Antônio Carlos Gomes - Overture to Il Guarany
Royal Philharmonic Orch., E. A. Diemecke, cond.
If Villa-Lobos was the major composer of modern Brazil, Gomes (1836-1896) was perhaps the leading musician of the nation’s imperial past. His exoticist opera Il Guarany was a great success at La Scala in 1870, earning comparisons with Verdi and a decoration from the King of Italy. Gomes composed eight operas in total, but none of his other efforts enjoyed the acclaim of Il Guarany.
Gomes was faithful to the Brazilian monarchy; when the republic was established in 1889, Gomes left again for Italy, returning to Brazil only in the final months of his life.