Alfredo De Angelis
PIANIST, LEADER AND COMPOSER
(2 NOVEMBER 1910 – 31 MARCH 1992)
The standard of fast beat set by the orchestra of Juan D’Arienzo was being followed by almost all orchestras as it was a hit among the younger generation. There was a restoration of the 2/4 measure beat in the nineteen forties. Alfredo de Angelis made his orchestra focus more on dancing with a harmonious and synchronised beat. It did not, by any means, fall short in its artistic value. The orchestra was neat and precise in its execution of the music. The arrangements were good and they were all lined up with great singers and musicians.
Many people were of the opinion that the musical style of De Angelis’ orchestra resembled that of the music that you hear at a merry-go-round carousel. Alfredo de Angelis did not mind this description one bit because his music came to be distinctly characterized with that tag by all the tango dancers in the forties. His music always had a harmonious and a synchronised effect and this was achieved by deft handling of the rhythm and a respect shown to the melody by the singer. His music had a linear style that did not leave much room for variations. He has composed many great waltzes. Listen to Flores Del Alma here, http://youtu.be/PG6gXa7RD_M. It is a gem of a waltz.
Alfredo de Angelis’ musical style could be described as simple and non-ambitious. A decisive pattern was always repeated in his compositions. Listen to his version of La Cumparsita to understand his musical style, http://youtu.be/QMUItAwULl4. This illustration will show you how nicely the violins and the piano complement the bandoneons.
Alfredo de Angelis was born in the southern suburbs of Buenos Aires. From his early childhood, he picked up harmony and sight reading in music. He was given the nickname of El Colorado as he had a deep red complexion when he was a baby and that stuck throughout his life. His music had nothing to do with the nickname as it did not make anyone blush with shame when they heard it.
1930-1942: He accompanied the singer Giliberti during early gigs. He later started playing with the orchestra of Anselmo Aieta, where he replaced the pianist Juan Polito. At that time, Juan D’Arienzo was playing the violin there. In 1934, he played the piano with the orchestra of Graciano de Leone. He formed his own orchestra in March 1941 and started playing at Cafe Marzotto in company of the singer, Hector Morea. He also started promoting vocal duets. The duo of Dante and Martel along with Dante and Larroca were quite famous. Listen to Pregonera here, http://youtu.be/p5szZ9ijP1Q and you will notice the bandoneons lead the piece with De Angelis entering with the piano part before the duo of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel carry the melody further.
1943-1977: De Angelis started recording with the Odeon Label and also played for radio broadcasts on Radio El Mundo. The program on tangos that was broadcast on a daily basis was called the `Glostora Tango Club’. Between 1943 and 1977, de Angelis recorded four hundred and eighty six numbers with Odeon.
Noted Singers who worked with Alfredo de Angelis
YEAR SINGER REMARKS
1944 Julio Martel (1944-1950) His collaboration with Carlos Dante made him the emblematic voice of the orchestra of De Angelis.
