This edition presents a critical reading of all of the available manuscripts for Sonata Saudade. The pencil annotations in the scores also come from Óscar da Silva’s hand. The main source for this edition is the autograph manuscript C.M. 471 from the National Library of Portugal, enriched with all the variants from manuscript C.M. 470 also from the National Library. Both of these were used by Óscar da Silva in performance; C.M. 471 is believed to be the original autograph of the score, and C.M. 470 is a copy made in the 1950s, after the composer returned to Portugal. The violin parts of both C.M. 471 and C.M. 470 contain unique information on notes, dynamics, articulation, and tempo, and so they are treated as additional sources.
C.M. 470 was edited by violinist Paulo Manso in preparation for their performance of the Sonata in 1954. In a note in the violin part, Manso writes: “This Sonata was edited by me in accordance with the composer when we performed it at the Ateneu Comercial do Porto in his tribute concert on June 29, 1954. I performed it later with Fernando Laires at Emissora Nacional on December 13 of that year.” Paulo Manso’s biggest contribution is a simplification of the hardest violin passages in the first movement; the complete violin part edited by Manso is presented in the Appendix to the violin part.
These manuscripts were given to the National Conservatory in Lisbon by the composer. The director of the Conservatory, Ivo Cruz (1901–1985), was a great admirer and champion of Óscar da Silva, and had requested the manuscript of the Sonata in 1950, along with others from the composer. In 1990, the Conservatory passed all its collections (including the Sonata Saudade) to the music collection at the National Library.
This edition seeks to preserve the visual impact of an Óscar da Silva score. Because of that, I have kept some apparent inconsistencies, as the signaling of tuplets or not, or the slurs that are sometimes present and sometimes not.
Indications that appear in all sources are presented without comment. Indications that appear in only one or two sources are presented within parenthesis ( ); these include chromatic alterations, indications of dynamic, articulation, tempo, and sometimes pitches. The composer and the copyist did not always cancel accidentals, or even write the correct pitches when repeating a pattern; I have proposed in each case the most logical reading, presented within square brackets [ ] and reasoned in the critical report.
All fingerings and pedal indications come from Óscar da Silva’s manuscripts.About the use of the sustain pedal: in the published edition of Divertimentos (OS I/70), an asterisk on the first page — on the indication “con Ped.” — corresponds to a footnote that reads “Employ pedals carefully” (Empregar cuidadosamente os pedais). This is excellent advice for all of Óscar da Silva’s works with piano.
Austin, Texas 2020