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Oscar L. Fernandez (1897 - 1948)


Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez was born on November 4th, 1897 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As a child he received music lessons from his sister. In 1917 he got into the National Institutu of Music where he took harmony, counterpoint, and fugue lessons from Francisco Braga, Henrique Oswald, and Frederico Nascimento, among others. He was one of the founders of both Rio de Janeiro's Brazilian Conservatory and Brazilian Academy of Music.

Fernandez descends from the school of Nepomuceno, not from Villa-Lobos. His output may be divised into three periods.  The first period, from 1918 to 1922, has a strong influence of the French impressionism in the use of bitonality with no Brazilian flavour. Among his output of this period are the award-winning Noturno Op. 3 and Prelúdios do Crepúsculo Op. 15.

The second period from 1922 to 1938, is the period of his high production. He then incorporated Brazilian folklore into his music and wrote Reisado do Pastoreio, whose third movement, Batuque, is his most famous piece, being performanced by Toscanini and Bernstein. Other works of this period include Three Brazilian Suites, Valsa Suburbana, and Three Studies in the Form of a Sonatina.

The third period, from 1942 to 1948, is a synthesis of the previous ones, being more universalist than nationalist. He wrote two symphonies, the Sonata Breve, a set of Symphonic Variations and his most well-known song: Toada pra Você.

He died in August 27th, 1948 in the same city where he was born.


--Felipe Sarro (more on the author)

Brazilian Suites 
Miscellaneous