Small music posts with listen links!

Design, text, code 漏 T. Antz茅e 2020-2021.

Newest update: New orchestra charts!

Updated 22. April 2021
#Updates
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I've designed and programmed a new chart for the orchestra pages: a dot plot of recordings, sorted by year and genre! With the new chart, you can get an overview of all recordings for each year for Di Sarli, Pugliese, Troilo, and D'Arienzo. The charts also feature a tooltip so you can see year, title, and singer for each recording. The new dot plot lives between the pie chart and the bandone贸n chart on the individual orchestra pages. To explore: Visit the "Orchestras" page here and choose an orchestra.

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On This Day: New Year's Eve favourite!

Posted 31. December 2020
#D'Arienzo
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Looking at tango.info's list of recordings made on 31.12 during the history of tango, we'll find several nice ones, notably from Di Sarli's Sexteto, D'Arienzo, and Canaro. Since it's New Year's Eve and we're heading into a year that hopefully will be better than the one we're leaving behind, I think we need a pretty vals! Here's "Orillas del plata", one of the first valses that D'Arienzo recorded with his new orchestra. On the piano: Rodolfo Biagi, who had just joined D'Arienzo. Other things to like: the lovely D'Arienzo trademark violin solo and the bandone贸n variation towards the end - typical for valses in this period.

I talk more about playing style and instrumentation in my "Tango is served!" post.

Wishing you a very happy 2021!

Composition info

馃幎 Composer: Juan Maglio
馃枊 Lyrics: Juan Maglio
馃搯 Composed year: -

Recording info with listen link:

Orillas del plata (vals)
Orchestra: Juan D'Arienzo
Recording date: 31-12-1935
馃敆 YouTube

Track info: tango.info
A list of recordings made on this day: The date 31.12 on tango.info

More about Juan D'Arienzo - including discography, charts, and more listen examples - on the TANGO NOTES D'Arienzo page.

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Compare a recording: La viruta

Posted 17. December 2020
#Di Sarli
#Biagi
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On my brain today: La viruta! This piece was composed by hitmaker Vicente Greco and recorded by many orchestras.

Composition info

馃幎 Composer: Vicente Greco
馃枊 Lyrics: Instrumental
馃搯 Composed year: 1912

Here are two versions that may seem similar on the surface, but are quite different if we listen closer!

Biagi's version: Big parts of the melody is played staccato. 0:50-1:17 the violins do have a prominent role, playing a legato countervoice over the staccato A-section theme played by the bandone贸ns. I like how Biagi's violinists have this "insisting" tone that goes well with the other musicians. This recording is from 1948, so Biagi is somewhere between his fast and furious offbeat early 1940s style and his big fat 1950s style (the offbeats are still there, but they don't hit us so much on the nose as before!). No piano solo by Biagi in this recording, just accompaniment and embellishments.

Di Sarli's version: Di Sarli actually recorded "La viruta" twice. His first version is from the early 1940s, and Di Sarli was still quite rhythmic and used quite a lot of staccato playing style back then. But there's also lots of his trademark legato violins. Di Sarli's violinists have a softer tone than Biagi's, so the overall expression is more romantic, but this is still a very powerful version, partly because of the staccato parts and partly because of the rich piano playing by Di Sarli himself. Di Sarli also does accompaniment and embellishments, but his style is very different from Biagi's. Di Sarli generally didn't make much room for the bandone贸n, but this recording features a bandone贸n countervoice on top of the main B-section theme 1:54-2:08.

Recording info with listen links:

Orchestra: Rodolfo Biagi
Recording date: 22-07-1948
馃敆 YouTube

Orchestra: Carlos Di Sarli
Recording date: 05-08-1943
馃敆 YouTube

I talk about playing style and instrumentation in my "Tango is served!" post!

Track info & list of recordings: tango.info

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National Tango Day 2020

Posted 11. December 2020
#De Caro
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Today is National Tango Day! It's celebrated on 11. December because this was the birthday of Carlos Gardel and Julio De Caro. Gardel was one of the reasons why tango became so popular in Argentina. Julio De Caro was important for developing a new style of tango music, and he was also a huge inspiration for Osvaldo Pugliese.

Here's my favourite recording from Julio De Caro's orchestra: "Mi dolor". It's a composition I love in many versions, so I'll most likely come back to it! But today, we'll let Julio De Caro shine. Happy birthday, tango. 鉂わ笌

"Mi dolor"

Orchestra: Julio De Caro
Singer: Orlando Verri
Recorded: 27-10-1950
Composer: Carlos Marcucci
Lyrics: Manuel Mea帽os
馃敆 YouTube

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Compare recordings: Cantemos coraz贸n

Posted 7. December 2020
#Di Sarli
#D'Arienzo
#Laborde
#Florio
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馃幎 Composer: Enrique Alessio
馃枊 Lyrics: Reinaldo Yiso
馃搯 Composed year: -

The most played versions of this composition are probably those by Di Sarli and D'Arienzo. They were recorded the same year, but they are quite different, both because of the orchestration and the singers' voices and styles.

