Posts Tagged ‘ 10 best tango composers ’

1903, April 8 – BIRTH OF DANIEL LOPEZ BARRETO

Composer, Pianist, Author (Aries) – Tangiers beguiled him and as she had done to William S Burroughs, to Jack Keroac, to Tenessee Williams, to Matisse…she seduced him and so Daniel Lopez Barreto did the unthinkable, he deserted the Argentine Navy and disappeared into Tangiers’ mysterious labyrinths of spys and smugglers…but it was not easy and out of desperation he joined the French Foreign Legion, finding himself oddly at home with its failed revolutionaries and trouble makers from all over the world…but fate had a surpise in store for him, enjoying himself at the “Cabaret Lumiere Du Midi” the night before shipping out, some drunken English sailors suddenly became rowdy for the lack of the promised live music…one of Daniel’s campanions suggested to owner that Daniel play the piano; his debut was so successful that it turned into an eight month engagement…one evening a German couple happened to come in; she was a voice and music professor and was so impressed with Daniel’s talent that she took him under her wing…they took  him to the magical island of Ibizia where through stern, disciplined training she perfected his talent…together they would perform classical music concerts throughout europe in splendor and elegance he had never imagined

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But the call of his native land was strong and against the counsel of his benefactress he decided to return to Argentina where he was immediately arrested; he was sentenced to one year in prison at hard labor…upon his release, for a while, he began earning his living as a boxer and a pianist billing himself as “The Boxing Pianist”….now back in Buenos Aires, he began working in a music publishing house where one day the legendary, Roberto Firpo happened to hear him play piano and asked him to join his orchestra…in 1929 he formed a trio to play on Radio Nacional, later Radio Belgrano…he accompanied renown tenor Tito Schippa in one of his celebrated concerts in Buenos Aires…he composed the music for a number of films including “Canillita” in 1936, and “El Hombre Del Sabado” in 1947….either as a composer or as a lyricist, he would record over 100 tangos…his music and his curiosity would take him around the world Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States; his highlight was undoubtably winning in a prize at the prestigious Mozart Festival in Salzburg…he lived on Easter Island for many months to study the language of the natives and he published a book in the United States on his findings….at the age of seventy nine after an incredible life he passed away at his home in Buenos Aires

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CLICK HEREhttp://www.todotango.com/

spanish/las_obras/Tema.aspx?id=BJYAM8BYPRQ= to hear “La Uruguayita Lucia” with lyrics by Daniel Lopez Barreto and music by Eduardo Pereyra performed by the Ricardo Tanturi Orchestra sung by Enrique Campos

1956, April 06 – FIRST RECORDED “MADRE”

The lyrics of “Madre” speak of  man who has hit bottom…he laments his wayward life, his abandonment in vice and worldly pleasures…he recalls the disillusionment of women who professed to love him and now deeply distraught, he realizes that without his mother’s guidance he has fallen and that she was the only one who truly loved him…no doubt composer Francisco Pracanico was inspired by his own sad and lonely childhood…having grown up in a destitute family, he had to quit school when he was no more than a child and began working as a shoe shine boy…working long hours, roaming the city by himself, he would assuage his loneliness playing the harmonica…the heart wrenching melancholy and nostalgia that was to characterize his immortal compositions, moved passersby to stop and marvel at the sensitivity of the boy…eventually one of his customers gave him an old piano which he repaired with make-shift parts he found on the streets; it became his passion…his debut occurred by accident; he was working in a musical cafe as a dish washer and one particular evening the piano player of the tango orchestra did not show up and the customers were increasingly restless….