1944 Carlos Dante (1944-1957) Singer with a highly personal and intimate style.
1951 Oscar Larroca (1951-1958) His good voice and his taste in singing made him a singer in demand.
1957 Juan Carlos Godoy (1957-1964) Was a versatile singer with a flexible range between a tenor and a baritone.
1959 Lalo Martel (1959-1962) Brother of Julio Martel who also sang in a great personal style.
1963 Roberto Mancini (1963-1964) Sensitive and intimate style of singing.
1964 Alberto Cuello (1964-1969) He was versatile and could sing in various languages.
Recognising the music of Alfredo De Angelis on the Dance Floor
1. The signature style of the Alfredo de Angelis sound was the vocal duet.
2. The music was written mainly with the dancer in mind.
3. The harmony has been treated without any frills or innovative designs.
4. The music is powerful while being sober.
5. The musical style of De Angelis gives importance to the melodic background.
6. The violins have been given importance and they are present in all the songs with their clear and crisp sound.
7. There is no stress on syncopation even when the musical phrase is about to end.
8. There is a balance between the melody and the rhythm.
9. His arrangements are rich and crisp.
10. The bandoneons also have a clear and powerful sound.
As he started his signature style with vocal duets, you can listen to these songs to get familiar with his style of music:-
Que Buenas Es (Julio Martel)
Sonar y Nada Mas (Waltz) (Carlos Dante and Julio Martel Duet)
El Tango Club (Instrumental)
Dancing to the Music of Alfredo De Angelis
The dancers have to realise that there is an important role for singers in the orchestra of Alfredo de Angelis. He was the pioneer in introducing the vocal duets to tango music. He had worked with seven main singers. The melody was written mainly for the singers. While the singer carried the melody, the orchestra carried the rhythm and this was done mainly by the double bass, the pianist and the bandoneons. The offbeat rhythm that was made popular by Rodolfo Biagi was not emphasised by de Angelis. He attempted to make his music sound constant with a legato style and smooth; that is why, the dancers can easily identify his music to that of a merry-go-round at a carousel.
Even though De Angelis was on the piano keyboard himself, he never made it as the standout instrument in his orchestra. He gave more importance to the violins in comparison to the pianoforte. Listen to La Novena here, http://youtu.be/6yzEafOh-So and note how the violins take over the melody from the introduction by the pianist and carry it along to the bandoneons and the singer, Carlos Dante.
PIANIST, LEADER, COMPOSER AND ARRANGER
(9 AUGUST 1906 - 6 MARCH 1974)
The style of Lucio Demare’s music has a base on the presence of the melody backed by lyricism which is powerful. The melody has a rich sound to it. The music is clear and linear. Demare uses legato, connecting the notes smoothly and giving only secondary importance to the rhythm. Another distinct feature of Demare’s style is that he always builds the melody up to a stirring climax. His style could be described as directly opposite to that of Rodolfo Biagi who favoured the staccato rhythm to the melody. He used imagination in the development of his instrumental compositions. He paid attention to the sound and the phrasing of the song. He made the piano also sing when he played it solo.
Lucio Demare was born in Buenos Aires. His father was a violinist. His brother was a film director. Demare devoted himself to studying pianoforte at an early age. He started earning from his music at a tender age of eight. The nickname `Malena’ stuck with him throughout his life because of the music he composed for the tango of the same name in less than fifteen minutes when presented with the lyrics. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/_852WEnZJqg.
1926: Starts composing
Lucio Demare had a penchant for composing with his innovative ideas and a creative disposition. He composed romantic songs that became very popular between 1926 and 1935. His tango creations were described as moody. An example is Mananitas des Montmartre, http://youtu.be/KluHWpfdR4U. He performs solo on the pianoforte and you can grasp the moody style of his composition with melodic richness and its sentimental lyricism.
He contributed immensely with his songs and shaped the tango of the nineteen forties. In 1926, he joined the troupe of Nicolas Verona. Then, he teamed up with the famous singing duo of Agustin Irusta and Roberto Fugazot to form a trio and toured Europe with them. The trio was a hit in Madrid. They also appeared in a comedy film titled `Mal de Amores’ and another Spanish film called `Boliche’.
1936: Recognition by Academy of Arts & Cinematographic Sciences
After his European and Central South American tours, Demare returned to Buenos Aires and started working in the Argentinean films of that time. His music was highly recognised by the Academia de Artes y Ciencias Cinematograficas (Academy of Arts & Cinematographic Sciences) and by City of Buenos Aires.
1938: Forms his own Orchestra
He formed his own orchestra in 1938 and started appearing on Radio Belgrano. His career as a band leader was highly successful. He recorded sixty two songs for the Odeon Label. After 1950, he started recording for Columbia and Artfono.
1955: Appeared in the Movie `Sangre y Acero’
He appeared in `Sangre y Acero’ with his orchestra. Thereafter, he started to play solos separately in the night clubs of Buenos Aires.
