Florentín Giménez’s Misa folclórica paraguaya: A Liturgical Celebration through the Lens of Musical Nationalism

May 1, 2021


Exemplifying his approach to musical nationalism, the Misa folclórica paraguaya (“Paraguayan Folkloric Mass”) of Florentín Giménez (1925–2021) combines elements of the Roman Catholic Mass with folkloric music idioms. Composed in 1990, this musical work represents Giménez’s intention to develop a concert piece based on Paraguayan music in a liturgical context. Throughout his long career as a composer, conductor, educator, and advocate for the promotion of Paraguayan cultural identity, Giménez has conveyed his ideas about Paraguayan music and nationalism via his musical works. Based on an analysis of the Misa folclórica paraguaya—including his manuscript, revisions, published score, recordings, and a series of personal interviews, this article explores Giménez’s understanding of Paraguayan musical nationalism, presents the historical and musical context for his setting of the liturgical piece, and discusses the significance of his musical ideals in connection to his works, and more specifically to the Misa folclórica paraguaya as a liturgical celebration and representation of Giménez’s cultural identity and musical nationalism.  

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1838 Last modified on January 24, 2022