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The owner, out of desperation, sent in young Francisco; it was to be the start of an incredible career…Francisco Pracanico became one of the most successful tango composers in history…Agustin Magaldi would have a hit with his “Afilador”, his “Mentira” was a hit for Carlos Gardel in 1932, his “Corrientes Y Esmeralda” would be a hit for Adriana Varela in the 1990s and even the legendary Maurice Chevalier premiered his “Tango Porteno” in 1925…Chola Luna, the vocalist of “Madre” was inclined to singing from an early age and she was much encouraged by her proud father; at age sixteen, he entered her in the famous Puloil Soap Singing Contest on Radio Belgrano and out of hundreds of contestants she was declared the winner…she sang with a number of orchestras including the influential Francisco Canaro…she later made a successful tour of  Europe with the Francisco Lomuto Orchestra…she was part of Eva Peron’s preferred list of tango artist but when Juan Peron was overthrownin 1955, Chola was not only blacklisted but threatened with imprisonment and so she exiled herself to Montevideo; “Madre” was one of the last tangos she recorded in Argentina

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CLICK HEREhttp://www.todotango.com/

spanish/las_obras/Tema.aspx?id=xS70q+gbxgY= to hear Chola Luna sing “Madre” with the Miguel Calo Orchestra

1933, April 5 – PREMIERE OF “MELODIA DE ARRABAL”

Like Dostoyevsky’s Rodion in “Crime and Punishment”, Robert Ramirez, is an example of the redeeming power of love…he is a con man in love and now he is repentant about his past as says to his beloved Alina, “I don’ deserve you, I am not good enough for you…my whole life is a lie..I always been a liar, I was a gambler, a thief and an ass…”…Alina puts her hand to his mouth just when he is about to admit that he is a murderer and says to him, ” be quiet, it doesn’t matter now, all that matter is that I love you”Carlos Gardel plays Ramirez who is a gambler, a cheat and eventually even a murder but he once saved the life of the detective who is investigating and knows the truth about Ramirez and whom he decides to help; Imperio Argentina plays Alina the voice and piano teacher  who falls in love with Ramirez…the critics were merciless to the film and to Gardel’s acting but there was little doubt about Imperio Argentina for her screen presence and her superb acting…In fact this film made her enormously popular in the United States…

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Directed by Louis J. Gasnier and written by Alfredo Le Pera, “Melodia De Arrabal” premiered at Cine Porteno and was a big hit surpassing even the renown “Luces De Buenos Aires” by half year…Gardel attended the premiere and was met with thunderous applause upon his entry…its musical numbers, featuring the orchestras of Juan Cruz Matteo and Horacio Pettorossi, became best sellers “Silencio” was an instant hit all over the world…the other major hit was “Cuando Tu No Estas” written the renown French musician Marcel Lattes who would die ten years later at the Auschwitz concentration camp…Marcel Lattes who was originally from Nice would compose music for over thirty films…Imperio Argentina, who started her career as “Petit Imperio” at the age of six, was a particular favorite of Adolfo Hitler and he had Joseph Goebbels request an audience with her; she came and he asked her to film the life of exotic dancer Lola Montez which she later refused…she was reputed to have had a lesbian affair with Marlena Dietrich.

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CLICK HEREhttp://www.youtube.com/

watch?v=mSadGn2l8Hw&playnext=

1&list=PL9F48543BA8107F4B to hear Gardel sing a big hit from the film, “Cuando Tu No Estas”, composed by Marcel Lattes and Carlos Gardel

1916, April 3 – BIRTH OF MARUJA PACHECO HUERGO

Singer, Composer, Pianist, Author (Aries) -“I like it darling, polish that up a bit”, she said…little did she suspect that, that simple phrase cast at her daughter who was improvising at the piano while she sat on her favorite rocking chair knitting, would launch her daughter Maruja to immortality…it was 2 AM in the morning and Maruja had, had a long day but it was in still of the night that she did her best work but this night would be different, she would make history…she would piece together the tango “El Adios” which would be an instant hit and be recorded by a variety of musicians not only in Latin America but as far away as Japan…it continues, to our very day, to be a favorite in milongas world-wide…interestingly, she did not think she was very good at composing tango and very soon abandoned the field to devote herself to a wide array of music; she recorded over 600 songs in different genres…for example, she composed and recorded  ”Jugetes Musicales”  (Musical Games) designed to entertain and educate for children…