Noted Singers who worked with Lucio Demare
Year Singer Remarks
1928 Agustin Irusta (1928-1935) One of the finest `estribillista’ refrain singers of this time.
1928 Roberto Fugazot (1928-1935) An amateur actor and a good singer with a baritone voice.
1938 Juan Carlos Miranda (1938-1942) He carried the lush melodies of Demare admirably.
1944 Horacio Quintana (1944-1945)One of the great tango vocalists who was introduced by Irusta to Demare.
1954 Armando Garrido (1954-1956) He introduced Demare’s song `Buscandote’ in the film `El Ultimo Perro’.
Recognising the Music of Lucio Demare on the Dance Floor
1. Demare had a lyrical style in his compositions.
2. When he was playing with the orchestra, he created a rich sound through the piano and the violins.
3. When you hear his recordings, you will find the melodic line clear and crisp.
4. You will find a sentimental and moody touch, particularly when he is playing the solo pianoforte. The piano will prevail and amplify the musical phrasing with an intimate touch.
5. There is a sensual and sweet sound in his songs.
Dancing to the Music of Lucio Demare
The dancers would have to note that the piano plays an important role in the music of Lucio Demare. Along with the piano, the bandoneon also dominates the songs for the dancers to keep up the step with it. The piano music has to be danced with a romantic style. Listen to Manana Zarpa un Barco, http://youtu.be/dRbIJEJ0FeA. He has a smooth and lyrical style to his songs. He wrote some fabulous melodies, the most famous of which is `Malena’.
Carlos Di Sarli
[El Senor Del Tango]
PIANIST, LEADER AND COMPOSER
(7 JANUARY 1903 –12 JANUARY 1960)
The musical style of Carlos Di Sarli is classy and elegant. It is highly melodic without compromising the rhythm. The secret behind the noticeable simplicity in his music is as a result of the ideal adjustment that he does with all the instruments playing in his ensemble. This is what gave his orchestra a unique and magical sound. The blend is distinct as you will not be able to easily pin point the importance given to individual singers or solo instrumentalists. His musical compositions were essentially melodic with a balanced rhythmic line. The violins always carried the melody in the front, singing with their lyricism. The bandoneons took up the same melody in a counterpoint in the background, but playing in such a way that the blending of their sound comes off as perfect.
Di Sarli offered transitions on the piano and raised the involvement of the orchestral ensemble in the musical phrasing by punctuating with his famous style of playing, sounding like `bells’. These bells were offered like delicate ornaments by rolling his hands from the bass to the treble or from the left to the right octaves. You can notice this kind of playing in his version of La Cumparsita, http://youtu.be/tDNT1ru_OxU. Notice the balance between the bandoneons and the violins. Do not miss the flourish by Di Sarli on the piano at the end of the tango.
Carlos Di Sarli was born in Bahia Blanca in Southern Argentina. He was born in a family that had musical talents. He received training in classical music at an early age. When he was thirteen, he suffered an accident while working in his father’s store and lost an eye. He wore dark glasses since then. The accident did not deter him from joining the company of some travelling musicians to play tango music in various provinces. He was playing piano in several cafes until he moved to Buenos Aires in 1923. He joined the orchestral band of Anselmo Aieta. He joined Osvaldo Fresedo’s orchestra three years later.
1926-1931: Di Sarli joins Osvaldo Fresedo
The type of orchestral playing when the tangos were introduced by Fresedo had an influence on Di Sarli with their delicate and melodic styles. He went on to form his own sextet ensemble. He recorded his tangos with the sextet in 1928 for the RCA Victor label. They met success for the next three years and also performed at the Astral and the Fenix theatres. The sextet was famous for its instrumental number, `Sos una Fiera’ of 1929. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/UD4rh1Tpz8U. This sextet came to be known as `Sexteto Di Sarli’ and was later renamed as `Orquesta Tipica Novel’.
