Music by Antônio Carlos Gomes part of the UNESCO Memory of the World list

Recently, as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, we wrote about European music manuscripts registered on the UNESCO Memory of the World list. One of our readers, Rosana Lanzelotte, kindly pointed out to us that this list was expanded last year to include manuscripts by a composer about whom Giuseppe Verdi once said, "Questo giovane comincia dove finisco io" (This boy begins where I left off): Antônio Carlos Gomes (1836-1896).

After initial studies in Rio de Janeiro and the world premiere of one of his cantatas in the presence of the emperor, Carlos Gomes was awarded a scholarship which enabled him to study in Milan. It was also in Milan where Gomes celebrated his greatest success: the world premiere of his opera Il Guarany at La Scala in 1870. The RISM database also has two sources from this work. A copy of the overture can be found in the Biblioteca di Archeologia e Storia dell'Arte in Rome (RISM ID no. 854003084) and the “Ave Maria” scene from the first act is preserved as parts in the Biblioteca diocesana in Ortona (RISM ID no. 852037195).

After 1880, Gomes lived alternately in Brazil and Italy and thus became the "composer of two worlds," as he is called in the UNESCO nomination form.

Illustration: Title page of the score for the opera Il Guarany, from Wikimedia Commons.


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