Posts Tagged ‘ tango a roma ’

1898, March 23 – BIRTH OF FRANCISCO DE CARO

Composer, Pianist (Aries) – it typified his life that lying on the hospital bed with the oxygen mask over his emaciated face, he was more concerned for the family of his dear friend, bandoneonist Gabriel Clausi “Chula” than for himself, “take care of them, look after them Chula”, he insisted…just a few minutes later, he passed away; he was 78 years old…Francisco De Caro had been the creative arm of the legendary team with his brother Julio de Caro; together they revolutionized the way tango was written and interpreted, founding the “Guardia Nueva” movement…many years later Astor Piazzolla would honor their contribution with his composition “Decarissimo”…the great fame that his brother Julio would attain was in no small part due to Francisco’s artistic leadership displayed in compositions like “Sueno Azul” and “Paginas Muertas”; Julio was headstrong, entrepreneurial and famously difficult to deal with…Francisco was the eldest of twelve children born to Giuseppe de Caro De Sica (an ancestor of legendary film director Vittoriio De Sica”)…

***

Giuseppe had been the director of the conservatory of the prestigious “Teatro della’Scala de Milano” and commensurate with his august background he dreamed of  seeing his sons in the rarefied world of classical music; he was Francisco’s first piano teacher…however unbeknownst to the authoritarian Giuseppe, the boys began sharing their classical musical skills with the seedy world of tango…when Julio was nineteen years old, his father confronted him one dawn as he was returning from a gig and gave him the choice of either continuing with serious studies or leaving the house; Julio chose to leave the house and his brother Francisco followed him soon after…their estrangement would only end twenty years later when their father would show up at one of their performances and with tears in his eyes asked for forgivenesses…in 1923 the brothers formed their first quartet and began playing at the mythical Cafe Colon…they would eventually embark on a very successful tour of Europe during which they entertained dignitaries including  Charlie Chaplain and Baron Von Rothschild

______________

CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=SSZY161Xtz8 to hear the Osvaldo Fresedo version of “Sueno Azul” composed by Francisco De Caro
Advertisements

1950, March 22 – PREMIERE “AL COMPAS DE TU MENTIRA”

Renown Argentine actor, Pedro Quartucci, who stars in this film was the protagonist of a fascinating story; as a young actor he had a relationship with an aspiring actress Eva Duarte the future wife of Juan Peron,”Evita” with whom he supposedly had a daughter “Nilda”…the little girl however was brought up as their natural daughter by himself and his wife Felisa Borborino…years later Nilda, now grown up and married, heard from her husband that her real mother had been Eva Peron…when she confronted her father, he admitted that it was true and her mother Felisa, at the eleventh hour, confirmed the story as well…Father Benitez, the priest present at the deathbed of Evita wrote that in her confession she spoke of “the great pain in her life” and he hinted that it was the fact of never having known a child born to her…besides this Pedro was a professional boxer before he became an actor…competing as a feather weight, he won a bronze metal in the 1924 Olympics…

***

“Al Compas De Tu Mentira”, adapted from Oscar Wilde’s, “On The Importance of Being Ernest”, was directed by Hector Canzani and is a musical comedy with lots of dancing and tango music…Canzani spent most of his career as a poet and screenwriter but this film, which was moderately successful, bestowed him notiriety…this was to be the last film of Juan D’arienzo and his orchestra…other notables in the film include the Domingo Federico Orchestra with singer Jorge Casal singing the theme song “Al Compas del Corazon”…Edmundo Rivera, the only bass in a world of tenors and baritones,  sings “No Te Enganes Corazon” composed by Rodolfo Sciamarella…the ill-fated Osmar Maderna “the Chopin of Tango”, who would die young in an airplane crash, plays his “Lluvia de Estrellas” which is indeed reminiscent of Chopin’s ballads; he is accompanied by the Alfredo De Angelis Orchestra…

________________

1941, March 20 – Alfredo De Angelis Debuts, “CAFE MARZOTTO”

He had waited a long time to start his own orchestra…most would-be greats jumped into the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship much younger (and most failed) and yet from the moment of his debut at the mythical Cafe Marzotto he would see stellar success…he would be criticized as being a merry-go-round orchestra for like Juan D’arienzo, adopting the 2/4 beat, would make it eminently danceable and eminently successful…another thing that differentiated him from his competition was its stability; his core group of musicians would remain with him for his and their entire career…another unique thing about the Alfredo De Angelis orchestra was that it popularized the tango duet, premier among them, the one composed of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel…Alfredo De Angelis was born in the charming village of Androgue just outside of Buenos Aires; years later it would be the inspiration for one of  Jorge Luis Borges’s books of poetry….