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She composed “Little Musical Bible”, which consisted of twelve songs based on the old testament…she wrote the music for films and appeared in at least two, “Ronda De Estrellas” directed by Jack Davison and “Gran Camarado” directed by Yago Blas…although her tango compositions were not extensive, they included a number of hits working with renown orchestras including Juan D’arienzo, Florindo Sassone, and Edgardo Donato to name just a few…for some compositions, “Cuando Silba El Viento” for example, she wrote both the music and the lyrics; a rare talent among musicians of the epoch…she was a very popular singer and actress on radio dramas; in fact in 1938 in a campaign to identify “Miss Radio” she got over 30,000 votes, which was a rather significant number for those days…she performed on a number of radio stations but her home was Radio Belgrano…”El Adios” was first recorded by Ignacio Corsini, a family friend but it was the version by Edgardo Donato which would render it internationally famous

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1920, March 30 – BIRTH OF RAUL BERON

Singer (Airies) - Raul Beron is considered by many as the best tango voice in history and yet in the eyes of cognoscenti, Jose his older brother, had the talent surpass his legendary brother but preferred the bohemian night life …but it wasn’t only these two brothers but the whole family that seemed particularly gifted…their sister Elba for example, would record several hits with the Anibal Troilo Orchestra….they  were the children of Adolfo Manuel Beron, a guitarist and composer who encouraged his children to play and sing; theirs was a household visited by Adolfo’s musician and artist friends….their first taste of stardom occurred when Adolfo organized his five children into “Los Portenitos” which began singing in the cafes of their home town of Zarate…Raul Beron was only ten years old when he formed a duo with his brother Jose; they debuted at the Kity Dance Cabaret in Montevideo  to great acclaim; they were soon singing on the prestigious Radio Belgrano…Raul came to the ear of Jose Razzano who became his mentor and in fact in time Raul developed a Gardelian, baritone style like his hero Carlos Gardel…

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His major break came when Miguel Calo asked him to join his orchestra; he was nineteen years old…his debut at the Club Dancing Singapur was met with to ecstatic applause…on April 29, 1942 he recorded “Al Compas del Corazon” a phenomenal hit; within a span of five months two other hits were to follow, “Lejos de Buenos Aires” and the milonga “Azabache”..the next year he appeared in his first film “Todo Un Hombre”  directed by Pierre Chenal who had narrowly escaped nazi occupied France to move to Argentina…Beron later had brief stints with the orchestras of Lucio Demare and Francini – Pontier with whom he recorded another hit “Remolino”…later he joined the revered Anibal Troilo Orchestra with which he would produce several popular recordings and sing in the film “Mi Noche Triste”…it is interesting to note that in his lifetime he was not as popular as singers like Fiorentino, Rufino and Marino and yet with the passing of time it is Raul Beron who aquires legendary status…..on June 28, 1982 he was scheduled sing at the “Cafe De Los Angelitos” but when his wife went into the bedroom to get him, she found him dead; like his brother Jose and his sister Elba he died relatively young of a heart attack

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1951, March 29 – OSMAR MADERNA’S LAST RECORDING

Saturday afternoon had finally arrived, it was a day he looked forward to all week, his flying day….Osmar Maderna had two loves in his life, music and flying his Eurosocpe 415 CD, a passion he shared with his contemporary Osvaldo Fresedo….the skies over Lomas de Zamora was especially limpid and his fellow pilots were exuberant…flying 200 meters in the air Osmar playfully oscillated the wings at an adjacent pilot as he had done many times before only this time his wing hit the wing of the adjacent plane causing it to lose lift, spiral and hit the ground in a fiery crash…Osmar Maderna, the “Chopin of Tango”, at the pinnacle of his career, was dead at the age of thirty-three years old; just one month earlier he had made his twentieth recording at the RCA Victor Studios…Osmar Maderna was the eighth child of a poor immigrant family in the village of Huajo, Argentina…his father who was a musician was his first piano teacher…from early on young Osmar demonstrated an unusual sensitivity and gift for music…his love of Chopin showed in his subtle, ethereal, romantic touch; at the age of thirteen he put together his first group calling it “Vitaphone”…

