Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Composer Octavio Pinto - Obscure and Delightful...

In preparing for a performance this Fall, I decided to add to the music I had chosen,  some encore material. A collection of pieces by the Brazilian composer, Octavio Pinto, seems to be just the right ticket, as they are, in my view, charming and clever pictures dealing with  memories of one's youth. They are, in fact, titled "Memories of  Childhood." It's almost as if Pinto had  decided to answer Schumann's masterful "Scenes from Childhood" one century later, though I find no evidence that Pinto had specifically  thought about the issue in those specific terms.
Titles such as "Run Run",  "Hobby-Horse", and "Sleeping Time" will give you  clear evidence of the direction that Pinto takes these little gems.
Pinto was a highly successful architect, known throughout his native Brazil, and composed out of sheer love for music. In actuality, he was gifted enough musically to have studied with the giant pedagogue Isidor Phillip, one of the last great teachers of the late 19th century. Phillip actually lived into his late nineties, and was a legend in the first half of the 20th century. It may be of some interest that both one of my teachers at Eastman School and I were students of Phillip a couple of generations apart.
Pinto may just be known to some of you simply because his wife was one of the truly great Brazilian musicians of the 20th century, Guiomar Novaes. She was generally considered as one of the century's leading pianists. Do listen to the magic of her message; her seemingly effortless and fluid manner for which she was known world-wide. I do believe that Pinto's "Memories of  Childhood" were written for her.
At any rate; for those of you who play the piano - why not get a copy of  these delightful and imaginative "gum-drops?"



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