"Cantemos coraz贸n" was composed by Enrique Alessio, who was a bandone贸n player and orchestra leader. After a few years with his own orchestra backing Alberto Castillo (I wrote a blog post about his "Violetas" recording here), he joined D'Arienzo's orchestra from 1950 and stayed until 1957. This means he plays on the D'Arienzo recording of "Cantemos coraz贸n"!

Things to love about D'Arienzo's version: The exceptionally dynamic voice of Armando Laborde, ranging from super soft to furiously loud. The cool piano solos are played by Fulvio Salamanca, who was later to leave D'Arienzo and start his own orchestra. Also note the violin solo played by Cayetano Puglisi, whom we can hear on more or less every D'Arienzo recording after 1940.

Things to love about Di Sarli's version: the violins' counter voices, which sound like a different melody playing behind Florio's singing. The violin counter voices are very much a Di Sarli trademark, especially noticeable in his late 1950s recordings. It gives a very rich and almost symphonic character to the melody, and it very much complements Florio's sorrowful interpretation. Di Sarli's elaborate piano playing is as always wonderful.

Read more about instrumentation in tango in my article with music visualisation and musical ingredients article!

Recording info with listen links:

Orchestra: Juan D'Arienzo
Singer: Armando Laborde
Pianist: Fulvio Salamanca
Recorded: 23-08-1956
馃敆 YouTube

Orchestra: Carlos Di Sarli
Singer: Roberto Florio
Pianist: Carlos Di Sarli
Recorded: 02-11-1956
馃敆 YouTube

Sources & info:

todotango.com
Gabriel Valiente's book "Encyclopedia of Tango"
Other recordings of "Cantemos coraz贸n" are listed here at tango.info.

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Compare recordings: Yo soy el tango

Posted 23. November 2020
#Troilo
#Cal贸
#Podest谩
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馃幎 Composer: Domingo Federico
馃枊 Lyrics: Homero Exp贸sito
馃搯 Composed year: 1941

"Yo soy el tango" - I am tango - was composed by Domingo Federico in 1941 with lyrics by Homero Exp贸sito. As we know, Federico would eventually form his own orchestra, but in 1941, he had just joined Miguel Cal贸 as a bandone贸n player. "Yo soy el tango" was Cal贸's first recording with his new orchestra and singer Alberto Podest谩, and the first recording that An铆bal Troilo did with his new singer Francisco Fiorentino. So it's very fitting that the lyrics are about tango itself. I think we can get a sense of this in both versions - we can hear many playful elements both in the way the melody is played in the instrumental sections, and in the embellishments between the melody phrases.

Only eight days separate these two recordings. It's interesting to hear how two orchestras arrange and interpret the same tango melody in the same year in the same city.

Recording info with listen links:

Orchestra: Miguel Cal贸
Singer: Alberto Podest谩
Recorded: 12-03-1941
馃敆 YouTube

Orchestra: An铆bal Troilo
Singer: Francisco Fiorentino
Recorded: 04-03-1941
馃敆 YouTube

Sources & info:

Domingo Federico biography here at todotango.com.
Other recordings of "Yo soy el tango" are listed here at tango.info.

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Featured vals: Violetas

Posted 29. October 2020
#Castillo
#Vals
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馃幎 Composer: Juan F茅lix Maglio
馃枊 Lyrics: Francisco Brancatti
馃搯 Composed year: 1930

"Violetas" must be one of tango's most veritable ear worms. I've got it on my brain again today, so it's only reasonable that I should share it with you so you can have it on your brain as well! 馃挒

The most famous version of "Violetas" must be the one from singer Alberto Castillo. How he handles the lyrics at this speed is impressive! The whole recording has this wild feeling that you get sucked into.

The orchestras Castillo recorded with after leaving Tanturi are often referred to as "singer orchestras". Castillo recorded "Violetas" (and some other valses that are popular now) with Enrique Alessio's orchestra. Alessio was a bandoneonist who played in his own orchestra (later he would join D'Arienzo's orchestra).

Some things to love about Castillo's version:

鈼 The bandone贸n variation (1:50-2:03 in the video)

鈼 The sound quality of pianist C茅sar Zagnoli's pretty decorations.

鈼 The tiny upwards piano scale behind Castillo (0:57-1:00 in the video)

Recording info with listen link:

Singer: Alberto Castillo
Orchestra: Enrique Alessio
Pianist: C茅sar Zagnoli
Recorded: 12-05-1948
馃敆 YouTube

"Violetas" was first recorded with Canaro's orchestra with singer Charlo. This version has a completely different vibe, but is also pretty! Note that where Castillo sings two sections and repeats one, Charlo only sings one section. This is typical of the different eras of these recordings: the singer would gradually get more prominent during the Golden Age.