***

From early age, young Alfredo demonstrated precociousness and at the age of nine began playing piano for silent movies at the Androgue Cinema…Alfredo impressed noted singer Juan Gilberti who gave him his first job as an accompanist…his first break came when he was invited to play with the renown Anselmo Aieta Orchestra…he developed a name for himself and invitations to play with other important orchestras followed…his orchestra was on the inaugural program of the legendary “Glostora Tango Club” and would perform there for 25 years…he would record 486 tangos with the Odeon Label between 1943 and 1977…the Cafe Marzotto mixed tango, football and horse races and made history…it gave its start to a young Attilo Stampone who played there in the 1930s; in 1946 a young and wavering Astor Piazzolla walked in to ask Attilo to join his group…it launched the career of Osmar Maderna, “the Chopin of tango” who would tragically die at the age of thirty-three in an airplane crash.

__________________

1955, March 19 – SATCHMO RECORD, “KISS OF FIRE” (EL CHOCLO)

Lester Allen and Robert Hill were basking in the fame and glory of their new hit “Kiss of Fire”, when someone finally noticed that it was oddly similar to the immortal tango “El Choclo”…in fact after intense proceedings they finally conceded that it was in fact “El Choclo” and thereafter, on all sheet music, the name of “Angel Villoldo” the orignal composer, preceded theirs…Kiss of fire was a major hit for Georgia Gibbs in 1952 reaching all the way to number 2 on the Billboard Charts…another popular version was the one by Louis Armstrong “Satchmo” which was recorded on March 19, 1955…other celebrated versions were by Nat King Cole, Connie Francis and in Finland, by the “King of Finnish Tango”, Olavi Virta…seeking to capitalize on the immense popularity of  ”Kiss of Fire” a film, directed by Joseph M. Newman and starring Jack Palance, was released in 1955…part of the background music is a flamenco like version of “Kiss of Fire”…

***

Angel Villoldo, the original composer of “Kiss of Fire” (El Choclo) was a fascinating man, a sort of Ernest Hemingway and Bob Dylan all in one…he was born on February 16, 1861 into a destitute family in the neighborhood of Barracas, Buenos Aires…he quit school early to work and did many jobs including teamster, herdsman and circus clown before devoting himself to music…..he would become a prolific composer and lyricist of some of the most beloved tangos in history…”El Choclo” became instantly popular all over the world and the story is told that German officers wishing to honor a visiting Argentinean dignitary mistakenly played “El Choclo” believing it to be the national anthem…when it first premiered in the exclusive “El Americano” restaurant in Buenos Aires, the leader of the orchestra had to disguise it by calling it “Danza Criolla” as tango was considered music of the pimps and prostitutes

______________

CLICK HERE– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCXxJFmfGVc&playnext=1&list=
PL2E1CB4660C675B65 Louis Armstrong “Sarchmo” sing “Kiss of Fire (El Ch0clo)

1861, March 17 – ITALY IS UNITED…TANGO IS CREATED !

Perhaps the single biggest reason for the creation of tango was the unification of Italy which radically upended society  leading to massive emigration of Italians to Argentina….Tango is overwhelmingly a creation of Italian immigranst in Argentina…furthermore, it is part of  a history of Italian musical traditions which from the time of the Renaissance were being exported to royal courts as far away as Russian…the unification of Italy broke down the land feudal system which had survived in the south of Italy since the middle ages…the well intended redistribution of land had the unintended effect of  creating smaller and less efficient plots of land…at the same time improved hygiene and access to healthcare led to longer life spans and a dramatic increase in population…the emigration was mostly southern and rural; the great Ignacio Corsini, for example, was born in Troina, Sicily…the only large city to experience emigration was Napoli…with unification, it had gone from being the capital of a grand kingdom to being just another big city leading to a loss of jobs and loss of investment and consequently high unemployment rates…

***

Adding to its woes were a series of cholera epidemics beginning in the 1880s which also encouraged emigration; in fact tango has strong Neapolitan musical roots…another effect of unification was that the state took over control of emigration by setting standards, licensing emigration agents, providing health care at ports of embarkation  and making agreements with receiving countries to protect the immigrants and to provide health care upon their arrival…in 1903 the government organized the ports of embarkation in Palermo, Naples and Genoa…Italian unification can be traced to the defeat of Napoleon (himself of Italian descent)…his installed monarchs tried to save their thrones by stoking nationalist sentiments which inadvertently inspired the move to the  unification of Italy…inspired by the French Revolution, a secret organization known as “Carbonari” developed to fight for Italian unification which with the leadership of the charismatic Giuseppe Garibaldi eventually prevailed…by one estimate, 80% of tango composers were of Italian descent; two of its greatest, Osvaldo Pugliese and Astor Piazzollawere of Italian jewish descent

