This milonga was held in the UK during the month of June, 2013. I arrived 15 minutes after the start and left one hour and 30 minutes after the end. What follows is my best attempt to identify the music that was played while I was present.
In this tanda, Canaro’s orchestra recedes into the background as Charlo takes center stage. His unfailing intonation, polished technique and superlative musicianship put him in a special place in the history of tango vocalists. It is a shame that his voice is less often heard at the milongas than that of many lesser talents. The last two numbers also display his remarkable skills as a composer.
The discographies of the tango orchestras are scattered all around the web. Below is my best attempt to make the relevant links all available in one place. When I found more than one discography for a given orchestra, I chose the one which seemed most complete and reliable. I plan to keep this post updated, so if you think I’m missing something, please let me know.
Update: See here for my current attempt to improve on these discographies. The links below will gradually link to my own discographies, as they become available.
Biagi with Ortiz is simply Biagi at its best. And the four tangos included in this set are so congruent in terms of the mood they evoke that they seem to have been conceived for being played together. A sine qua non tanda.
My choice for this week is ‘Milonga, vieja milonga’ (Juan D’Arienzo, 1937). I reviewed 70 performances.
My favorite: Marina Marques & Ozgur Demir.
I also liked the performances by Barbara Carpino & Claudio Forte, Amanda & Adrián Costa, Julia Gorina & Aníbal Montenegro, Michelle Marsidi & Joachim Dietiker and Evelina Sarantopoulou & Theodore Georgedakis.
D’Agostino’s milongas are underappreciated, and the last two numbers from this set are seldom heard at tango events. This is a pity because these songs are both a pleasure to the ear and very fun to dance to. The closing number, with its subtle dynamic and rhythmic changes, has now become an all-time favorite of mine.
My choice for this week is ‘Te aconsejo que me olvides’ (Aníbal Troilo with Francisco Fiorentino, 1941). I reviewed 49 performances.
My favorite: Barbara Carpino & Claudio Forte.
One of the regular features of this blog is the “tanda of the week” section. There are, however, many other tanda collections online, and readers who enjoy that section might want to explore some of those lists, too. Below, I include the collections I am familiar with and have consulted in the past.
- Stephen Brown’s Annotated List of Tandas. Usefully organized by epoch and style.
- Antti Suniala’s Tanda of the Week. Most tandas are by Antti, but there are occasional selections from guest DJs. Provides sound samples.
- Derrick Del Pilar’s Favorite Tandas. Similar to Antti’s, provides sound samples and commentary.
- Clint’s Tanda Collections. An extensive compilation.
I am admittedly not a big fan of Pugliese. There is an exception to my reservations about his orchestra, however: his collaboration with Jorge Vidal. Unfortunately, Pugliese and Vidal recorded only seven tangos together (plus one milonga), so the options for a DJ are very limited. To spice things up and challenge seasoned dancers, I sometimes substitute ‘Testamento de arrabal’ with Argentino Galván’s ‘Pa’ mí es igual‘ (1951), which also features Vidal on vocals. (Galván arranged some songs for Pugliese in the mid-40’s, and his orchestra, while clearly distinct in style, shares some similarities with that of the celebrated pianist from Villa Crespo.) Another possible substitution is Galvan’s ‘Cuando yo me vaya’ for ‘La cieguita’: while musically the song doesn’t fit as nicely, the lyrics are evocative of both ‘Testamento de arrabal’ (“Tan sólo una cosa pido, que me llore un bandoneón”) and ‘Puente Alsina’ (“A la barra de Boedo, Caballito y Puente Alsina”).