The Modinha is a sentimental art song cultivated in both Portugal and Brazil in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With the lundu and maxixe it is thought to bo one of the ancestors of the samba, although it seems to inhabit a much more genteel and salon orientated world than the latter. In the nineteenth century composers of modinhas fell under the spell of Italian arias and the songs became more elaborately ornamented. By the end of the century the genre had become old-fashioned and no longer attracted composers. This recording offers a fascinating glimpse of a genteel and European orientated music which has all but vanished from the Brazilian scene.