Tango 250: Adolfo Carabelli & Orquesta Típica Victor

About Adolfo Carabelli & Orquesta Típica Victor

Adolfo Carabelli

Carabelli was born in 1893 in San Fernando, Buenos Aires, and died there in 1947. He was a pianist and formed an orchestra in 1926 that recorded with Victor (1931-34). Working with many of the same musicians, he also directed Victor’s house orchestra (Orquesta Típica Victor) between 1932-35. One of his bandoneonists, Petrucelli had directed O.T.V. before him (1925-31), while another, Scorticati, succeeded him (1936-41).

His most notable singer was tenor, Alberto Gómez (1931-35).

The suggested Tango 250 collection includes two tango tandas, one vocal (with Gómez) and the other, instrumental.

Carabelli (Gómez) 1932

Alberto Gómez

It is easy to dismiss the orchestras active in the late 20s and early 30s. Electrical recording had only been introduced in 1926-27, and the sound quality of many early recordings is very compromised. Mind you, newcomers to tango can be challenged by the sound quality of mid-40s recordings too, and there can be a collective sigh pass around the salón when the DJ plays too much early tango. But if the best music of the period is programmed with care (and not too often) it provides a welcome contrast to other styles. The musicians playing here were all of the first rank: virtuoso bandoneonists, and in Elvino Vardaro, one of the leading violinists of the day. The arrangements are varied and sophisticated, with lots of rhythmic interest, and generally wonderful for dancing.

  • Alma (9-Sep-32)
  • Loco (9-Sep-32)
  • El trece (27-Sep-32)
  • Inspiración (17-Jun-32)

Carabelli & OTV (Instrumental) 1932-34


These songs have a clear, steady pulse, and are lovely for dancing. Much of the repertoire of the guardia vieja was taken up by later orchestras (particularly D’Arienzo) and it can be interesting to compare these versions with later ones.

  • Felicia (24-Jun-32)
  • Jueves (14-Jun-34)
  • El caburé (28-Oct-32)
  • C. T. V. (26-Oct-32)

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