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Duration: 5 minutes

CANÇÕES MODERNISTAS  (1982)
2 Songs for Soprano, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Viola
Also versions for Soprano, Guitar and Cello, and for Soprano and Piano

I.  Tristeza no céu
II.  No meio do caminho

Canções modernistas is a setting of two texts by Brazil's greatest Modernist poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987), including the single most famous and controversial 20th century Portuguese poem, No meio do caminho.

I.  Tristeza no céu (Sadness in Heaven)

In Heaven, too, there comes a melancholy hour,
A difficult hour
In which doubt invades the soul.
"Why did I create the world?"
God asks himself, and then answers:
"I don't know."
The angels look at him disapprovingly and feathers fall.
All hypotheses -- grace, eternity, love -- fall like feathers.
One more feather and Heaven will be undone,
But so softly that no sound shall betray the instant between everything and nothing,
that is, the sadness of God.

II.  No meio do caminho (In the middle of the road)

In the middle of the road
there was a stone
there was a stone
in the middle of the road
there was a stone
in the middle of the road
there was a stone

Never shall I forget that event
in the lives of my fatigued retinas.
Never shall I forget that

in the middle of the road
there was a stone
there was a stone
in the middle of the road
in the middle of the road
there was a stone.
 

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