Fun fact: there's an extra measure in some of the phrases in Canaro's version (at 1:09, 1:18 and similarly at 2:17, 2:26). This gives an "uneven" feeling, since these phrases consist of five measures instead of four like the other phrases. The piano sheet music also has the extra measures.

Recording info with listen link:

Orchestra: Francisco Canaro
Singer: Charlo
Recorded: 06-05-1931
馃敆 YouTube

"Violetas" links:

YouTube upload with lyrics and translation here (the lyrics in Castillo's version is slightly different).
The piano sheet music is available here at TodoTango.
Other recordings of "Violetas" here at tango.info.
Info about Alessio from Gabriel Valiente's ebook "Encyclopedia of Tango".

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Friends' favourite: Farol & Silbar de boyero

Posted 22. October 2020
#Pugliese
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I asked TANGO NOTES followers on Instagram if they have a favourite Pugliese recording, and @koalainoslo mentioned two beautiful tangos: "Farol" and "Silbar de boyero".

Composition info:

馃幖 Farol
馃枊 Composer | Lyricist: Virgilio Exp贸sito | Homero Exp贸sito
馃棑 Composed year: 1943

馃幖 Silbar de boyero
馃枊 Composer | Lyricist: David Barberis | Jos茅 Barreiros Baz谩n
馃棑 Composed year: -

"Farol" was one of the two very first recordings Pugliese did with his new orchestra in 1943, alongside the instrumental "El rodeo". It's probably one of the most beloved tangos amongst Pugliese's early recordings. I especially love how the orchestra manages to paint a mood with their instruments right from the beginning.

"Silbar de boyero" was recorded a few months later. I absolutely adore the orchestration of this melody. The different instrumental voices and Roberto Chanel's voice merge and weave into such a rich fabric of sound. We can hear the violins imitate the wind that the lyrics refer to, and if you listen closely, you can hear Pugliese on the piano as well.

The whistling in the recording refers to the title: "Silbar de boyero" means "whistling of the cowherd".

Recording info with listen links:

Farol
Orchestra: Osvaldo Pugliese
Singer: Roberto Chanel
Recorded: 15-07-1943
馃敆 YouTube

Silbar de boyero
Orchestra: Osvaldo Pugliese
Singer: Roberto Chanel
Recorded: 31.03.1944
馃敆 YouTube
(the YouTube page also features the lyrics and a translation!)

On this tango.info page is a list of other orchestras that recorded "Farol".

Only Pugliese's orchestra recorded "Silbar de boyero". tango.info song page here.

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Featured tango: Santa milonguita

Posted 15. October 2020
#D'Arienzo
#Biagi
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馃幖 Santa milonguita
馃枊 Composer | Lyricist: Enrique Delfino | Enrique Cad铆camo
馃棑 Composed -

On my brain today: "Santa milonguita" in D'Arienzo's 1939 version. The pianist is Juan Polito, who took over after Rodolfo Biagi had left his job as a pianist with D'Arienzo. Biagi would later record his own version of "Santa milonguita". D'Arienzo also re-recorded this tango a couple years after Biagi.

Compare versions:

Orchestra: Juan D'Arienzo
Singer: Alberto Echag眉e
Pianist: Juan Polito
Recorded 27-09-1939
馃敆 YouTube

Orchestra: Juan D'Arienzo
Singer: Jorge Valdez
Recorded 29-08-1957
馃敆 YouTube

Orchestra: Rodolfo Biagi
Singer: Hugo Duval
Pianist: Rodolfo Biagi
Recorded 04-11-1955
馃敆 YouTube

Santa milonguita was recorded by a few others as well. tango.info has a list here.

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Featured vals: Desde el alma

Posted 10. October 2020
#D'Arienzo
#Pugliese
#Vals
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馃幖 Desde el alma (vals)
馃枊 Composer | lyricist: Rosita Melo | V铆ctor Piuma V茅lez, Homero Manzi
馃棑 Composed 1911

"Desde el alma" is a vals that has become very popular, maybe especially because of Pugliese's recording. But did you know that the theme was composed by a teenage girl? Her name was Rosita Melo, and she composed "Desde el alma" in 1911 when she was just fourteen years old. It actually became her most famous composition.

Pugliese's version is probably the most known. But there is also a super pretty version by D'Arienzo's orchestra. It's a bit special, as this was one of the two first recordings D'Arienzo did with his new orchestra in 1935 (the other one was "Hotel Victoria", fetaured here).

Listen to the different interpretations!

