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A priest's funeral in Rio

A priest's funeral in 19th century Rio de Janeiro 1

In mid-1798, João Lopes Ferreira must have been seriously ill; indicates it he had to receive the payment for the music in the Brotherhood of St. Peter by an attorney. In July 4 or 5, 1798, he died. The inaccuracy in the date is due to the difference between the death records of the Cathedral and those of the Brotherhood of St. Peter. The fact that there is no preserved composition written by him, compared to more than thirty compositions of his pupil in that time, reinforces the hypothesis that he did not compose.

Two days before, perhaps because of the impending death, Nunes Garcia was appointed chapel master, a position he would occupy until the end of life. The dream to succeed the master had come true. The position of subchantre, also vacant, was conceded to Deacon Antônio Mariano.

In the early years as chapel master, he was generously remunerated. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, he received a quarterly payment of 125$000 (a hundred twenty-five thousand réis), equivalent to 600$000 (six hundred thousand reis) yearly, substantially greater than that received by the predecessor 2. In currency of 2014 it would be equivalent, to a monthly salary of BRL 3.312,33 3. It was also equivalent to the basic earning of the Solfeggio Master of the Patriarchal in Lisbon, Marcos Portugal.

In 1799 Nunes Garcia joined the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Benedict, in whose church the Cathedral was installed. Nothing, however, had he composed for this Brotherhood.

The prestige of the position brought him the preference to compose the music in the celebration of S. Peter, the patron of the Brotherhood of St. Peter of the Clerics, that guaranteed him, on average, 90$000 (ninety thousand reis) annually 4. During this period, he also applied to the bidding processes offered by the Municipal Chamber to provide the music for the religious celebrations outside the regular calendar of the See: San Sebastian, Corpus Christi, Saint Francis of Borja and the Visitation of Our Lady; as well as weddings, baptisms and deaths in the royal family and inaugurations of the viceroys in the colony. One of ceremonies whose music he scooped was the Mass in thanksgiving for the birth of Prince Pedro, in November 29, 1798, for which he composed a "Te Deum" unidentified, getting 33$280 for it 5. The musical ensemble used in these ceremonies would be enlisted among the musicians of the Cathedral, many of them longtime friends, and the students of his music classes. As he had to prepay the musicians, and repayment did not always happened quickly, these public offers did not guarantee him a stable income. Later he signed a contract with the Municipal Chamber, according to which he would receive 102$400 (one hundred and two thousand and four hundred reis) fixed annually to conduct the music in the four ceremonies, and the musicians were paid separately.

After ordination he felt the need to improve the speaker ability. From 1802 to 1804 he went on to attend, or restarted, the rhetoric classes with Manuel Inacio da Silva Alvarenga. Of this activity remains only the subject of seven of his sermons: of Sorrows; of Saint Cecilia; on Penance; of the Holy Innocents; of Our Lady of Perpetual Help; of the Tears; and of Pentecost 6.

The period was one of great productivity. Of 1799 are the graduals "Alleluia Angelus Domini" (CPM 140); "Alleluia Ascendit Deos" (CPM 141); "Benedictus es Domine, Qui Intueris" (CPM 142); "Justus Cum Ceciderit" (CPM 143); "Gradual to the Apostles" (CPM 143a), with autograph increases to the gradual with the same incipit "Constitues eos Principes" (CPM 136), written in 1795; and the gradual "Alleluia Confitmini Domino" (CPM 197). Also, of 1799 are the "Christmas Matins" (CPM 170) and the orchestration (CPM 170a); an instrumental "Libera Me" (CPM 181); a "Mass of the Dead" (CPM 182) and an "Office of the Dead" (CPM 183) for "The Birthday of the Deceased Messrs. Canons"; and the antiphon "Domine Tu Mihi Lavas Pedes" (CPM 198) for Holy Week; one "Pange lingua" (CPM XXI); a "Pontifical Mass for 4 Voices" (CPM CIII) and a "Te Deum" (CPM XCI-96?). Of 1800 are the graduals "Ad Dominum Dum Tribularer" (CPM 144) and "Jacta cogitatum in Domino" (CPM 145), and the motet "Te Christe Solum novimus" (CPM 52). In 1801, he composed the "Te Deum for the Matins of the Assumption" (CPM 91) and the "Mass in B-flat" (CPM 102). Of 1802 is the "Mass for the Pontifical of the Bishop of the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro" (CPM CIV). In 1803, he added to his instrumental repertoire the ouvertures "Zemira" (CPM 231) and "The Tempest" (CPM 233); and, in 1807, the antiphon "In Honorem Beatissimæ Mariæ Virginis " (CPM 4). In addition there were the compositions for the feasts of the Brotherhood of St. Peter in the 1799-1811 period, of which only remained the titles in payment books 4.

