Archive for the ‘ Female ’ Category

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 HERE– http://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 HERE– http://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

2010, March 31 – PREMIERE OF “THE TANGO SINGER”

“I am sorry to keep saying it, but I don’t love you any more Helena”…psychologists tell us that these are the most painful words that a human being can hear and yet this is exactly what Conrado tells Helena; he is in love with another woman…but Helena is madly in love with him and these simple words destroy her…the words come precisely at the moment that her singing career is about to take off and she has been offered a performance at a prestigious venue in Buenos Aires but she is unable to sing…she becomes a mere shell of her former self, she is hysterical, out of her mind, obsessive, she follows Conrado and telephones him incessantly and finally, the extreme pain leads her to cut herself with broken glass…not unlike the legendary Libertad Lamarque in real life, she hits bottom, loses everything…she finally moves to a small French seaside town where she finds work in a simple bakery confirming Khalil Gibran when he says of love’s pain “he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast”

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“And so I embarked on a long period of research to track down the tangos that not only touched me musically but would also carry, through their  poetry and their emotions and the message of  the film”, said Director Diego Martinez Vignati…perhaps that is why his film “The Tango Singer” is one of the very few films in history that manages to perfectly weave the art of film making with tango music and dancing…The film is punctuated by intense bursts of tango masterfully weaved into the fabric of the film and provide an insight into Helena, brilliantly portrayed by actress Eugenia Ramírez Miori…Vignatti was born 1971 in Bahia Blanca Argentina; the birth place of Carlos Disarli; in fact half of the “The Tango Singer” was filmed there; the other half in Belgium where Vignati has lived since 1997…he graduated from law school in Argentina but studied film at the prestigious INSAS in Brussels…the film features the renown vocalist Oscar Ferrari who passed away soon after making this film...one noted critic said of the film, ”it manages to do what was only attempted by Sally Potter in “The Tango Lesson”, Carlos Saura in “Tango” and Robert Duval in Assassination Tango”.

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CLICK HERE– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IddZnvnBEwM&feature=related to see a clip from the film “The Tango Singer”

1936, March 26 – PREMIERE OF FILM “CANILLITA”

Florencio Sanchez, eighteen years old, dreamt of marrying his sweetheart but his job as a journalist just barely provided enough to live on and when he went to see his sweetheart was embarrassed to put on, his one and only threadbare suit…watching the rascally, mischievous, bold newspaper boys jumping off and on the trams shouting the headlines to passengers and passersby, he was inspired to write a play; “Canillita” which referred to the long thin legs on which they scurried about…to his astonishment, when it was premiered on October 1, 1902, it was not only immensely popular but would capture the imagination of the world inspiring similar characters all over the world….Astor Piazzolla, for example, would play newspaper boy “Canillita” in Carlos Gardel’s film “El Dia Que Me Quieras”…instead the film “Canillita” premiering on March 26, 1936, is a musical comedy in which a young girl falls in love with a singer and elects to runaway with him rather than marrying a store keeper to whom she is promised…

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Directed by Lisandro De La Tea it stars singers Amanda Ledesma, Sabina Olmos and Principe Azul…it features Pedro Maffia and his orchestra playing the theme tango “Canillita” which was composed by Julio Cesar Sanders…Amanda Ledesma was a simple shop girl who loved to sing who reluctantly entered a singing contest and won which launched a long and glorious career…this was the first film for Sabina Olmos; thirty more would follow and she would marry legendary singer Charlo…however, years later, Charlo now dead and she penniless and all but forgotten, she would take her own life by jumping from a high story building…Principe Azul was a highly paid singer and the powerful star making machine of the United States had selected him as the new Carlos Gardel; in fact he was on his way to New York to sign a contract with NBC, when he was suddenly struck with a serious illness which swiftly took his life just two days short of his 34th birthday

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letra.aspx?idletra=3023 to hear another inspiration, “Canillita, Canillita” performed by the Francisco Pracanico Orchestra with the voice of Sofia Bozan, 1928

1900, March 2 – BIRTH OF KURT WEILL

“Hurry, hurry Kurt…we have little time to waste, the car is waiting” he heard his friend’s panicked voice cry out; Kurt hastily grabbed the sketches of the second symphony he had been working on and with nothing but the clothes on his back, he rushed out…in fact merely  hours later the Gestapo arrived at his door but by now he was on his way to Paris: it was March of 1933…just months later, for the play “Marie Galante”, he would compose the immortal “Youkali Tango” whose mesmerizing lyrics say, “Youkali is the land of our desires, happiness, pleasure…Youkali is the land where we forget all of our worries…the star we follow is, Youkali…but it is a dream,a folly for there is no Youkali”…in his short and troubled life, he witnessed the turbulent, first 50 years of the twentieth century;  a period of political instability, upheaval and decadence leading to human carnage as the world had never seen before…Kurt would leave a substantial and varied body of work  including cantatas, chamber music, orchestral works, songs, musicals…perhaps his best known ballad is “Mack the Knife” which would be a massive hit for Bobby Darin

