Tango in 1937

Canaro, D’Arienzo and Fresedo present three very different styles of music-making. The variety in the music is one of the joys of dancing tango. “It all sounds the same – and scratchy”, someone said to me recently. Really?

Canaro (Maida) 1937

Francisco Canaro

Canaro had sounded almost soporific in 1936, but for these recordings, he seems to have returned to a more rhythmic style – more like that of the early thirties. The arrangements are very straightforward and very danceable.

  • Condena (8-Nov-1937)
  • Copos de nieve (20-Jun-1937)
  • Novia (26-Apr-1937)
  • Las cuarenta (08-Nov-1937)

D’Arienzo (Instrumental) 1937

Juan D'Arienzo
Juan D’Arienzo

An unyielding rhythmic drive propels each of these songs. D’Arienzo was an exacting and demanding musical director, resulting in controlled and disciplined playing from every section. The musical material passes back and forth between violins and bandoneóns. Biagi (at the piano) filling spaces between phrases and decorating with bright bell-like flourishes. It was said that he had manos brujas – bewitched hands – and that aspect of his playing is very evident here.

  •  La morocha (21-Dec-1937)
  • Qué noche (5-Mar-1937)
  • El baqueano (21-Jan-1937)
  • El caburé (22-Sep-1937)

There’s a very wide variation in the quality of tango transfers. Here are two short clips from the opening of El baqueano. The first is from Magenta’s CD Juan D’Arienzo Discographia Completa v1 and the other from TangoTunes’ 2015 download-only album todo de juan v3. I have processed the latter to reduce clicks & crackle, and apart from rendering this extract as a compressed (MP3) file, this is exactly as I play it:

Fresedo (Ray) 1936-37

Osvaldo Fresedo

In the sometimes rather austere-sounding world of tango, probably no one but Fresedo could have got away with including parts for harp and vibraphone in his orchestra. Later on, he adds drums too (and then we start to giggle, a bit), but for now, the blend of instruments with the gentle delivery and diction of Roberto Ray represents the sort of perfection that should be part of any tea dance.

  • Sueño azul (4-Jan-1937)
  • No quiero verte llorar (12-May-1937)
  • Adiós para siempre (7-Dec-1936)
  • Niebla del Riachuelo (17-Sep-1937)

Click here for ‘Tango in 1936’.

Click here for ‘Tango in 1938’.