The wistful Serenata do Adeus was introduced in 1958 by Elizeth Cardoso on her album Canção do Amor Demais (which is widely considered as the first bossa nova album due to João Gilberto’s guitar play on two of the songs). Serenata do Adeus, rather a poem set to music than a pop song in the proper sense, soon gained lasting popularity as a perfect exercise for sophisticated interpretations.
In the year of the song’s introduction four of the six single versions were released, as a-side by Roberto Luna and Morgana and as b-side by Solon Sales and Agnaldo Rayol, followed by Silvio Caldas the next year and Banda do Corpo de Bombeiros do Estado da Guanabara in 1962. Of these, Roberto Luna’s evocative interpretation, arranged by Henrique Simonetti, stands out as one of the finest recordings of Serenata do Adeus while Morgana’s rendition, arranged by Hervé Cordovil and re-recorded later that year with Osmar Milani’s orchestra on her debut album Esta é Morgana, was the only one to enjoy commercial success, scoring a number one hit and ranking at no. 78 of the Hot 100 of 1958.
The next year, soprano Lenita Bruno included a very restrained perfomance, arranged by her husband Léo Peracchi, on her critically acclaimed album Por Toda Minha Vida – Música: Antônio Carlos Jobim – Poesia: Vinícius de Moraes while in 1962, Edmundo Peruzzi delivered one of the few versions of the song recorded in a more vibrant rhythm.
In 1963, Elza Laranjeira elaborated her version, inimitably sung by her in two voices over an almost ethereous arrangement by Waldemiro Lemke, after rehearsing the ballad with the composer himself for her album A Música de Jobim e Vinícius.
Elizeth Cardoso re-recorded Serenata do Adeus again in 1968 in an captivating version performed a cappella at her legendary concert with Zimbo Trio, Jacob de Bandolim and Época de Ouro at Teatro João Caetano.
After Serenata do Adeus had mostly been recorded with either orchestral backings or as a traditional serenade, Geraldo Vespar and Taiguara paved the way for more contemporary interpretations such as Baden Powell’s introverted renditions in the seventies. Not least because of the song’s ageless ability for leaving room for interpretations of many kinds, Serenata do Adeus is continuously recorded with an estimated one hundred versions to this day.
Selected recordings of Serenata do Adeus:
1. Elizeth Cardoso from the album Canção do Amor Demais (1958, Festa LDV 6002)
2. Roberto Luna from the album Luna Canta Para Você (1958, RGE XRLP 5031)
3. Morgana from the album Esta é Morgana (1958, Copacabana CLP 11067)
4. Silvio Caldas from the single Compromisso com a Saudade b/w Serenata do Adeus and the album As Doze Mais – Volume 3 (1959, Columbia CB-11.109-a and Columbia LPCB 37071)
5. Lenita Bruno from the album Por Toda Minha Vida – Música: Antônio Carlos Jobim – Poesia: Vinícius de Moraes (1959, Festa LDV 6006)
6. Catulo de Paula from the album Catulo Canta no Michel (1959, Tiger LP TR-003)
7. Dionysio from the album Sax Magia aka Sax em Orbita (1960, Internacional CID 27020)
8. Francisco José from the album Francisco José e os Sucessos de Ouro da Música Romântica Brasileira (1962, Philips P 632.100 L)
9. Onéssimo Gomes from the album Canta em Serenata (1962, Musidisc Hi-Fi 2065)
10. Edmundo Peruzzi from the album Baile Alegre (1962, RGE XRLP 5149)
11. Elza Laranjeira from the album A Música de Jobim e Vinícius (1963, RGE XRLP 5188)
12. Nelson Gonçalves from the album Na Voz de Nelson Gonçalves (1963, RCA Victor BBL 1231)
13. Orlando Pereira featuring Fernando Lucas & Elizete Ripardo from the album Bélem, Bélem (1963, Copacabana CLP 11330)
14. Geraldo Vespar from the album Take 5 (1964, Polydor LPNG 4084)
15. Osvaldo Fahel from the album Balado ao Luar (1965, Musiplay LPM 1114)
16. Elizeth Cardoso from the album Ao Vivo No Teatro Joao Caetano Vol. II (1968, Museu da Imagem e do Som MIS 005)
17. Wilma Bentivegna from the album As Mais Belas Canções de Amor (1968, Continental PPL 12390)
18. Orlando Silva with Jacob do Bandolim and Época de Ouro from the album O Eterno Seresteiro (1969, RCA Victor BBL 1483)
19. Taiguara from the album Hoje (1969, Odeon MOFB 3614)
20. Baden Powell from the album Estudos (1971, Elenco SE 1007)
Selected medleys including Serenata do Adeus
1. Sexteto Prestige from the album Hoje (1959, Prestige DLP 1008)
SERENATA DO ADEUS
Ai, a lua que no céu surgiu • Não é a mesma que te viu • Nascer dos braços meus • Cai a noite sobre o nosso amor • E agora só restou do amor • Uma palavra: adeus
Ai, vontade de ficar • Mas tendo de ir embora • Ai, que amar é se ir morrendo pela vida afora • É refletir na lágrima • Um momento breve • De uma estrela pura, cuja luz morreu
Ah, mulher, estrela a refulgir • Parte, mas antes de partir • Rasga o meu coração • Crava as garras no meu peito em dor • E esvai em sangue todo amor • Toda a desilusão
Ai, vontade de ficar • Mas tendo de ir embora • Ai, que amar é se ir morrendo pela vida afora • É refletir na lágrima • Um momento breve de uma estrela pura • Cuja luz morreu • Numa noite escura • Triste como eu