1939-1941: Di Sarli and his contribution to the Golden Age of Tango
After 1939, Di Sarli started recording for Radio El Mundo and at the Cabaret Moulin Rouge. His orchestra expanded to three violins, three bandoneons, a double bass and piano. D’Arienzo had influenced the tango scene with his accelerated tempi and it became the fashion of that time. Di Sarli never followed the trend and retained his style, emphasising the accent on melody and tone. He kept the tempo of his songs on the slower side. His collaboration with the singer, Roberto Rufino became strong in these days. They both concentrated on the compositions of milongas. Their famous hit is `Corazon’. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/E8DJvKvqtHk. Notice the famous bell style playing on the piano by Di Sarli before the entry of Rufino. Other singers that worked with Di Sarli were Agustin Volpe and Carlos Acuna.
1942: Creates a melodic style in the company of Alberto Podesta
Di Sarli maintained the slow tempi in his songs even in the early nineteen forties. Alberto Podesta joined his orchestra. He brought with him an emotional style of singing. While D’Arienzo was achieving success with his accelerated beats, Di Sarli was also not far behind creating his own melodic dimensions in the milonguero style.
1944: Jorge Duran
Di Sarli came across a new kind of voice in Jorge Duran in 1944. Duran adapted his style of singing to Di Sarli’s orchestra. He added melancholy to the musical phrasing. He is famous for the song, `Que No Sepan Las Estrellas’. Podesta also stayed with the orchestra and gave many hits. Oscar Serpa joined Di Sarli in 1948. Di Sarli withdrew from public performances between 1949 and 1951 for commercial and personal reasons
1951: Di Sarli Returns to the Performing Scene
Di Sarli resumed performances in March 1951. He also played for Radio El Mundo. He was given the nickname of El Senor Del Tango (The Gentleman Lord of the Tango Dance). He expanded his orchestra further by inducting six violins, five bandoneons, two singers and he played the piano himself. He conducted while playing the piano.
1956-1958: Changes in his Ensemble
There were quite a few changes in his orchestra and in his singing troupe in 1956. Many musicians from his ensemble left him to form another orchestra. He was a demanding and difficult perfectionist and many musicians may have found the going tough under him. Di Sarli recorded some of his last tangos in 1958 with the Philips label. He never bowed down to the trendy demands of his time and never allowed himself to get carried away by extravagant rhythms. He kept his music simple and delicate. His instrumentation was always done with subtle nuances and it stayed away from the avant-garde wave started by D’Arienzo and Piazzolla. Carlos Di Sarli never allowed anyone to film him when he was playing the piano. He passed away a couple of years later with a heart failure.
Noted Singers who worked with Carlos Di Sarli
Year Singer Remarks
1939 Roberto Rufino (1939/1943) He had a narrative style of singing and phrased his songs with good diction.
1940 Agustin Volpe He had a deep voice
1941 Carlos Acuna Highly expressive voice.
1942 Alberto Podesta (1942-1947) An emotional style of singing.
1944 Jorge Duran (1944/1946/1956-1957) A good baritone voice. He brought drama into his singing.
1948 Oscar Serpa (1948/1955) He had a smooth voice and a great phrasing technique.
1956 Argentino Ledesma He had colour and timbre in his voice.
1956 Rodolfo Gale He had a strong baritone voice.
1956 Roberto Florio (1956-1958) He had a deep voice and sang with Di Sarli for the RCA Victor label.
Recognising the Music of Carlos Di Sarli on the Dance Floor
1. He had a flourish roll signature known as `bells’ on the piano from the bass octaves to the treble octaves at the end of a musical phrase or during a transition.
2. The violins always played the lead with a lyrical style.
3. The music was maintained at a leisurely pace and was kept on the slower side with two strong beats per measure.
4. There was a good balance between the violins and the bandoneons that played the melody in unison.
5. There were no instrumental solos in his songs.
Dancing to the Music of Carlos Di Sarli
Prime importance is given to the melody in his musical style. The rhythm comes off clear and lucid and is never sacrificed in his compositions. The orchestration is done in a way that it sounds polyphonic to give a distinct touch that can easily be identified by the dancers.
