Guerra Arr. by Luciano | Com as criancas for solo guitar
Guerra Arr. by Luciano | Com as criancas for solo guitar

Guerra Arr. by Luciano | Com as criancas for solo guitar

Model: DZ 3545 UPC: 9782897954628 ISBN: 9782897954628
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Composer: Nininha Velloso Guerra
Model: DZ 3545
Arranged by: Luciano Lima
Instrumentation: Solo guitar
Level: Advanced
16 pages
Publisher: d'Oz Publications


Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 18th, 1895, Nininha Velloso Guerra achieved great recognition as a pianist and a composer in the first two decades of the 20th century. The lack of information about her can only be explained by her unfortunate passing at the early age of 26. However, thanks to Manoel Aranha Corrêa do Lago’s doctoral research entitled O Círculo Veloso-Guerra e Darius Milhaud no Brasil (The Veloso-Guerra Circle and Darius Milhaud in Brazil), published as a book in 2010, we have the chance to learn more about her and the musical modernism in Brazil.

Nininha is the nickname of Maria Virgínia de Castro Leão Velloso, whose last name was later changed after her marriage with Brazilian composer Oswaldo Guerra. Belonging to a particularly brilliant generation of Brazilian pianists like Antonieta Rudge, Guiomar Novaes and Magdalena Tagliaferro, Nininha’s musical identity would be distinguished by her intense involvement with modern music, both as a pianist and a composer. She received her musical education from her father, Godofredo Leão Velloso, who was particularly fond of the – then – contemporary music, encouraging his students to play pieces by Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Charles Koechlin and Abel Decaux. Nininha’s first recitals date from 1907, when she was only 11 years old, playing works by Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy and Auguste Sérieyx (a disciple of Vincent d’Indy). In a concert on May 29th, 1908, Nininha is featured as a composer for the first time with the piece Jeannon et Suzette, for voice and piano. In 1917, French composer Darius Milhaud, then still at the beginning of his career, came to Brazil with French diplomat and writter Paul Claudel as his secretary and cultural attaché. Milhaud became a close friend of the Velloso-Guerra who, according to him, were the youngest and most advanced elements in line with the Groupe des Six.

Com as Criancas (With the Children) is a six movement piece originally written for solo piano in 1913, when Nininha was 17 or 18 years old. The style is greatly influenced by French modernist music, being among the first Brazilian impressionist compositions. As a matter of fact, it seems to be in some way inspired by Claude Debussy’s Children’s Corner (1908), as they share some distinct traits beyond the titles: both works, despite being based on children’s universe, are not intended for them to play since these pieces are technically and musically quite demanding; they have the same number of movements; dolls (Nininha’s They dance with their dolls and Debussy’s Serenade for the doll); there is a French translation bellow the titles and the movements (having Debussy chosen English for this piece); on the cover of Com as Crianças, edited by Casa Arthur Napoleao in Rio de Janeiro, there is a monogram with Nininha’s initials in the same fashion of the one used by Debussy in some of his editions. Curiously, Nininha gave the Brazilian premiere of Children’s Corner in 1916, a day after Debussy’s 54th birthday. Her admiration for the French impressionist composer can be seen in her programs, present in nearly every recital, from the very first to the last. Also, in some of her rare pictures, Nininha is at the piano with a portrait of Debussy that looks very much like the one painted by Marcel-André Baschet on the background wall. But it is important to say that Com as Crianças is an absolutely original work, showing a composer that had her own voice and full command of the craft, what is quite impressive at such an early age. It is her only published score (besides Jeannon et Suzette, which was published in the musical supplement of the magazine Renascença, in 1908). There are, however, a few manuscripts of pieces for orchestra, unfinished works and other pieces confirmed by concert programs or letters that seem to have been unfortunately lost.

In 1920, Nininha moved to France with her husband. But, sadly, a few months later her health began to decline. Her last recital was on April 16th, 1921, at Salle Pleyel, in Paris. She passed on November 15th, 1921. One can only imagine how far Nininha would have gone had she lived longer, how many pieces she would have composed or even recorded. Nevertheless, her memory is alive through this piece, Com as Crianças, with its beautiful colors and contours that give us a glimpse of her creative universe.


  • Model: DZ 3545
  • Manufactured by: d'Oz/Doberman
  • Condition: New
  • UPC: 9782897954628
  • ISBN: 9782897954628
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