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At the age of 20  he arrived in Buenos Aires where he performed on the radio as a soloist playing classical music and some tango…the young prodigy began developing a name for himself; that year he was invited by Miguel Calo to join his orchestra…here he came in contact with three young would-be greats Enrique FranchiniArmando Pontier and Domingo Federico…in 1945 he started start his own orchestra and debuted at the mythical Marzotto Cafe later earning performances at Tango Bar and Radio Belgrano…one year later, he made his first recording, the beautiful instrumental “Chiquè” …some of his most beloved compositions include  ”LLuvia de Estrellas” which shows his love of Chopin’s waltzes and nocturnes and “Concierto En La Luna” which reflects his love of flying but his biggest hit was the waltz “Pequena” with the voice of Hector de Rosas…it was such a massive hit that in the first few months alone there were more than 120 different renditions by different artists…he starred in the film “Al Compas de Tu Mentira” and is credited with having started “Tango Fantasia”

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watch?v=AsdliPd9cFQ to hear the Alfredo de Angelis perform Osmar Maderna’s greatest hit “Pequena” with lyrics by Homero Exposito and the voice of Carlos Dante

1901, March 27 – BIRTH OF ENRIQUE SANTOS DISCEPOLO

Poet, Composer (Aires) – the best doctors of Buenos Aires were mystified… they had no explanation for the strange infection that was slowly withering away the body of Enrique Santos Discepolo….the truth was that he was dying of a broken heart…he had become ostracized for being a Peronista by his friends and fellow artists….they refused to speak with him, he was hooted in theaters and whistled in restaurants, pranks to embarrass the staging of his plays were not uncommon; he went into a deep depression and lost his appetite….but from the very beginning of his career it was the injustice and suffering around him which were precisely the themes of his legendary tangos “Que Vachachè”,  ”Yira, Yira”, “Calambache” which had made them popular all over the world…in his immensely popular radio commentary he said it all in his refrain, “I did not invent Juan Peron, he was born out of your corrupt governments, out of the misery of the poor whom you massacred, out of your cruelty and arrogance”…on 23 December 1951, at 11:20 pm the great poet and composer finally released the grip of the hand of his dear friend Osvaldo Miranda and died; he was fifty years old…

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Enrique Santos Discepolo was born in the neighborhood of “Once” in Buenos Aires to an immigrant father from Napoli who was an accomplished musician…nevertheless, both he and his wife died when Enrique was very young…he was left to the care of a rich, austere uncle who made him wear a tuxedo to dinner; in time a genius would emerge who not only wrote the lyrics to his tangos but the music as well, albeit with two fingers on the piano as he had no formal musical training…at the age of sixteen he began acting in his older brother’s plays…the first glimmer of greatness broke through in 1928 when Azucena Maizani sang his “Esta Noche Me Emborracho”…just days later it was popular all over the country; it soon caught on in Europe as well…this was also the year that he met Spanish singer Tania who would become his wife and life’s companion to the end of his days…his great masterpiece, ”Cambalache” had the peculiar privilege of being banned by all military dictatorships after 1943…Carlos Gardel’s recording of his “Yira, Yira” in 1930 is considered one of the greatest events in tango history…his collaboration with composer Mariano Mores would produce the immortal “Uno” which has been called the national anthem of tango…

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watch?v=PGVXtCCR9pk to hear Virginia Luque sing Discepolo’s “Sueno de Juventud” for which he wrote both the music and the lyrics
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