Friday, November 12, 2010

Ernesto Nazareth

The prolific Brazilian pianist and composer Ernesto Nazareth was a master of tango and choro music.

I don't pretend to know much about him, but I find his compositions (such as this one, Odeon) a moving evocation of a foreign time and place.

A quick internet search yielded the information that Nazareth was admitted to an asylum after some 'mental instability'. He shares this dubious honour with jazz greats like Buddy Bolden and Leon Rappolo. Other musicians too numerous to mention have exhibited signs of similar instability.

I wonder if this so-called instability has a link with artistic creativity. Or perhaps it has more to do with the chronic ill-treatment of artists across many societies, where an artist's self-worth can be gradually worn away by misunderstanding and ill treatment. Maybe there is no link at all, and musicians as a group are no more than proportionally represented amongst the 'unstable'.

One thing I know to be true - Bernd Lhotzky is a wonderful pianist!

1 comment:

Jo said...

Thanks for focusing on Nazareth, the Brazilian 'inventor' of choro/maxixe, originally labeled 'tango brasileiro' by the composer himself. Nazareth's fate is the unlucky one that he lost his family and gradually went deathp, that's what caused his 'mental instability'. - The composition 'Odeon' his most famous one, it is baptised at the height of Nazareth's career as a pianoplayer entertaining at the famous Odeon cinema/theater of Rio in the 1920s. - Nice rendition by Bernd Lhotzky, indeed!

Great blog, congratulations!

Jo

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