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About this Piece

Although he first studied medicine, Brazilian composer Oscar Lorenzo Fernández (1897-1948) came up through the Rio de Janeiro musical establishment with largely conventional training, writing music after European models. He succeeded one of his own teachers as professor of harmony at the National Institute of Music in 1925, and in 1936 he founded the Brazilian Conservatory of Music, which he directed until his death.

In 1924 Fernández won a composition contest with his Trio brasileiro, a piano trio imbued with Brazilian popular elements. His subsequent works are decisively Brazilian in character, often quoting folksongs. Reisado do pastoreio (1930) is a sort of orchestral Christmas triptych based on Afro-Brazilian traditions, though without actual folk melodies. A festively pulsating Batuque, a type of percussion-driven secular dance, is the third movement of that suite.

- John Henken