Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dengozo....Ernesto Nazareth


Watch this's only about a minute long.
I don't think you will see this on Dancing with the Stars.

Nazareth was a famous composer from Brazil. His music was international and often
thought to be Parisian but only because it was performed so widely in Paris.
This little clip is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (I know you thought that was Linda and Mike) performing a tango called The Maxixe Tango.
Maxixe (pronounced Ma-chee-ch)

Ernesto Nazareth (1863-1934) was born and lived throughout his life in Rio de Janeiro. Raised in a modest home, he began piano lessons with his mother and then studied with family friends Eduardo Madeira and Lucien Lambert. His unusual talents were recognized at an early age when, at fourteen, his first piano composition, the polka-lunda Voce bem sabe was published.

During this time musical life in Brazil was a rich tapestry of imported European art music and indigenous folk music performed by the chorinhos. The chorinhos were serenading bands who played a variety of string and wind instruments including guitar, mandolin and ukelele, flute and clarinet. These street musicians improvised on traditional Brazilian folks melodies and rhythms very often flavored with “blues-like” tunes known as choros. For Nazareth, these musical currents were among the ideas which charged his own imagination at the keyboard.


  1. Interesting clip feat. Fred & Ginger, the music by E. Nazareth originally was a tango-maxixe as stated on the shown sheet, but here it has been changed into a fox-trot like rendition, drawing from ragtime, of course. Anyway, Nazareth and choro is a full chapter whorth describing more detailed, but here it is worth mentioning that he didn't designated his works in that genre as 'choro'; he choose to name them 'tango brasileiro' drawing on the craze for tango of the time. Never mind, Nazareth is generally considered one of the founders of the choro genre; if you should claim the source for this genre, it would definitely not be 'blues' or 'blues-like' music, indeed, much nearer in musical ways are the European 'polca, mazurka, schottish' often presented in the rhondo-form - like ragtime! Well, then add the afro-infected rhythm pattern like in ragtime, then you have the hybrid named 'choro'.
    Thanks for your interesting blog, I'll study your messages with interest in future as well.
    A Happy New Year from
    Jo at

  2. Hello Mike and Linda,
    Nice post!
    If you want to know more about Nazareth and listen to his works, I invite you to visit the project I've been carrying out for the past 3 years. In it, I've recorded 55 rare works by Nazareth, most of which have never been recorded, and also a text was written about each one In Portuguese). The recordings are the end of each text:

    Best wishes,