The unison between the bandoneons and the violins is raised to a higher level of quality playing to achieve an elegant and refined sound. Di Sarli almost expanded his ensemble into a miniature orchestra by raising the number of violins to eight. He provides the legatos and the cadences, linking successive notes so that there is no pause between them. It makes it easy for the dancers to follow and the music flows fluidly.
VIOLINIST, LEADER AND COMPOSER
(14 APRIL 1897 - 15 FEBRUARY 1963)
The distinct characteristic of Edgardo Donato’s musical style is the use of melodic lines for the instruments and bringing out elegance from the singers. The music is interpreted with a pace which is powerful as well as marked. His songs are rich in communication for the listener.
Edgardo Felipe Valerio Donato was born in an Italian family. His father was a conductor of a chamber orchestra in Montevideo and played the mandolin and the cello. At the age of ten, Edgardo started studying music with his father and studied at the Franz Liszt Conservatory. He became a professional at the age of twenty one.
He composed his first hit, `Julian’ in 1922. The song had lyrics by Panizza and was dedicated to Julian Gonzalez, the Uruguayan leader. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/MRszFhiBSg8. The next year, he composed songs like `Beba’ and `Muchacho’. One of his songs went on to become a big hit and that was `A Media Luz’. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/93NYHKSvLp8. Donato plays a piano solo.
Donato formed an orchestra with the term Donato-Zerrillo, teaming up with the violinist. The orchestra was made up of three bandoneons; the two leaders played the violins, a pianist, a cellist and a double bassist. They had their debut performance in Montevideo in July 1927. The Select Lavalle Cinema gave them a contract for the entire season that year. The orchestra used a beat that was paused and restricted. There were very few passages to highlight solo instruments.
In 1930, the orchestra name changed to `9 Tango Aces’. It was recognized then as a striking native orchestra. They were joined by the singer, Luis Diaz. The songs were recorded for the Brunswick label. This orchestra started using wider dynamics, bringing out the bandoneons more. Donato himself came on very strongly on the solo violin. He also came to be widely known for using the pizzicato effect on the violin and other stringed instruments. During this period, Donato must have composed over two hundred numbers. Many of them went on to become classics in the repertoire of tango music. Listen to `Muchacho de Cafetin’ here, http://youtu.be/2Gg5TFI6oAA.
Donato’s orchestra was also included in the film `Tango’ in 1933. It was the first talkie that was made on the history of Argentinean cinema with an entire soundtrack score. Donato also scored themes for films like `Asi es el Tango’ and `Picaflor’. He performed for radio broadcasts and also played regularly at cabarets and night clubs.
During this period, singers such as Horacio Lagos, Lita Morales and Romeo Gavioli joined Donato. They all had successful stints with his orchestra. He formed a quartet known as `Los Caballeros Del Recuerdo’ (The Memorable Gentlemen) in 1944. They played a whole repertoire of tango music of the old school (La Guardia Vieja). The quartet was made up of Francisco Pracanico on the piano, Anselmo Aieta on the bandoneon and Domingo Donnaruma and Donato himself on the violins.
His brother Osvaldo formed an orchestra and took away many musicians of Donato’s troupe. Edgardo had to organise his orchestra all over again. In 1945, he worked for the famous film `Pelota de Trapo’. Donato also became famous for bouts of absent mindedness. He was also instrumental in adding fox-trots and rancheras to his tango repertoire.
