Brazil Music News
RIO DE JANEIRO – Vinicius de Moraes, singer, songwriter, bohemian, womanizer, inveterate smoker and whiskey connoisseur, would have been 99 years old Friday (19 Oct.). Author of classics such as “Saudade,” “Eu Sei que Vou Te Amar” and “Garota de Ipanema” (Girl from Ipanema), Vinicius de Moraes worked with the biggest names in Brazilian Popular Music (MPB), such as Tom Jobim and Chico Buarque.
Vinicius de Moraes: ‘Girl from Ipanema’ Author
His vast works included literature, theater, cinema and music. Vinicius de Moraes died in Rio de Janeiro 9 Jul., 1980, due to complications resulting from cerebral ischemia, at age 66.
Son of civil servant and poet Clodoaldo Pereira da Silva and pianist Lidia Cruz, Vinicius showed an interest in poetry, beginning in childhood. He entered the Jesuit college Saint Ignatius, where he did his secondary studies.
There, he joined the church choir, where he developed his musical skills. In 1929, he began to study law at the National School of Rio de Janeiro. In 1933, the year he graduated, he published “O Caminho Para a Distancia.”
He never practiced law. He worked as a film censor, until 1938, when he received a scholarship and went to London. There, he studied English and literature at Oxford University and worked at BBC in London until 1939.
Returning to Brazil, he dedicated himself to poetry and popular music. He collaborated with musicians Toquinho, Tom Jobim, Baden Powell, Joao Gilberto, Francis Hayme, Carlos Lyra and Chico Buarque.
His collaboration with Toquinho proved the most productive and yielded popular songs, such as “Aquarela,” “A Casa,” “As Cores de Abril,” “Testamento,” “Maria Vai com as Outras,” “Morena Flor,” “A Rosa Desfolhada,” “Para Viver Um Grande Amor” and “Regra Tres.”
Vinicius’ poetry had already passed through two phases. The first stage is full of mysticism and deeply Christian, as expressed in “O Caminho para a Distancia” and in “Forma e Exegese.” The following stage addresses everyday issues, highlighting the female character and love, as in “Ariana,” and “A Mulher.”
The author also addressed major social issues of his time, the flagships being “A Rosa de Hiroshima” and the parable “O Operário em Construção,”