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Jaime Mendoza-Nava (1925-2005) was an important Bolivian composer. In
addition to writing music for the concert stage, he worked as a composer of
film music in Los Angeles during the

Jaime Mendoza-Nava (1925-2005) was an important Bolivian composer. In
addition to writing music for the concert stage, he worked as a composer of
film music in Los Angeles during the second half of the twentieth century.
His life and work remain greatly unstudied, with the majority of his
compositions existing only in manuscript form. The present study surveys
the available biographical information on the composer and supplements it
with new data collected through interviews with the composer’s family. The
information presented here focuses on the composer’s American period as
well as his personality traits. The study also examines the development of
musical nationalism in Bolivia and other important aspects of Bolivian
culture and society, thus creating a historical context through which key
influences on the composer are identified. This historical and cultural
information also contributes to an examination of Mendoza-Nava’s song
cycle *País de sombra* (1988). A close study of this work reveals Mendoza-Nava’s
sensitive setting of the poetry of Ricardo Jaimes Freyre (1868-1933) and
his musical references to his Bolivian heritage. A recording of the song
cycle by soprano Andrea Ramos and the current author and an edited copy of
the musical score conclude the study.

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    • 2021
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