Acquaintance with Francisco Mignone

Francisco Mignone was the composer that the violão (Brazilian guitar) led to notoriety in Europe, North America, and in almost all of Latin America. The same occurred with Villa-Lobos, whose great international recognition was equally achieved through this surprising and always fascinating six-string instrument. But in Brazil, the piano was the principal instrument that brought both composers to the height of their celebrity. Mignone and Villa-Lobos were two of the greatest composers that 20th Century music produced.

Even today, however, Mignone's piano work is barely known outside of Brazil. Practically unknown are the Congada (which had its orchestral version premiered in Rio de Janeiro by the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by none other than the great Richard Strauss), the Valsas de Esquina, that merited transcriptions for piano duo that I've had the opportunity to perform quite often, and let's not forget the Valsas Brasileiras that Alexandra Mascolo-David made me discover. What a happy discovery it was!

Mignone was always in the forefront of musical creation throughout the course of the 20th century. He did not lose contact with current times, did not limit himself to an identifiable musical language, nor did he adhere to a stylistic-aesthetic model. Instead, Mignone followed diverse experimental paths with an often-cheerful curiosity and recreation. I consider the Six Preludes extraordinary pearls of the modern repertoire and the Transcendental Etudes extremely interesting and enriching examples of Brazilian pianism.

I had the privilege to perform for Maestro Mignone when I was 15 years old, on the occasion of a concert in which I received the Prize in the competition of the Conservatory of the "Estado" Campos de Tatui in São Paulo. I was notified of Mignone's illustrious presence by the director of the Conservatory, José Coelho de Almeida, minutes prior to the opening of the concert. (The impression and great responsibility I felt did not make me shiver only because of the excitement and spontaneity of my youthful age; I sensed, and today I recognize how emblematic that meeting became of past and future affinities. Francisco Mignone, at 15 years of age studied with Luigi Chiaffarelli, of the great lineage of Italian teachers, from whose school my first piano teacher Maria de Oliveira also "descended.") That competition was in 1970, and I immediately told Professor Coelho: "In that case, I will perform the Lenda Sertaneja No. 2," a beautiful piece by Mignone that I had studied some time before. At the end of the concert I received numerous compliments and a strong handshake from the major Brazilian composer of that time! These were very good auspices for my future studies and for a career that soon would begin to accelerate.

Alexandra Mascolo-David has made a choice of the highest quality in selecting Mignone's Fantasias Brasileiras, as she had already done in her emblematic recording of the Valsas Brasileiras. To her, we Brazilians offer all our admiration and recognition for revealing Mignone's works of great historic-artistic-musical value. They will finally be heard and recognized for their illuminating beauty and importance.

Fábio Luz, Turin, Italy, March 2010 - Coordinator of the Piano Area at the Accademia Superiore Cittá della Musica and of the Teatro di Penne in Pescara, Italy. (Text Translated by Alexandra Mascolo-David)

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Honors Convocation Recital

Date: Thursday, August 28, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Staples Family Concert Hall
Price: This concert is free and open to the public.

Faculty Artist Jay Batzner, composition

Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Staples Family Concert Hall
Price: $5 public, $3 students/seniors. Tickets are available at the Central Box Office by calling 774-3000.

Alan Gumm, Faculty Presentation

Date: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Chamichian Recital Hall
Price: This concert is free and open to the public.

Faculty Chamber Music Concert

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Staples Family Concert Hall
Price: $5 public, $3 students/seniors. Tickets are available at the Central Box Office by calling 774-3000.

Guest Artist Andreas Klein, piano

Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Staples Family Concert Hall
Price: $5 public, $3 students/seniors. Tickets are available at the Central Box Office by calling 774-3000.
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