The political climate that followed the coup of 1955 had a profound effect on tango, beginning a steady decline that was only reversed after the return to democracy in 1983. The top orchestras remained active, at least in the recording studio, but many others folded, and what remained was increasingly for listening rather than dancing. The Golden Age was over.
D’Arienzo (Laborde) 1954-56 (Vals)
Armando Laborde recorded with D’Arienzo from the end of 1944 until 1957 (and for an extended second spell from the mid-60s). Much of this repertoire is undistinguished, but these valses are well-worth hearing and typical of the mid-50s D’Arienzo style.
- La sonrisa de mamá (1-Sep-1954)
- Lloré por los dos (20-Sep-1956)
- Me quieres y te quiero (17-May-1956)
Di Sarli (Instrumental) 1956-57
These instrumentals were among Di Sarli’s last recordings. The pace is slow, the style expansive, with the orchestra producing a sound dominated by violins and the piano. Many dancers love these late recordings for their emotional intensity and the way in which Di Sarli manages to combine lyrical and rhythmic elements in the music – the culmination of three decades of steady musical development.
- Bahía Blanca (21-Nov-1957)
- Nueve puntos (7-Mar-1956)
- Cara sucia (12-Jul-1957)
- Viviani (19-Dec-1956)
Di Sarli (Florio) 1956-58
Tenor, Roberto Florio, was the last of the great singers to work regularly with Di Sarli, singing alongside Jorge Durán, who had previously worked with the orchestra in the mid-40s. The ‘late’ recordings (from 1956 onwards) were mostly vocals, but in truth, I find the instrumentals (although few in number) more satisfying. Adiós, corazón was the last of Florio’s recordings with Di Sarli.
- Derrotado (27-Sep-1956)
- Soñemos (25-Apr-1957)
- Nuestra noche (24-May-1957)
- Adiós, corazón (16-Jan-1958)
Pugliese (Maciel) 1954-56
Jorge Maciel joined Pugliese’s orchestra in 1954, replacing Alberto Morán. He had been poached from the orchestra of Alfredo Gobbi, with whom he had already recorded Remembranza and Canzoneta. It was a successful partnership, but I’m not sure that the music is very good for social dancing (although this repertoire is regularly chosen for performances). If you like it, you probably love it, but I can’t hear the last bars of Canzoneta and not snigger a bit.
- Remembranza (4-Jul-1956)
- No juegues a la guerra (31-Jan-1956)
- Canzoneta (29-Oct-1954)
- Cascabelito (22-Sep-1955)
Quinteto Pirincho (Instrumental) 1957-59
Francisco Canaro was never one to miss an opportunity to make money. At the height of the popularity of D’Arienzo’s orchestra in the late 30s, Canaro formed a quintet (initially called Quinteto Don Pancho) to play music in the guardia vieja style that D’Arienzo had reinvigorated. It recorded, on and off, throughout the rest of the 30s and 40s (having changed name to Quinteto Pirincho early on) but it recorded more regularly throughout the 50s. The recordings feature a fairly conservative repertoire of tango standards in straightforward arrangements and with good sound. I don’t enjoy Canaro’s orchestral recordings after the end of the 30s much, but the Quintet recordings have a different feel, even if a little goes a long way.
- Mala junta (2-Sep-1957)
- Zorro gris (31-Jan-1957)
- El pollito (22-Apr-1959)
- Derecho viejo (24-Apr-1956)
Click here for ‘Tango in 1954-55’.
Click here for ‘Tango in 1958-59’.
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.