Despite his vows of celibacy, Nunes Garcia had in the first decade of the nineteenth century, a marital relationship with Severiana Rosa de Castro, born in 1789, also a free half-breed. Of this relationship were born five children: Apolinário José, in 1807, José Apolinário, in 1808, Josephina in 1810, Pamphilia in 1811 and José Antônio in 1813. Reaching in 1813 to seven dependents - mother, mistress and their five children - it is possible that, even before, the household expenses had already surpassed revenues 7. The situation of shortage in which he would be at the end of life would have been at least partly self-inflicted.

In addition to financial problems, there was the moral aspect of the situation. A house in which lived a priest, his mother, a woman and an increasing number of children would object observations and comments of neighbors initially, that sooner or later would spread through the city and reach the ears of the ecclesiastical authorities. In order to conceal his concubinage, José Maurício could not shelter his family in the house of his property in Rua das Marrecas, for there he ministered his public music classes. He then decided to live in rented properties for relatively short periods 8.

The second eldest son, Jose Apolinário, would change the name to José Maurício Nunes Garcia Jr., after having the paternity confirmed in registry by his father in 1830.

Dr. José Mauricio Nunes Garcia Jr. Antônio Nunes Garcia Jr.
Dr. José Mauricio Nunes Garcia Jr (1808-1884) and Antônio (1813-?), two of the composer's five sons. 6

Pagamento a João Lopes Ferreira, 1794

Registration appointment of Nunes Garcia chapel master of the Cathedral, July 1798. 7

1 DEBRET, Jean Baptiste. Viagem Pitoresca e Histórica ao Brasil [A Picturesque and Historical Travel in Brazil]. Rio de Janeiro: Itatiaia, 1992. v. 3, pr. 26.

2 João Lopes Ferreira's basic earning was 45$000 (forty-five thousand reis) per quarter, or 180$000 (a hundred and eighty thousand reis) per year.

3 Source: MeasuringWorth.com. Access: Oct. 10, 2014. Assuming an average value of 4$000 / £ in the period 1808-1821, 600$000 amounted to £ 150. According to the site, £ 1 in 1808 is equal to £ 68.05 in 2014, so £ 150 in 1808 are equivalent to £ 10,207 today. At the rate of BRL 3,894 / £ (11/10/2014), 600$000 in 1808 are equivalent to BRL 39.748,00 in 2014. If this is the annual earning, the monthly income is equivalent to BRL 3.312,33. It's important to observe that in Brazil this amount is sufficient only to fulfil the needs of one person, not those of a large family.

4 The relevant payment records to Nunes Garcia by the Brotherhood of St. Peter are:
1799- To the Chapel Master Father José Maurício for the Music of the Vespers and the St. Patriarch's Day 48$000
1800- To the Chapel Master José Maurício for the Music of the Vespers and the St. Patriarch's Day 48$000
   To the mentioned for the Novenas 35$200
1801- To the Chapel Master Father José Maurício for the Novenas and Te Deum of the Reelection of the Provider 40$960
   To the mentioned for the Music on all the St. Patriarch's Day 48$000
1802- To the Chapel Master Father José Maurício for the Novenas and Tedeu (sic) of the New Provider 40$960
   To the mentioned for the Music on the Saint's Day 48$000
1803- To the Chapel Master for all the Music 88$960
1804- To the Chapel Master José Maurício 88$960
1804-5- The amount for the Music which has been paid to José Maurício Nunes 76$800
1805-6-To José Maurício / For the Music of the Feast of Our St. Patriarch, and also for the Novenas 76$800
   For the Music of the 5 Domenica of Lent 8$000
   For the Music on the day of the Brotherhood's General Office 6$400
   For the Music of Holy Week 3$400
1806-7-Music / To José Maurício Nunes for the Music of the Feast of the St. Patriarch, 2 Te Deum and Novenas 76$800
   To the mentioned for the Domenica and Lent 8$000
   For the day of the Brotherhood's General Office 6$400
   Music in Plainsong for Maundy Thursday 8$000
1807-8-Music / To Reverend José Maurício Nunes for the Feast of the St. Patriarch, 2 Te Deum and Novenas 76$800
   To the mentioned for the Domenica and Lent 8$000
   To the mentioned for Maundy Thursday 8$000
   For the Brotherhood's General Office 6$400
1808-9-Music / To Reverend Father Master José Maurício Nunes for the Feast of the St. Patriarch, 2 Te Deum and a Novena 84$480
   To the mentioned for the Domenica of Lent 8$000
1809-10-Music / To Reverend Father Master José Maurício Nunes Garcês for the Feast of the St. Patriarch, two Te Deum and a Novena 92$800
   To the mentioned for the Domenica 8$000
   For the Feast of our Lady of the Hour 16$000
1810-11-Music / To R. Je. Maurício Nunes for the Novena and the Feast of the St. Patriarch 92$800
DINIZ, Jaime. Presença de José Maurício na Irmandade de São Pedro [The Presence of José Maurício in the Brotherhood of St. Peter]. In MURICY, José Cândido de Andrade et alii. Estudos Mauricianos. Rio de Janeiro: INM/FUNARTE/PRÓ-MEMUS, 1983.

