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(MODINHAS). ~ [Collection of Romantic Modinhas]. [Portugal, c. 1820.]
The romantic spirit was expressed in Portuguese music largely through the ‘modinha’, songs for one or two voices with accompaniment from the piano or guitar.
They were usually love songs based on popular melodies, but were highly ornamented in the style of the Italian aria. The form found huge popularity at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, both in Portugal and across the Atlantic in Brazil, and were published in print in collections such as the Jornal de modinhas, printed in Lisbon in the 1790s.
This contemporary manuscript collection contains 10 modinhas with piano accompaniments, mostly anonymous, but with three ascribed to composers João José Baldi (1770-1816, known principally for church music), Marcos António Portugal (1762-1830, mestre of the royal chapel at Rio de Janeiro from 1811) and Jozé Mauricio (1752-1815). They include examples for both one and two voices.
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