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The Palace of Quinta da Boa Vista in 1808
The Palace of Quinta da Boa Vista

The palace of Boa Vista, ceded to Dom João by Manuel Elias Lopes.
The first drawing shows how it was in 1808, and the second, the improvements made from then to 1816. 1


The court's move to Rio de Janeiro was traumatic for the city of sixty thousand inhabitants. It is estimated that the entourage of the royal family had five hundred people, but in the following years, came to the town about fifteen thousand new residents who needed shelter and food. In the absence of available homes, the only remedy was to take them by force. Once chosen, the house was marked with the initials PR (Prince Regent), and the occupants had the obligation to release it in 24 hours.

Despite the turmoil, the population regarded in the installation of the Court an opportunity of progress for the city. In addition to the institution of the Royal Chapel, the Prince Regent endeavored to recreate in Rio de Janeiro the same institutions that served him in Portugal. In a few months, the Bureau of the Palace of the Justice and Conscience and Orders, the Court of Appeal, the Royal Treasury, the Bank of Brazil and the Royal Printing 2. These institutions heralded the end of the colonial rule, legally abolished in 1816 with the rise of Brazil to the status of United Kingdom to Portugal and the Algarve, and made possible the country's independence in 1822.

To avoid problems with food supplies due to the sudden increase in population, the Prince Regent ordered improvements in the Royal Farm of Santa Cruz, a former Jesuit settlement, distant seven leagues (50 km) from the city. The property had been transferred to the Crown in 1769 with the expulsion of the Jesuits from Portugal and all the colonies. The food produced there was shipped to Rio and sold in the "ucharia" in the city, installed in the ground floor of the Carmelite convent. The farm would soon be transformed into a summer residence of the royal family. Since the time of the Jesuits, there was a chorus of slaves, and since they would be useful in masses, the Prince Regent ordered that two music teachers should there reside and work to improve their musical skills.

The ensemble composed by the choir of singer chaplains and the musicians of the Cathedral did not please the prince, acquainted to the ensemble of the Patriarchal in Lisbon, composed by professionals whose technique and virtuosity was praised among the princely chapels of Europe. But as the coming of these artists to Rio de Janeiro was made impossible by the occupation of the Kingdom, the music in the royal ceremonies had to be, in the course of 1808, in charge of the ensemble of the See. The task of composing new works fell to the chapel master. Nunes Garcia fulfilled an extensive list of commitments in the year 1808, because besides the ceremonies of the liturgical calendar of the Cathedral, was responsible for the music of the Brotherhood of St. Peter; the direction of music in ceremonies finished off the Municipal Chamber in 1807 and further contracted some compromises due to the arrival of the royal family, as the music for the procession of Corpus Christi, who inaugurated the Chapel Royal. The last ceremonies of 1808 celebrated the restoration of Lisbon 3 and Christmas. For the liberation of the city was sent celebrate a Triduum in the Royal Chapel, on December 19, 20 and 21. Another ceremony was held in the church of the Order of the Thirds of Mount Carmel by the Municipal Chamber, without the participation of the chapel master 4.

Most of the repertoire composed in 1808 was of works for choir with organ accompaniment, reinforced by bassoons and basses. The main compositions of 1808 were the "Mass of the Purification of Our Lady" (CPM 103); "Mass of St. Peter of Alcantara" (CPM 104), for the 19th day of October, dedicated to Prince Dom Pedro, the "Pastoral Mass" (CPM 108), the "Mass in F" (CPM 119); one "Credo" (CPM 121); an orchestral "Qui Sedes" (CPM 162); and some works that have been lost: a "Alternated Benedictus to the feast of Our Lady of Glory" (CPM XII); a "Mass of the Nativity and Credo" (CPM CV); the "Matins of the Assumption for 4 voices and organ" (CPM CXXVIII); the "Vespers of Our Lady", from which there is the notice of a "Magnificat" (CPM CXXXVII); and the "First and second Vespers of Corpus Christi" (CPM CXXXVa). In addition to the usual contribution to the festivities of the Brotherhood of St. Peter.

Once liberated the capital, the Prince Regent summoned to Rio de Janeiro some of the singers and musicians of the Patriarchal, which as of September 1809 began to be admitted to the Royal Chapel 5. Their arrival was gradual and intensified in 1811, and made Rio de Janeiro, according to European travelers, an important musical center at the time. They also directly influenced the compositions of the chapel master. Most of the arias Nunes Garcia composed were tailored to the vocal range and the technical resources of the soloists planned to interpret them, and their names were assigned in the scores. However, the prejudice against a Brazilian and mulatto conductor made the artists of Lisbon organize themselves into a pressure group against him 6.