5 MATTOS, Cleofe Person de. José Maurício Nunes Garcia - Biografia [Biography]. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Fundação Biblioteca Nacional, 1997. p. 47. It is important to state that the "auction" was a bidding process in which won the competition the music director who offered the lowest price to the Senate Chamber. There was nothing in the 1733 Chapter Statutes of the Cathedral that required the chapel master to participate in such procedures.

6 His son Dr. José Maurício Jr. engraved them in the allegory which graced the cover page of Mauricinas. GARCIA Jr., José Maurício Nunes. Mauricinas. Colecção de Canções e Valsas. Dedicada à Memória do Padre mestre José Maurício Nunes Garcia e Adornada com o seu retrato. Desenhado pelo Dr. J. M. N. Garcia [Collection of Songs and Waltzes. Dedicated to the memory of Father Master José Maurício Nunes Garcia and adorned with his portrait. Designed by Dr. J. M. N. Garcia]. Rio de Janeiro: Typ. Paula Brito, Sep. 22, 1849.

7 "past the days of mourning [after his father's death], that aunt Felizarda Moreira de Castro undertook the guard of the two orphans [his sisters] by a pension of 20$000 that I would pay her monthly [...] and soon after the seventh day Mass and office, I returned home only [...] to regret even more after being warned by the landlady of the building [...] it would cost me twice what paid my father, that is 32$000 [...]". In the composer's last years, therefore, only the annual expenditure on rent and maintenance of the daughters would amount to 432$000. GARCIA Jr., José Maurício Nunes. Apontamentos Biográficos [Biographical Notes] / José Maurício Nunes Garcia Jr. (with notes of CURT LANGE). In MURICY et alii. op. cit., 1983. pp. 15-22.

8 Dr. Garcia Jr. confirms that this was the situation: "I was born in house number 62 of Rua dos Barbonos [...] on December 10, 1808". GARCIA Jr., op. cit., P. 15. "It is impressive how many times Father José Mauricio changed his residence. Beginning with the information of his pupil Bonifacio Gonçalves, who met him in the parish of the Cathedral, [...] his registered addresses were: Rua da Vala, where he was born, Rua Detrás do Hospício (1792), Rua das Marrecas (1795), again Rua Detrás do Hospício, Rua dos Invalidos (1816), Rua de São Jorge (1817), Rua do Lavradio, Segunda Travessa de São Joaquim, Rua Detrás do Hospício and Rua do Nuncio (1830), where he died". MATTOS, op. cit., 1997, p. 251, n. 205.

9 MATTOS, Cleofe Person de. Catálogo Temático das Obras do Padre José Maurício Nunes Garcia [Thematic Catalog of Father José Maurício Nunes Garcia's Works]. Rio de Janeiro: Conselho Federal de Cultura, 1970. Photograph section.

10 "The fourteenth day of August one thousand seven hundred ninety-eight an Order was presented to me, of the Excellent Reverend Diocesan Bishop, I say to July 2 of this year, which provided to the Reverend José Maurício Nunes Garcês (sic) the place of chapel master of this Cathedral, by the death of the Reverend João Lopes Ferreira. And for the record I did this registration statement, which I signed. / The Penitentiary João Gonçalves da Silva Campos" Acervo Musical do Cabido Metropolitano do Rio de Janeiro [Musical Files of Rio de Janeiro's Metropolitan Chapter]. DVD-ROM. Document CRI-SD120. Access: Oct. 30, 2014.

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