Guitarist Carlos Gonçalves, 81, “one of the most outstanding fado performers of his generation”, died today in Lisbon, musician Mário Pacheco told Lusa.
The Encyclopedia of Music in Portugal in the 20th Century points to Carlos Gonçalves as “one of the most outstanding” fado musicians of his generation.
Carlos Gonçalves accompanied Amália Rodrigues (1920-1999), for about 30 years, for whom he composed several melodies, mainly for poems authored by the singer, such as “Lágrima”, “Grito”, “Amor de Mel, Amor de Fel”, “I am a daughter of herbs”, “Ó Pinheiro Meu Irmão”, “Ai, Maria”, “Ai, Minha Doce Loucura” or “Lavava, on the Lavava river”, among others.
The musician's collaboration with Amália began in 1969, still with José Fontes Rocha (1926-2011), as the first guitar, and as the main guitar since 1980, having accompanied her on all her tours.
About his compositions for Amália, the Encyclopedia of Music in Portugal in the 20th Century writes that Carlos Gonçalves elaborated “a melodic path about a letter already created by the singer, or the composition of a fado on which the singer adapted a new letter”.
He also mentions that in these compositions "the minor tonalities predominate, melodic paths molded in a strophic form on the structure of the text, highlighting the keywords and enhancing Amália's vocal characteristics and interpretive capacity".
As an accompanist, says the Encyclopedia, “it complemented the main melody drawn by the voice, through a harmonic support in chords or harpegs, melodic figurations and standardized backsides”.
In addition to Amália, Carlos Gonçalves accompanied Alfredo Marceneiro, Maria Teresa de Noronha, Filipe Pinto, Lucília do Carmo, Argentina Santos, Fernando Maurício, Fernando Farinha, Fernanda Maria, Beatriz da Conceição, Ada de Castro, Anita Guerreiro, Julieta Estrela and Manuela Cavaco , among others.
Born in Beja, on June 3, 1938, he chose the Portuguese guitar at the age of 16, having learned the fadista repertoire from the programs of the former Emissora Nacional.
In 1957 he settled in Lisbon and was part of the casts of the typical houses Adega da Anita, Café Lisboa, Lobos do Mar, Nau Catrineta, A Severa, Solar da Márcia Condessa, A Toca, O Folclore, cast with which he toured internationally (having worked in the royal palace of Monaco), and also of the Taberna do Embuçado and Fado Maior.
In the 1990s, he dedicated himself to pedagogical activity, having guided musicians such as Paulo Silva, Bernardo Couto and Bruno de Jesus.