The Royal Chapel would adopt temporarily the 1733 statute of the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, until its own statute had been drafted; this responsibility had been assigned by the Prince Regent to the bishop and first chaplain. The order was carried out during 1808 and 1809; and the first draft was presented to the Prince on August 4 this year. Because of successive refinements, it would last another year until the approval of the definitive text, on September 27, 1810. The statute attributed to the chapel master extra charges like to appoint the absence and mistakes of each of the musicians and singers, to effect the deduction of fines of their payments. These functions definitely did not contribute to the good relationship between the conductor and those conducted 7.

In 1809, even with the still incomplete orchestra, there were numerous ceremonies in the Royal Chapel. The celebration of the city's patron saint, Saint Sebastian, on January 20, was the first chaired by the Bishop and Fist Chaplain, with the presence of the Prince. On March 7, the first anniversary of the "safe arrival" of the royal family to Rio de Janeiro, was celebrated with Mass and "Te Deum"; this celebration would be continued until 1822. The Municipal Chamber repeated the same ceremony the next day in the Chapel of the Thirds of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The 1809 works whose manuscripts reached the present days are: the motet "Felix Namque" (CPM 54); the "Te Deum of the Matins of St. Peter" (CPM 92); the "Mass of St. Peter of Alcántara" (CPM 105); the "Lauda Sion" sequence (CPM 165), for the feast of Corpus Christi; a "Stabat Mater for 4 voices" (CPM 166), composed from a theme sung by the Prince Regent; the responsory "Simon Petre" (CPM 171), the "Matins of St. Peter" (CPM CXXX); "Office of the Dead for 4 voices and organ" (CPM 184); the motet "Judas Mercator Pessimus" (CPM 195); the "Matins of the Resurrection" (CPM 200); the motet "Vexilla Regis" (CPM 225), for 4 voices. Among the 1809 compositions of which exists only historical references, there are: an "Ecce Sacerdos" (CPM V) to 8 voices and organ; the "Litany of Our Lady" (CPM XXV) to 4 voices and organ, composed for the brotherhood of the Thirds of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and a series of motets: a "Motet of Our Lady for processions" (CPM XXXI), to 6 voices; a "Motet for the Septenary of the Sorrows of Our Lady" (CPM XXXII) to 4 voices and organ, a "Motet for the Acclamation of our Lord King John IV" (CPM XXXIII) to 8 voices, a "Motet for the Trezena of Saint Anthony" (CPM XXXIV); a "Fallas Gratia" (CPM XXXV) to 4 voices and organof the "Responsory of Saint Anne"; a "Motet and Responsory of the Guardian Angel of the Kingdom" (CPM XXXVI); a 'Motet for the 2nd and last Responsory of the Matins of the Holy Spirit to 4 voices and organ" (CPM XXXVII); a motet "Cum Jejunatis" (CPM XXXVIII) to the offertory of the Mass of Ash Wednesday, 4 voices; a motet "In Jejunio" (CPM XXXIX) for the first Sunday of Lent, 4 voices; a motet "Vidi Dominum" (CPM XL) for the second Sunday of Lent, 4 voices; a motet "Videns Jacob" (CPM XLI) for the third Sunday of Lent, 4 voices; a "Motet for the Wednesday of Ashes" (CPM XLIV); a "Creed" (CPM CLVI) to 8 Voices; the sequence "Victimæ Paschali" (CPM CXIV); the "Vespers to 6 voices and organ" (CPM CXXXVIII); a "Novena of St. Joseph" (CPM LIX); a "Novena of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" (CPM LX), a "Mass of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady" (CPM CVII) to 4 voices and organ; a "Mass of St. Michael the Archangel" (CPM CVIII), a "Mass and the Creed of the Visitation of Our Lady and the Guardian Angel of the Kingdom" (CPM CIX). Besides all, the music for the festivities of the Brotherhood of Saint Peter.

This year Nunes Garcia composed for the first time, music for the stage: a dramatic praise authored by Gastão Fausto da Câmara Coutinho entitled "Ulissea, Drama Eroico" (CPM 229), whose theme was the Portuguese victory in the first invasion of the Kingdom. The subtitle of the composition bears the date on which it would be presented: June 24. It probably had only been presented on 17 December, the Queen's Birthday 8. The partnership was to be repeated the following year with another dramatic piece entitled "The Triumph of America" (CPM 228), presented on May 13, birthday of John and wedding date of his daughter, the Infanta Maria Teresa. The Brazilian singer Maria da Conceição da Lapa, the "Lapinha" was the soloist suitable for both works. For that singer had he, in 1808, dedicated a small "Choir for the Intermezzo of Manoel Mendes" (CPM 227).