Noted Singers who worked with Edgardo Donato
Year Singer Remarks
1929 Luis Diaz (1929-1932) A Bel Canto and Estribillista refrain singer.
1931 Antonio Rodriguez Lesende A refrain singer liked by many tango lovers for his phrasing.
1934 Antonio Maida A humble singer with a lyrical voice.
1938 Horacio Lagos (1938-1942/1955-1957) He was among the most famous tango vocalists used by Donato.
1939 Lita Morales (1939-1941) She was a popular radio singer who had a lyrical voice.
1939 Romeo Gavioli (1939-1942) One of the best tango singers noted for his delicate phrasing.
1932 Felix Gutierrez (1932-1936/1951/1955) A refrain singer with a warm timbre in his voice.
Recognising the Music of Edgardo Donato on the Dance Floor
1. Music of Edgardo Donato is melodic as well as rhythmic.
2. It is lively and joyful when played.
3. Donato is famous for using much pizzicato or plucking effect on his string instruments where the bow is not used.
4. The singers that he used like Lagos, Gavioli and Morales sang in harmony with his instruments.
5. There is an instrumental introduction in his songs before the singers come in.
6. The bandoneons and the violins play in unison.
Dancing to the Music of Edgardo Donato
The dancers can identify the music of Edgardo Donato easily by observing the regular rhythm provided by the beats. His compositions are always easy and pleasant to the ears of the dancers. Listen to El Adios here, http://youtu.be/-K55iCKaFeQ. The beat is in common time (4 measures to a bar of quarter notes). It is easy to follow and dance. You can also notice the pizzicato effect on the violins before the singer enters the song.
(El Pibe de la Paternal) (The Kid from La Paternal Neighbourhood)
BANDONEONIST, LEADER AND COMPOSER
(5 MAY 1897 – 18 NOVEMBER 1984)
The music of Osvaldo Fresedo is melodic and smooth flowing. His compositions balance both the vocal and the instrumental parts in the tangos. There are not many solo parts for instruments in his compositions. There are no variations or improvisations for bandoneon parts. The melody is written in a counterpoint form. The entire orchestra marked the rhythm of his songs. The piano and the bandoneons do not stand out. There is a constant use of legato in his music where the notes are played and sung in a smooth and a connected fashion. The instrument player or the singer would make a transition from one note to another without any silent pause in between.
Osvaldo Fresedo was born in a middle class family in the neighbourhood of La Paternal in Buenos Aires. The nickname that got tagged on to him was `that kid from La Paternal’. It refers to this locality. The name got tagged when he started playing in a trio in the local cafes. He got his first music lessons from his mother and started showing interest in tango music from an early age. He learned the bandoneon when he was a teenager and started playing with several renowned orchestras of the Old Guard (La Guardia Vieja) period.
1913-1919: The Beginning of a Long Career
His earliest composition was `El Espiante’ (The Rejected One). In the next several years, he composed another famous composition `Vida Mia’ (My Life). Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/Ui4hLGHF3iE. You can observe how the violins enter; as if they are playing in a symphony orchestra before Roberto Ray enters as a singer. Fresedo gave some public performances as a trio member which consisted of his brother Emilio playing the violin. He played the bandoneon along with another guitar player.
Fresedo went to the United States of America. He recorded music for few records in Camden, New Jersey while playing with a quartet which included the violinist Tito Rocatagliatta and the pianist Enrique Delfino. When he returned to Buenos Aires, he formed his own ensemble and started writing music with an elegant style. He started performing at the Montmartre Cabaret and at the Royal Pigall.
1925 to 1928
This was a good commercial period for Fresedo as he recorded around six hundred numbers for the Odeon label. His stint as an orchestra conductor was also tireless. At times, he divided his orchestra into almost four groups so that they could perform at four different night clubs. The orchestra of Fresedo became a favourite among the upper echelons of society. The aristocratic and the refined elite of the society loved his orchestra. His performances at the Pigall became so successful that his orchestra was being considered as the most fashionable of that time. Listen to his instrumental, `Pimienta’ here, http://youtu.be/mFb0nRY_ipA. You can feel how the violins introduce the number in a symphonic style until the bandoneons and the piano strike a balance. Observe the flourish by the piano and the lyrical trills from the violins.
