and cultural traits, are associated with particular folk or popular genres (the choral numbers are all based on folksongs), though without falling into musical exoticism. The last section of the orchestral suite from the opera, also called ‘Batuque’, won great popularity. Fernandez’s songs, the majority of them rooted in native music, are widely held to be his most important achievement.


(selective list)

Op: Malazarte (after J.P. Graça Aranha), 1931–3, orch suite, 1941

Orch: Pf Conc. no.1, 1924; Suite sinfônica sôbre 3 temas populares brasileiros, 1925; Imbapara, poema amerindio, 1928; Amayo, bailado incaico, 1930; Reisado do pastoreio, 1930; Vn Conc. no.1, 1941; 2 syms., 1945, 1947; Variações sinfônicas, pf, orch, 1948

Chbr: Pf Trio, 1921; Trio brasileiro, pf trio, 1924; Suite, wind qnt, 1926; 3 invenções seresteiras, cl, bn, 1944; Str Qt no.2, 1946

Pf: Historietas maravilhosas, 1922; Prelúdios do crepúsculo, 1922; Rêverie, 1923; Poemetos brasileiros, 2 series, 1926, 1928; Acalanto da saudade, 1928; 3 estudos em forma de sonatina, 1929; Bonecas, 1932; 3 suites brasileiras, 1936, 1938, 1938; Boneca yayá, 1944; Sonata breve, 1947

Songs: Canção sertaneja (E. Goes), 1924; Meu coração (Mello e Souza), 1926; Toada prá você (Andrade), 1928; Berceuse da onda (C. Meireles), 1928, also with orch; Noturno (E. Tourinho), 1934; Essa negra fulô (J. de Lima), 1934; Madrigal (O. Kelly), 1943

Principal publishers: Ricordi, Southern, Vitale


E.N. França: Lorenzo Fernandez, compositor brasileiro (Rio de Janeiro, 1950)

V. Mariz: História de música no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, 1981, 4/1994)

S. Nepomuceno: Catálogo geral de Lorenzo Fernandez (Rio de Janeiro, 1992)


Fernández (de Castilleja), Pedro

(b Castilleja de la Cuesta, nr Seville, c1480; d Seville, 5 March 1574). Spanish composer. He was appointed maestro de capilla at Seville Cathedral on 13 August 1514, succeeding Pedro de Escobar. Fernández held the position for the remainder of his life, but during the last 25 years of his tenure most of his duties were carried out by Francisco Guerrero. In the prologue to his Viage de Herusalem, Guerrero labelled the older man ‘el maestro de los maestros de España’, because he had taught many fine composers, possibly including Cristóbal de Morales and Rodrigo de Ceballos.

Although he was not prolific, Fernández’s works are competent; stylistically they are similar to those by other composers active in Spain between 1500 and 1530 such as Juan de Anchieta. Fernandez’s Salve regina is one of the most important in Spain before those by Morales. Knighton (1983) proposed that the Sanctus and Alleluia: Nativitas tua attributed to him were in fact composed by Pedro Hernández de Tordesillas, but they may simply be earlier works by Fernández de Castilleja. The two freely-composed motets Dispersit dedit pauperibus and Heu mihi, domine are very different from the Salve regina because they employ imitative writing throughout: they may have been composed later in Fernandez’s life, if they are indeed by him.


all edited in Wagstaff (1990)

Sanctus, 4vv,

Alleluia: Nativitas tua, 3vv; Circumdederunt me, 4vv; Deo dicamus 4vv; O gloriosa domina, 4vv; Regem cui omnia, 4vv; Salve regina, 4vv; Dispersit dedit pauperibus, 4vv [doubtful]; Heu mihi, domine, 5vv [doubtful]

Villancico, 4vv




T.W. Knighton: Music and Musicians at the Court of Fernando of Aragon, 1474–1516 (diss., U. of Cambridge, 1983), 272–3

G.G. Wagstaff: A Stylistic Study of Music Attributed to Pedro Fernández de Castilleja (thesis, U. of Texas, Austin, 1990)

G.G. Wagstaff: ‘A Re-Examination of Music Attributed to Pedro Fernández de Castilleja’, IMSCR XV: Madrid 1992 [RdMc, xvi (1993)], 2722–33


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