In February 1809, the prince made a gesture of consideration to the chapel master: the granting of the Order of the habit of Christ. Impressed by his performance on the harpsichord and singing works by Mozart and Cimarosa in the palace of Quinta da Boa Vista, D. João withdrew the medal of the coat of the viscount of Vila Nova da Rainha and annexed it to the priest cassock, indicating him to Knight in the Order of Christ. The entrance rite to the Order required the passage by "proofs and qualifications", which included having the private life investigated. Fearing the discovery of the marital relationship that already had borne him two children, Nunes Garcia demanded to be released from these "proofs and qualifications". His prestige was such that, in addition to the dismissal, he was allowed to carry the insignia in public even before the completion of the process. The ordination ceremony was held on March 17, 1810, and the chapel master had as godparents Friar José Marcelino Gonçalves, Francisco José Rufino de Souza Lobato and the already baron of Vila Nova da Rainha. The appointment guaranteed him a monthly pension of 32$000, which brought relief to his financial difficulties.

Taking advantage of the consideration given, Nunes Garcia appealed to the court to reclaim the lands in Obatiba (Ubatiba), city of Marica, inherited by his mother to her first husband. Due to procedural failures the result was unfavorable to them. There would be another attempt to claim these lands by his son, Dr. José Maurício Nunes Garcia Jr., in the 1850s.

He received also, in 1809, a new assignment as Archivist of the recently arrived Music File of the Queluz Palace, installed in the Carmel Hospital ward. The function allowed him to take knowledge of an updated repertoire and to learn new techniques of composition. However, overwork due to the accumulation of functions took a toll on his health. The responsibility also made him misquoted by Adriano (Adrien) Balbi as owner of the collection, information reinforced by the composer's earlier biographers 9.

With the arrival of the royal family, from 1808 on there was an increase in the amount of ceremonies outside the liturgy, in charge of the Municipal Chamber. Nunes Garcia requested an increase in his annual payment of 104$000 to 200$000, which has been conceded. The Municipal Chamber, however denied his request for payment of a dobla 10 per function. In addition, he had the same treatment dispensed to all music directors contracted to these ceremonies, with systematic payment delays, and payments in a lesser value than contracted. His financial situation would worsen in 1809 and the next years with the need to support his mother, a concubine and two young children.

In August 1810 he decided to take a loan of 400$000 (four hundred thousand reis) to pay off debts. The loan would be paid in quarterly installments within one year. He could not honor the payment within; only in 1812 the commitment would be settled 11.

Despite the personal problems, his work continued. The 1810 preserved works are: the antiphon "Ecce Sacerdos" (CPM 5) to 8 voices, bassoons and basses; the "Magnificat of the Vespers of St. Joseph" (CPM 17); the "Motet of St. John the Baptist" (CPM 55); the "Novena of Saint Barbara" (CPM 65); and the "Mass of Our Lady for December 8" (CPM 106), for the patroness saint of the kingdom. It was his first Mass for a full orchestra, a milestone in the Mauritian music production. The works that were lost are: a "Litany of Our Lady" (CPM XXVI) to 4 voices and organ; the motets "Cantemus Domino" (CPM XLV) for the 4th Sunday of Lent; the "Motet of the Sorrows of Our Lady" (CPM XLV); a "Beati Omnes" (CPM LXIV); another "Beati Omnes Qui Timent Dominum" (CPM LXVIII) to the Vespers of Corpus Christi; a "Credidi" (CPM LXXIV) and a "Dixit Dominus" (CPM) for voices and organ; a "Lætatus Sum" (CPM LXXIX) for voices and organ; one "Lauda Jerusalem" (CPM LXXXV), for the Vespers of the Blessed Sacrament; one "Creed" (CPM CXV), to 4 voices and organ; the "Matins of Saint Sebastian" (CPM CXXXI); the "Vespers of Saint Joseph" (CPM CXXXIX) of which there is only the "Magnificat" (CPM 17), the "Vespers of the Blessed Sacrament" (CPM CXLIII); the "Vespers of Saint Anne" (CPM CXLIV), the arrangement of a "Tu Devicto Mortis" (CPM CXLIVa), originally by Marcos Portugal; besides the music for the Brotherhood of St. Peter.

