A Fresedo Stocking Filler

Just in time for Christmas, TangoTunes has released a download-only album of 18 songs by Osvaldo Fresedo recorded between 1932-35, mostly with Roberto Ray on vocals. Nine of the songs also appear on BMG’s CD ‘Tangos de Salon’ and the songs common to both are marked*. Here are the song listings (both in alphabetical order).

Osvaldo Fresedo (1932-1935) – TangoTunes

Araca la cana
Canto de amor*
Casate conmigo
El espiante
El mareo*
En la huella del dolor*
Isla de Capri*
La clavada
No me pregunten por qué
Pampero (1935)
Recuerdos de bohemia*
Segui mi camino
Te juro madre mía*
Vida mía*
Yo no sé llorar*

Tangos de Salón – BMG

Canto de amor*
Como aquella princesa
Dulce amargura
El mareo*
En la huella del dolor*
Isla de Capri*
Media vida
Niebla del Riachuelo
No quiero verte llorar
Pampero (1948)
Recuerdos de bohemia*
Siempre es carnaval
Te juro, madre mía*
Vida mía*
Yo no sé llorar*

Both albums are well-worth having. The new TangoTunes releases are in their ‘Golden Ear’ series: new transfers from shellac material and mastered as AIFF mono files (705 kbps). Some of the source shellacs seem quite worn and there is significant running noise. One track, Pampero, is so compromised that I don’t think it worth playing. I have tried further processing, to tame the running noise, but I can’t render an acceptable version. Would you play this?

I also prefer the CD transfer of Recuerdos de bohemia, but I have added the remaining sixteen songs to my own library (I generally only retain one ‘preferred version’ of any given song and discard duplicates). All in all, then, a worthwhile release. There are clips of every track to listen to on the TangoTunes website.

Update: Jun-17

As a postscript to the above, TangoTunes has just released a revised transfer of Pampero which is dramatically better than the first. Even so, this sample has been quite heavily de-clicked and subject to significant treble roll-off (6dB/octave) from 5kHz to tame the hiss remaining after de-clicking, but I’ve not heard a better transfer of this version.

Here’s a 30s sample, taken from the entry of Ray.

Don’t, however, make the mistake of a direct comparison with the Tangos de Salón CD, as that has the 1948 version (the only track on the CD not from the 30s).

Recording dates

I was looking at my own working library (that is, the songs that I have identified as being particularly suitable for social dancing and which I have compiled into tandas for tango, vals and milonga), to see how the recording dates of the songs were distributed, over time.

This is what I came up with:

I regularly tinker with the exact content of this working library (and it’s only a small part of my total music library) but it currently contains 1,534 songs recorded between 1926 and 1960, together with just one ‘late’ Pugliese tango tanda (1966-73). I generally feel that the ‘key’ period for Golden Age dance music is the decade from 1936-45, and 67% of the songs fall into that period. Just 12% fall into the preceding decade and the remaining 21% came later. Ignoring the ‘blip’ in 1940, you can see that the numbers build steadily through the 30s to a peak in 1943-44, and then fall back dramatically in the later 40s.

The other thing I looked at was how the songs were distributed between different orchestras. To some extent, the list reflects my own tastes, but I reckon that the ‘ranking’ is pretty close to the importance of each orchestra for social dancing. Here’s the table:

Orchestra Songs %
Di Sarli 171 11.1%
Canaro 163 10.6%
D’Arienzo 161 10.5%
Troilo 110 7.2%
Biagi 85 5.5%
Fresedo 83 5.4%
Calo 82 5.3%
Pugliese 78 5.1%
Tanturi 72 4.7%
Rodriguez 60 3.9%
Lomuto 60 3.9%
Donato 48 3.1%
OTV (& Carabelli) 44 2.9%
Demare 43 2.8%
D’Agostino 37 2.4%
De Angelis 36 2.3%
Laurenz 35 2.3%
Gobbi 26 1.7%
De Caro 19 1.2%
Sassone 16 1.0%
Federico 16 1.0%
Maglio 15 1.0%
Malerba 13 0.8%
Firpo 11 0.7%
All other orchestras (single figures) 54 3.5%