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His most famous pieces are the stage works he wrote in collaboration with playwrite Bertold Brechtoddly their estrangement would come finally over politics; Kurt was a passionate socialist, Bertold a passionate communist…he was born in the industrial city of Dessau, Germany…his father a synagogue cantor and composer gave him his first music lessons…young Kurt soon earned the nickname of the “attic composer” for his habit of secluding himself in the attic to compose…in September of 1935 he sailed for New York to work on Broadway where among others he would work with Ira Gershwin…the relationship with his beloved wife Lotte Lenya was turbulent and one day she ran away with Austrian tenor Baron Otto Von Pasetti and the couple divorced; four years later they would remarry…she would become a passionate supporter of his work…observing the intense and often violent encounters of political parties after World War I,  Kurt was to write ominously “the mob is just waiting for the call to pillage and revolt and their favorite target will be the jews”

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1886, February 28 – BIRTH OF ANTONIO SCATASSO

Leader, Composer, Bandoneonist (Pisces) – he was rough and uncouth in his manner and in his dealings with people which sometimes caused heads to shake a little…with little education of any kind, he was a survivor of the streets but inside his restless soul resided a gifted musician…at the age of four, his destitute family had emigrated from Naples, Italy to Buenos Aires in the hope of a better life…Antonio learned to play the mandolin, the guitar, and the bandoneon with almost no training of any kind; later he would become a composer of simple and melodic tangos much beloved by the public especially theater audiences…his professional debut, around 1907 with the mandolin alongside violinist and future legend, Francisco Canaro…later he performed at the Cafe Parque but this time on bandoneon which he had mastered in a short period of time…

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In 1933 he met Ignacio Corsini at the Teatro Smart; a long and productive friendship and collaboration would follow including some notable performances on Radio Nacion…in the early part of the century, stage plays were the preferred method of entertainment and it was also the preferred setting to debut a new tango…a successful debut of a new tango in a stage play could mean fame and fortune for a composer…this was exactly the dream of Antonio when he premiered his tango “El Ciego” in the play “Chi Lo Sa” written by Cesar Bourel which premiered at the Apollo Theater in Buenos Aires…he would remain close to the theater for his whole life, in his later year strictly in management…among his numerous compositions were some great hits for some of which he not only composed he music but write the lyrics as well…in his career he would back up legends like Tita Merello, Ernesto Fama, Azucena Maizani

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1963, February 23 – BIRTH OF CLAUDIA LEVY

Singer, Composer, Poet (Pisces) – the little girl gazed tenderly at her mother who was crying as she was strumming the piano, “He’s not coming back is he mommy?” she asked, “No darling he’s not”, she answered...”well”, said the little girl “lets tear up his tooth-brush”…somehow it was that moment of  a child’s simple vision which set her free; yes it was time to move on…the day would come when she would be grateful for the whole experience for from that day on, she began composing tango…she had fallen madly in love with a boy ten years younger and he had gone to New York on tour…in the begining, his emails were numerous and daily and then gradually more scarse…one day, she boarded a plane to New York to see him and the plane was uncommonly late; an omen…when she finally saw him, as he walked towards her, somehow she knew, “it’s over”Claudia Levy was born in Buenos Aires; her father was jewish and her mother catholic…her mother was a lover of cinema and she would tell little Claudia all about the films’ plots; Claudia credits this early experience as seminal in developing her later love of writing lyrics…

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Early on she demonstrated precocious musical talent and her father promptly enrolled her in the Conservatory Alberto Williams where she studied classical piano…later she studied dance and mime but at a certain point she found her creative soul in tango…along the way, she has made some people angry; she was a pioneer in a new genre, “woman centered tango”, in a world that historically has been very macho…using trademark sarcasm and humor she has brought awareness to the custom, still prevalent in Argentina and other nations, of men beating their wives and in some cases even killing them…her first musical group, a duo, was called “Tangachas”…with her second group, she began making a name for herself and went on a critically acclaimed tour of  Europe…this was followed by her participation in a third group “Munecas Bravas”…her first disc “Mentime Mas” is a compilation of her own compositions and lyrics…her second disc“Escuchame Un Segondo” has received rave reviews from critics and public alike…in one of her celebrated lyrics she says,“go ahead and cry for there is no Christ to save you…cry that crying is good for you…dismount your horse and come to the light of the day for only a coward beats his wife”

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