The year 1811 began to Nunes Garcia with the customary celebration of Saint Sebastian, on January 20, for which he composed a motet "Hic est vere" to 9 voices a capella; this time, the due sum of 128$000 would be paid him by the Municipal Chamber with a small delay, on 30 January. In March, he composed the "Te Deum" (CPM 93) to celebrate the third anniversary of the safe arrival of the royal family to Rio de Janeiro, the only one preserved in autograph document of the series of specific compositions for this event.

The appreciation the Prince Regent had by the chapel master did not dissuade him of his purpose to improve the music magnificence in the Royal Chapel of Rio de Janeiro, and perhaps reduce the risk of having to repeat compositions by any inactivity of him. For these purposes, he would renew the convening order for the music master of the Holy Patriarchal Church of Lisbon, Marcos Portugal, to the Royal Court of Rio de Janeiro.

The Royal Farm of Santa Cruz
The Royal Farm of Santa Cruz 12.
Appointment of Nunes Garcia Knight of the Order of the Habit of Christ
Appointment of Nunes Garcia Knight of the Order of the Habit of Christ, signed by the Earl of Aguiar 13.

1 DEBRET, Jean Baptiste. Viagem Pitoresca e Histórica ao Brasil [A Picturesque and Historical Travel in Brazil]. Rio de Janeiro: Itatiaia, 1992. v. 3, plate 20.

2 The Bureau of the Palace of Justice and Conscience and Orders was created by decree of April 22, 1808, which unified the various organs in Portugal: the Bureau of the Palace of Justice, the Bureau of Conscience and Orders, the Overseas Council and the First Chancellery of the Court and of the Kingdom. The Brazilian Court of Appeal was established by the decree of May 10, 1808, through the transformation the Appeal Court of Rio de Janeiro in Supreme Court of Appeal, with the same scope of the Appeal Court of Lisbon. The Royal Treasury was established by decree of June 26, 1808; and the first Bank of Brazil, also the first bank in the territory of the Portuguese Empire, by decree of October 12, 1808. The Royal Printing was established by the decree of May 13, 1808, in order to print all legislation, the papers from the government departments and any other works.

3 The news of the withdrawal of French troops from Lisbon after the Battle of Vimeiro, on August 21, 1808, had come to Rio de Janeiro two months later. Portugal would be invaded twice more: in 1809, by the II Corps of the French Army, under the command of Marshal Soult, and in 1810, by the "Army of Portugal", commanded by Marshal Massena. Both invasions were repelled by Anglo-Luso forces led by generals Wellesley and Beresford, with heavy losses for the French, and the capital would no longer be reoccupied.

4 "The ceremony was conceded to Lieutenant Manuel Rodrigues [Roiz] da Silva, later admitted to the Royal Chapel. The documentation reveals the widespread record of late payments and breach of contract by the authorities: the conductor received his payment on March 15 and in a value less than the negotiated". MATTOS, Cleofe Person de. José Maurício Nunes Garcia - Biografia [Biography]. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Fundação Biblioteca Nacional, 1997, p. 233.

5 The following musicians and singers were called by the Prince Regent in 1809: José Capranica and António Cicconi, sopranos; Luigi Giglioni de Jesi [functions not mentioned]; José Toti, soprano, organist and music master; Fidele Venturi, bass; António Pedro Gonçalves and João Mazziotti, musicians; Nicolau and Carlos Herédia, oboists; Luísa Pio, harpist; Marcos Portugal, composer and musician. SARRAUTTE, Jean-Paul. Marcos Portugal - Ensaios [Essays]. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1979, 180 p. pp. 113-14.

6 Manuel de Araújo Porto-Alegre quotes some of the arguments directed against the chapel master: "he has no taste, he never left here, he did not see anything, he had never been in Italy, he did not learn, he had no master, he did not attend conservatories! Such was the studied and unison litany of men who never knew what is the function of a pipe in an organ, and to whom nature had declined the gift of combining some notes to compose ten bars". PORTO-ALEGRE. Manuel de Araújo. Apontamentos Sobre Vida e a Obra do Padre José Maurício Nunes Garcia [Notes About the Life and Works of Father José Maurício Nunes Garcia]. In MURICY, José Cândido de Andrade et alii. Estudos Mauricianos. Rio de Janeiro: INM/FUNARTE/PRÓ-MEMUS, 1983. p. 27.

