There is no one definition that satisfactorily defines tango’s época d’oro – the Golden Age. The formation of D’Arienzo’s orchestra in 1935 is frequently cited as marking its beginning, with the political crisis following the coup of 1955 marking its end. In the same breath, the Golden Age is often described as lasting 30 years, while others name the single decade of the 40s. However you reckon it, the Golden Age was over by the end of the 50s.
Even at the end of the 50s, there was still great music to come – some of it, good for dancing. Tape mastering had transformed the quality of recorded sound by the mid-50s and by the early 60s, several orchestras were recording in stereo. Incredibly, Fresedo (who had formed his first orchestra in 1918) carried on recording until 1980.
Di Sarli (Instrumental) 1958
Di Sarli ceased recording for Victor after August 1958 but he returned to the studio one last time (for Polygram) in late 1958 to record a final LP. The sound quality doesn’t match Victor’s, but the LP included two instrumental masterpieces not previously recorded: Una fija and Indio manso. Although very ill, Di Sarli continued to make some live appearances, but the last of those were during the carnival season of 1959. He died, just days after his 57th birthday on 12 January 1960.
- Champagne tango (13-Nov-1958)
- Una fija (12-Nov-1958)
- El abrojo (13-Nov-1958)
- Indio manso (13-Nov-1958)
Pugliese (Instrumental) 1955-59
These instrumentals take the emphatic pulse of La yumba and seem to distil its essence. For me, there was only one remaining masterpiece still to come, A Evaristo Carriego in 1969. Pugliese’s influence on tango dance music had been profound, but there was, perhaps, little left to say.
- Emancipación (2-Sep-1955)
- Nochero soy (28-Nov-1956)
- La bordona (6-Aug-1958)
- Gallo ciego (23-Jul-1959)
Roggero (Mixed) 1958-59
Aquiles Roggero had played violin in the orchestra of Osmar Maderna, who had been tragically killed in a flying accident in 1951. Roggero formed the orchestra in 1952, naming it Orquesta Símbolo Osmar Maderna – effectively a tribute band. The music is both romantic and dramatic and very much of its time. Tenor, Adolfo Rivas features in each of these songs (except instrumental, La huella) and he is joined in the famous (or is that infamous) Merceditas by baritone, Carlos Aldao.
- Lucecitas de mi pueblo (30-Jun-1959)
- La huella (29-Sep-1959)
- Mejor así (29-Sep-1959)
- Merceditas (21-Sep-1958)
Salamanca (Guerrico) 1957-59
Fulvio Salamanca had been D’Arienzo’s pianist for seventeen years when he left to form his own orchestra in 1957. No one could have guessed what would emerge – for the music is utterly unrelated to D’Arienzo’s style. He recruited legendary tango violinist, Elvino Vardaro, and never looked back …
This is music about which it is difficult to feel ambivalent: you’ll either love it or hate it.
- Bomboncito (6-Jun-1958)
- Todo es amor (18-Sep-1958)
- Hasta siempre, amor (17-Jul-1959)
- Adiós, corazón (29-Nov-1957)
Click here for ‘Tango in 1956-57’.
Click here for an index to all the articles and music included in this series.
Barrio de tango is the tango blog and online home of tango DJ, Clive Harrison, based in the English Midlands. Now retired from teaching and hosting dance events, Clive remains available to DJ, playing exclusively traditional tango music from the great tango orchestras.