Many recordings of Fresedo included singers like Ernesto Fama, Teofilo Ibanez, Juan Carlos Thorry and Roberto Ray. Many capable musicians were forming their ensembles during this period and the tango had entered its golden age. Despite the varied trends that were set by differing orchestras, Fresedo retained his individual style with elegant rhythm. He kept the playing of his orchestra on the slower tempi and used mellifluous singers who almost sang the tangos like arias or ballads. Ricardo Ruiz and Oscar Serpa joined his team as singers. Listen to his `Arrabalero’ from 1939, http://youtu.be/-UXVH9O_jeM.
Singers like Hector Pacheco, Armando Garrido and Carlos Barrios joined him during this period. In 1959, he started recording for the Columbia label. He was one of the first few artists who recorded in `Living Stereo’ technology. The stereo techniques of recording split the recording session with mikes kept for the left, center and the right wing. In a typical orchestra, the violins were heard on the let speaker or ear, the bandoneons or the wind and brass instruments were heard in the centre and the violas, cellos and double basses were heard on the right speaker or by the right ear.
Fresedo continued to lead the orchestra until he retired in 1980 at the ripe age of eighty three. His last recordings were on the CBS (Columbia Broadcasting Service) label. Osvaldo Fresedo had the longest recording career among all tango artists, stretching from 1925 to 1980.
Year Singer Remarks
1927 Juan Carlos Thorry He had an intimate style of tango singing.
1928 Ernesto Fama He was an excellent estribillista refrain singer who recorded more than 300 songs.
1931 Teofilo Ibanez (1931-1932) One of the most iconic tango singers of the 1930s.
1933 Ricardo Ruiz (1933-1941) A famous radio singer and an actor.
1946 Oscar Serpa He was devoted to the tango repertoire as a sensitive singer.
1948 Osvaldo Cordo A promising singer taken by Fresedo.
1951 Armando Garrido Antonio Rios, the bandoneonist, introduced him to Fresedo as his style of singing matched that of the orchestra.
1955 Hector Pacheco Sang with Fresedo’s orchestra mostly at the night club, `Rendezvous’.
1963 Carlos Barrios He had a great sense of beat and timing in his singing style.
Recognising the Music of Osvaldo Fresedo on the Dance Floor
1. He introduced the violins with a texture similar to that of a symphony orchestra.
2. A long introduction by the instruments was followed by the refrain singer.
3. The bandoneons, piano and the violins played with a balanced sound and responded to the refrain singer.
4. The singers were mostly asked to sing in the legato style.
5. Fresedo brought in the harp, the vibraphone, the trumpet and various other percussion instruments into his orchestra.
Dancing to the Music of Osvaldo Fresedo
Fresedo used elegant rhythms in his music and maintained slow tempi. As a dancer, you will also come across the first stereo recordings featuring Osvaldo Fresedo and his orchestra. The dancers will also come across new timbres in the orchestral sound with the introduction of harp, vibraphone, cello and other percussion instruments. The use of drums was also done in a subtle way. He made the singers use mellifluous tones, making the songs sound like ballads and arias. He matched those singers with the refined playing style of his orchestra.
BANDONEONIST, DIRECTOR AND COMPOSER
(10 OCTOBER 1902 - 7 JULY 1972)
The music of Pedro Laurenz is rhythmic and displays classy style. It is romantic in flavour. He always uses a lyrical phrase supported by an energetic tempo. His musical arrangements have always been sophisticated. As he was a bandoneon player, he gave the bulk of focus to that instrument in his songs. He was a pioneer in the development of the technique of playing the bandoneon with both hands. It revolutionised the very sound of the instrument and he brought out many variations and nuances while he played. His unique style of playing the bandoneon was noticed as early as his performances with the Julio de Caro sextet. His style of playing was always full of energy and brought out a bright and happy mood.
