A youthful work composed in 1933, this Intermezzo occupies a unique place in the work of Jorge Croner de Vasconcellos. In 1923, shortly after starting piano studies, the young musician became drawn to composition. After some sporadic early works, he began composing more regularly in 1927 – the year in which he wrote Três Redondilhas de Camões– while also starting to perform publicly as a pianist. Alongside his studies, he developed an activity that was increasingly covered by the press and encouraged by such peers as Luiz de Freitas Branco, Francine Benoît and Ivo Cruz. It was also in 1927 that he began to frequent the world of the young artists and musicians who gathered at Vergília do Canto Brandão’s house, stimulated by the artistic exchanges and camaraderie that the venue inspired. He forged lasting relationships with colleagues in this circle. From 1929, he performed several times a year in concerts organized in Lisbon (Conservatório Nacional, Academia dos Amadores de Música, Sociedade Nacional de Música de Câmara, etc.). The concert of May 3, 1930 attracted the attention of the poet Américo Durão, who wrote an article – that has become historic – entitled O grupo dos Quatro, published for the magazine Illustração, on the four main young composers at that time: Jorge Croner de Vasconcellos, Armando José Fernandes, Pedro do Prado and Fernando Lopes-Graça. As a pianist, he distinguished himself by performing, notably, Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Carnaval op.9 and Debussy’s Children’s Corner and by regularly accompanying the celebrated singer Arminda Correia. He also performed works by Portuguese composers, as evidenced by the concert of April 10, 1933 organized by the Committee of the Congresso de Médicos Anatomistas, in which Francisco de Lacerda also played piano and in which he played the music of António Fragoso, Luiz Costa, Luiz de Freitas Branco and Armando José Fernandes. In 1933, the Junta de Educação Nacional awarded Jorge Croner de Vasconcellos a scholarship to study in Paris, at the École Normale de Musique. Since 1929, he had devoted himself more to pianistic performance than to composition. The Intermezzo is probably the last piece he wrote before leaving for the French capital and concludes his period as a young Lisbon student. It is also a testament to his great friendship with Armando José Fernandes, to whom the piece is dedicated. On March 1, 1934, the two friends finally set off for Paris together, to improve their skills with, notably, Nadia Boulanger and Paul Dukas for composition, Charles Panzéra for singing and Alfred Cortot for interpretation. The three years of 1934 to 1937 were to leave a lasting impression on Jorge Croner de Vasconcellos.
This edition was prepared from a manuscript copy by Armando José Fernandes, kindly provided by Elisa Lamas, colleague and friend of the composer.