_________________

CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvFt615a14A&feature=related to hear the “Marcia Reale”, the official national anthem at the time of unification…it was composed by Giuseppe Gabetti in 1931 as the hymn of the Royal House of Savoy

1907, March 16 – BIRTH OF ISABEL DEL VALLE

She was in a trance, her eyes swelled with tears, the pain of her humiliation as she returned home was almost undearable…she had gone personally to see the brothel owner La Ritana whom persistent rumors said she was Carlos Gardel’s lover…to her dismay, not only did La Ritana admit that, yes, she was his lover but that she had given as a gift to Carlitos a precious pekinese puppy; that was the very puppy that Carlos had in turn given to her…Isabella for her whole life never tired of repeating  that she was Carlos Gardel’s only real love…she claimed she was not jealous,“Jealousy, me,  never, a woman who loves a man like Carlos Gardel can never harbor undignified sentiments like jealousy” and yet not only did she go to see La Ritana but also another woman rumored to have been Gardel’s lover Mona Maris about whom she said “I got fed up with her declarations, she was only an adventure for him, the slut threw herself shameslessly on him”…Isabel del Valle was born in the neighborhood of Costitucion, Buenos Aires to a her father was a railroad manager….

***

The fateful day occurred on the corner of  Sarmientos and Pellegrini Street where through her brother’s friend she met Carlos for the first time; she was fourteen years old, he was thirty four…the next day, Carlos showed up at the house with the ingredients to have Isabella’s mother prepare Valencian style rice….a long and at times tumultuous relationship ensued which to one Gardel scholar was merely a love of formal appearance with no real passion behind it….nevertheless over the years not only Isabella but the whole family became dependent on Carlos’s generosity…there was even some evidence that her brothers had blackmailed Gardel into giving them a large some of money by threatening to accuse him of child molestation as Isabella had been only fourteen years old when he began his relationship with her…Isabell had once said proudly, “yes I was fourteen but my body was already that of a real woman”…it is known that Gardel had relationships with many women but without ever apparently developing a deep love with any of them; there were even rumors that he was gay…he once said, “I never fall in love…all women are worthwhile of loving, but to have a blind adherence to one is to offend the others”

___________________

CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLunpp_HDzM to hear Carlos Gardel sing “Amore de Estudiante”

1925, March 15 – BIRTH OF EDOUARD PECOURT

Collector (Pisces) – during Nazis occupied Paris several times he narrowly escaped being arrested…he remembered hunger and walking for hours through the country side to reach a farmer whom it was rumored had meat to sell…his wife abandoned him leaving him to care for two young children from his meagre earning selling pens…some how, along the journey of an epic life he fell in love  with tango and his collection would eventually reach 50, 000 recordings…Edouard Percourt was born in the fabled artists’ hill of Montmartre in Paris….his father died while he was still a boy and his mother abandoned him to a tough, strict orphanage where he learned to fight to survive…his first job was as a shoe repairman working long hours and making barely enough to survive; hoping to better his lot, he went into selling pens…an Arabic woman invited him to sell  his pens at her Arabic music stand; here he was first exposed to tango; it was love at first sight, “three-minute operas” he called them…he began passionately collecting tango records which in the fiftys nobody wanted any more and he could acquire for next to nothing…

***

In 1953 through tremendous personal sacrifice he purchased the old, dusty shop where he regularly bought his tango records…he renamed it “La Boite a Disques” (The Record Box)…here, located near the Louvre, in the shadow of Dali, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh he had found his spiritual home…one day the bell on the door rang, he turned his head to see a young Astor Piazzolla walk in…their mutual love of music would bond them in a friendship for the rest of their lives…his 50,000 tango record collection includes more than 1000 recordings by Carlos Gardel and every Piazzolla original disc ever published anywhere in the world…in 1981 in New York City he met Jocelyn Howells, fell in love and married her; she was his third wife….at the age of sixty-two he did another courageous thing, he sold his shop and moved, along with his immense collection, to be with Jocelyn among the majestic evergreens just outside of  Portland, Oregon…he became a dear friend to local tangueros to whom, in his french accent, with radiance and little boy enthusiasm, he would give talks on the history of tango…he passed away at the age of 83 from brain lymphoma with his beloved Jocelyn by his side

_________________

Advertisements