Vaccariana (1951) are variations on a folk theme (based on research by Mário de Andrade on Brazilian folk themes). This work was rediscovered by Antonio Eduardo during academic investigations and premiered by him.
While most Brazilian composers preferred traditional African syncopations, Gilberto Mendes opted for a theme from Rio Grande do Sul, showing once again his love for the Iberian Latin American cultural subject, whose rhythms (guaranias and zambas) he sometimes uses in his music.
As the composer himself points out, this is a unique piece that offers a compositional study, in the manner of tissue paper on the originals of Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor, with a reference to the opening theme of Prokofieff’s Prelude op. 12 no. 7.