Orchestra: Juan D'Arienzo
Instrumental
Recorded 02-07-1935
馃敆 YouTube

Orchestra: Osvaldo Pugliese
Instrumental
Recorded 27-12-1979
馃敆 YouTube

List of more recordings here on tango.info

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New article! Cielito m铆o

Posted 7. October 2020
#Biagi
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Fun fact: Did you know that the tango "Cielito m铆o", known from Rodolfo Biagi's orchestra, originally is a Mexican folk song? I did a bit of investigation and wrote an article with the history of the song and lots of listen examples. Here's the link:

馃敆 TANGO NOTES article: Cielito m铆o

Listen to Biagi's version
Orchestra: Rodolfo Biagi
Instrumental
Recorded 1954
馃敆 YouTube

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Featured tango: Buenos Aires

Posted 6. October 2020
#Di Sarli
#Troilo
#Lomuto
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馃幖 Buenos Aires (tango)
馃枊 Composer | lyricist: Manuel Jov茅s | Manuel Romero
馃棑 Composed: 1923

I first fell in love with Di Sarli's version of this tango. 鉂わ笍 Listen to the violins playing behind singer Roberto Florio! But Troilo also has a great version with singer Francisco Fiorentino, and there are other recordings as well - like Lomuto's pretty instrumental.

Orchestra listen links:

Orchestra: Francisco Lomuto
Instrumental
Recorded 15-04-1930
馃敆 YouTube

Orchestra: An铆bal Troilo
Singer: Francisco Fiorentino
Recorded 29-12-1942
馃敆 YouTube
(Troilo also re-recorded "Buenos Aires" in 1952 and 1965)

Orchestra: Carlos Di Sarli
Singer: Roberto Florio
Recorded 26-04-1956
馃敆 YouTube

More about Carlos Di Sarli and An铆bal Troilo on the TANGO NOTES Orchestras page!

On this tango.info page is a list of other orchestras that recorded "Buenos Aires".

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Featured tango: Hotel Victoria

Posted 5. October 2020
#D'Arienzo
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馃幖 Hotel Victoria | Gran Hotel Victoria (tango)
馃枊 Composer | lyricist: Feliciano Latasa | Carlos Pesce
馃棑 Composed: 1906

"Hotel Victoria" ("Gran Hotel Victoria") was D'Arienzo's first recording alongside "Desde el alma" (fetaured here) in 1935. D'Arienzo had already recorded a few tracks in 1928, but his 1935 style is very different. This year marks the beginning of his new recording career and also the Golden Age of Argentine tango.

D'Arienzo recorded "Hotel Victoria" 3 times! Listen to the difference in style between the recordings:

Recorded 2.7.1935: 馃敆 YouTube
Recorded 18.2.1948: 馃敆 YouTube
Recorded 3.8.1966: 馃敆 YouTube

Pianist on the 1948 recording: Fulvio Salamanca.

More about Juan D'Arienzo - including discographies with more listen examples - on the TANGO NOTES D'Arienzo page

On this tango.info page is a list of other orchestras that recorded "Hotel Victoria".

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Featured tango: Mala junta

Posted 5. October 2020
#Pugliese
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馃幖 Mala junta (tango)
馃枊 Composer | lyricist: Julio De Caro & Pedro Laurenz | Juan Miguel Velich
馃棑 Composed: 1927

The tango "Mala junta" was composed by two giants in tango: Julio De Caro and Pedro Laurenz. "Mala junta" was recorded by several orchestras, but the most famous version is maybe Osvaldo Pugliese's. His orchestra made 2 studio recordings of this tango. The first one was in 1943: one of his orchestra's very first studio recordings! The second one was recorded in 1952.

Listen to the difference in style between the two recordings:

Recorded 27.8.1943: 馃敆 YouTube
Recorded 29.11.1952: 馃敆 YouTube

There are also live recordings of "Mala junta" with Pugliese and his orchestra.

More about Osvaldo Pugliese - including discographies with more listen examples - on the TANGO NOTES Pugliese page.

On this tango.info page is a list of the other orchestras that recorded "Mala junta".

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Featured tango: Nueve puntos

Posted 3. October 2020
#Di Sarli
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馃幖 Nueve puntos (tango)
馃枊 Composer | lyricist: Francisco Canaro | -
馃棑 Composed: -

The tango "Nueve puntos" was recorded by several orchestras. Carlos Di Sarli and his orchestra made 3 recordings of this tango. Listen to the difference in style between the three recordings:

Recorded 5.5.1943: 馃敆 YouTube
Recorded 8.4.1952: 馃敆 YouTube
Recorded 7.3.1956: 馃敆 YouTube

More about Carlos Di Sarli - including discographies with more listen examples - on the TANGO NOTES Di Sarli page.

On this tango.info page is a list of the other orchestras that recorded "Nueve puntos".

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