Completed in 1914, the set of three Mazurkas was one of the first compositions António Fragoso completed. The musical language of these early pieces employs many hallmarks of Chopin’s and Schumann’s music, and shows how well Fragoso grasped the melodic and harmonic characteristics of the Romantic repertoire he was studying as a pianist at that time. Nevertheless, certain characteristics included in the Mazurkas, such as the avoidance of conclusive cadences, the use of half-diminished and added-sixth chords, and the employment of modulations, tonicizations, and progressions by thirds, were prominent throughout Fragoso’s entire oeuvre.
Fragoso wrote a pencil manuscript that contains only the first two Mazurkas. This manuscript does not include any tempo, dynamic, or expression marks. It also does not contain the last eight measures of the first Mazurka. The only complete manuscript with the three Mazurkas, written in ink, is signed and dated "Pocariça, January 7, 1914.” This ink manuscript is the only extant source for the third Mazurka and the only complete version of the first two Mazurkas. In this manuscript, the Três Mazurcas received an opus number 2. However, Fragoso repeated this opus number for his Trio in C-sharp minor for violin, cello, and piano, written in 1916. For this reason, this edition does not include an opus number. This set had never been published before.
The following notes provide an explanation for all editorial decisions that were made for the instances in which there were discrepancies between the two sources: the pencil manuscript and the ink manuscript.
The ink manuscript provides a tempo and character indication for the first Mazurka, “Vivo mas com muita graça e sentimento,” as well as specific pedal markings that were reproduced in this edition.
Measures 14, 16, and 25: in the pencil manuscript, the right-hand rhythm has two dotted quarter notes. This edition complies with the ink manuscript, which has a quarter note followed by a half note.
Measure 32: the last pitch of the right-hand grace notes is a C5 in the pencil manuscript and a B4 in the ink manuscript. This edition features a C5 because it follows the same melodic pattern written in measure 36.
Measure 44: the ink manuscript has a repeat sign at the end of this measure, indicating that measures 30 to 44 should be repeated. This is clearly a misinterpretation of the Da Capo sign written in the pencil manuscript¾the pencil manuscript does not include section A’ (measures 45 to 73), and a Da Capo sign was used to indicate the repetition of part A.
The ink manuscript indicates that this Mazurka should be performed “Com sentimento doloroso.”
Measures 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 17, 42, 44, 46, 48, 51, 53, 55, and 57: there is an inconsistency between the two manuscripts regarding whether or not the left-hand third beat is accentuated at the end of each melodic motive, throughout the various repetitions of the same musical material. However, all of them are accentuated at same point. Therefore, this edition includes an accent in all of them.
Measures 36, 37, 38, and 39: the ink manuscript does not have an accent on the left-hand octaves of the third beats of measures 36 and 38 and the first beats of measures 37 and 39. These accents exist in the pencil manuscript and were included in this edition.