Pedro Laurenz’s actual name was Pedro Blanco Acosta. Later in life, he took the surname of his mother’s second husband. He learnt the bandoneon at a young age and was proficient at it. He mastered the technique of playing the bandoneon and introduced a style of playing the instrument with both hands. He could shift from the high pitch to a low pitch in the blink of an eye. He became a prolific composer. He was always highly energetic with his musical phrasing. He established a performance school.
Laurenz had a successful stint as a composer and a performer in the decades between 1920s and 1950s. He composed tangos that became very popular. One of the most popular is `Mala Junta’. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/j2AeM036RsQ.The violin stands out in the instrumental version before the bandoneon hogs the limelight.
Pedro Laurenz gave his first performance in Buenos Aires when he was twenty years of age. He performed with the Julio de Caro sextet ensemble. He played along with Pedro Mafia. This pair was also well known as Los Dos Pedritos (The Two Young Gentlemen). Laurenz went on to create his own orchestra in 1934. He performed initially at the Bar Los Treinta y Seis Billares (The Thirty Six Billiards Bar). During this period, he also composed several tangos and milangos. One of the famous ones is `Mal de Amores’. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/im9GrKFfVTk. It almost sounds like a concerto for two bandoneons and orchestra. It has a melancholic undertone.
Laurenz also played for the orchestra of Roberto Goyheneche. He performed during the inauguration in 1922 of Radio Cultura. He played his tango, `El Rebelde’. With his own orchestra, he breathed life into the tango with his individual style of compositions.
Laurenz started recording for the RCA Victor label. His interpretation of `Arrabal’ in 1937 with the pianist Jose Pascual is regarded by many musical scholars as the gateway to the golden era of tango music. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/jdDNTmLKSH4. You can note the innovative style of melody and the way the violin brings in a gypsy style along with the bandoneon and the piano. After 1943, he continued recordings with the Odeon label for the next four years. Among his popular compositions of this time, `Milonga de mis Amores’ became famous. Listen to it here, http://youtu.be/X0MdL97msSE. Observe how he keeps the orchestra engaged and simple around the melody. Also note the staccato rhythms with a controlled balance.
Noted Singers who worked with Pedro Laurenz
Year Singer Remarks
1938 Juan Carlos Casas (1938-1942) Sang for five years with Laurenz and made `Mala Junta’ popular along with many other milongas.
1942 Alberto Fuentes Sang many waltzes and worked only with Laurenz.
1944 Carlos Bermudez He was a famous amateur singer. He sang only when he felt like it and no band leader except Laurenz could buy out his time.
1943 Alberto Podesta (1943-1944) He was a Miguel Calo and Carlos Di Sarli loyalist but also sang for Laurenz during the early part of this year.
1944 Jorge Linares (1944-1945) After Podesta left, Laurenz liked the voice of Linares and wrote many songs for him.
Recognising the Music of Pedro Laurenz on the Dance Floor
1. The music of Pedro Laurenz has staccato cutting rhythms and legato style of nostalgic singing for melodies.
2. As Laurenz was principally a bandoneonist, he made the instrument stand out in his orchestra with some amazing solos for it, playing with a unique style using both hands.
3. There were many variations in the bandoneon playing with some complicated arrangements.
4. The piano marked the tempi of the song and the violins were always in the background.
5. You will come across many flowing type of waltzes and milongas in his music.
Dancing to the Music of Pedro Laurenz
The dancers would be able to identify the music of Pedro Laurenz with the variations that were improvised for the bandoneons and the arrangements made through the unique style of playing by Laurenz himself. Musical scholars placed his music as a bridge between the styles of Julio de Caro and Osvaldo Pugliese. Listen to `Garua’ here, http://youtu.be/N6imto0owps. The dancers will be able to notice the staccato rhythms and the improvised variations on the bandoneons before Alberto Podesta enters as a singer. The musical compositions of Pedro Laurenz were simple and appealing to the listeners.