7 "I - Has the chapel master and in his absence the oldest musician or the organist, the obbligation to watch over the presence of all others and to give part each day to the Pointer of the faults of each one of them, to be appointed according to the day, and the functions that they are missing in the way that has just been said of the 'officers'. II - May and should also be recorded by the chapel master the quality of the errors they commit, not passing the fine in the first 3 times half the amount corresponding to one day of their salary, and should pass up twice, and three doubles this penalty to cases of recurrence and obstinacy, applying always to the Church's Factory". MATTOS, op. cit., 1997. p. 74.

8 In June 1809 had not yet come to the city the news of the defeat of the armies of Marshal Soult, and therefore the presentation of a piece allusive the Portuguese victory would be inappropriate. A notice of December 3 sent to the farm of Santa Cruz warns of negligence in the rehearsals: "Having been present to HRH the Prince Regent Our Lord that beautiful piece of music composed by Father J. Maurício to be put on stage in the august birthday of Her Majesty Queen Mary, has been so little rehearsed by musicians and with such negligence, which makes it very difficult to be able to be the same well and worthily performed as HRH want infallibly be: HRH is served to call the Theater Inspector, and order him to hereafter, morning and afternoon, to make the aforesaid piece rehearsals and that no other one should be rehearsed in this interval and that all measures shall be taken for the same to be staged in the aforesaid day and go with dignity". MATTOS, op. cit, 1997. p. 80.

9 Balbi was a Venetian geographer and statistician who in 1820 traveled to Portugal, where he collected information that he later would use in his Statistical essay on the kingdom of Portugal and the Algarve. He had never been to Brazil, which contributed to some of his mistakes. So he refers to Nunes Garcia: "This Brazilian mulatto is a composer of much merit, worthy rival of Marcos Portugal and, like him, first composer in the Royal Chapel of Rio de Janeiro. The more worthy of admiration he is because he never left his homeland. He has the most complete music collection in Brazil, because he receives the best works that appear in Germany, Italy, France and England". BALBI, Adrien. Essai statistique sur le royaume de Portugal et d'Algarve, comparé aux autres états de L'Europe, et suivi d'un coup d'oeil sus l'etat actuel des sciences, des lettres et des beaux-arts parmi les portugais des deux hemisphères. Dedié a sa Majesté Très-Fidèle. Paris: Rey et Gravier, 1822. 658 p. p. 487.

10 Dobra. Former Portuguese gold coin whose value in the nineteenth century was 12$800 (twelve thousand eight hundred reis).

11 "Know all those who may see this public Deed of debt that in the year of birth of our Lord Jesus Christ one thousand eight hundred and ten, in the eighteenth day of August in the city of Rio de Janeiro, on the street Bom Jesus, [...] where I, Notary, came, appeared present as granted debtor Reverend José Maurício Nunes Garcia, professed in the Order of Christ, Master of the Royal Chapel, and as grantee creditor captain Mateus Francisco Gomes, a resident of the Sapucaia street, Inhaúma parish, who lives of farming, [...] the granted makes himself debtor to the grantee the amount of four hundred thousand reis, which he will ask the same to the granted, and this he lended herein in cash and Reverend granted debtor accounted and received, and said he will pay that amount in equal payments each three months, which will run off today, expiring in a fixed year from now, paying him along in that time the due interests proportional to the amount not yet paid: and that all that is bound for his present and future properties and especially for an abode of single-storey houses on the street that has the Marrecas, side in the left with Colonel Antonio Nascentes Pinto and to the other whoever is at right, free of pension, mortgage or any pledge [...] beyond which he offers as main guarantor Captain Antonio Carlos da Silva Ramalho, a resident of his farm in the neighborhood of São Cristovão, Parish of Engenho Velho, which appeared and was recognized by me and said that he is actually committed to the solution of this debt as guarantor and principal payer with his present and future properties". MATTOS, op. cit, 1997. p. 238.

12 DEBRET, op. cit., 1992. v. 3, plate 33.

13 "Having the Prince our Lord conceded to José Mauricio Nunes Garcia the Medal of the Habit of the Order of Christ, by decree of five of the current month and year, and not fitting as urgent the documents necessary to receive and profess the said Order: for good is conceded him three months, so he can freely use the Insignia of the Order of Christ, nevertheless he is not yet professed. And for his safety this paper had been signed. Palace of Rio de Janeiro on April 26, 1809. Earl of Aguiar". In Acervo Cleofe Person de Mattos [The files of Cleofe Person de Mattos], document 02-06-04d. Acess: Mar. 09, 2012.

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