Tango is our passion. We dance it, we sing it, we feel it and we podcast about it. It is inside; you feel your heart beating harder. We found Tango.
Women in Tango
In today’s episode we talked about women. Women as a genre and as source of inspiration of so many beautiful pieces of art made with music. Tango, as we know, is music created a hundred + years ago, when the societies were different. The role of women was different too and there are also common places which defined women in the poetry of tango from 1880s until these days.
There were, at all times, women who have occupied the place of an inspiration muse. At the same time, art succeeds in creating a kind of woman that sometimes becomes the paradigm of her time, like Grisel, who we dedicated an episode, Maria, Griseta, Solede, Malena, Ivonne and so many others.
Mariposita – Roberto Goyeneche with Pontier
A la gran muñeca – Carlos Di Sarli
Muneca Brava – Adriana Varela
Grisel – Mariano Mores
Mano a Mano – Carlos Gardel
El Motivo – Astor Piazzolla
Margot – Julio Sosa
Malena – Osvaldo Pugliese
Duelo Criollo – Nelly Omar
Tango Poets: Catulo Castillo
In today’s episode we talked about Catulo Castillo, one of the great creators that Tango gave. We discussed in earlier episodes, the history of tango, the lyrics of tango and the earlier composers like Angel Villoldo, Pascual Contursi, Cadicamo, Homero Manzi and Santos Discepolo.
Cátulo Castillo, with his lyrics, dug the subjects that always haunted tango: the painful nostalgia for what is lost, love sufferings and the decline of life.
La Ultima Curda
El Ultimo Café
The father of Tango
I bet you know El Choclo, probably one of the most popular tangos along with La Cumparsita. We shared the story of its creator Angel Villoldo, a pioneer. He bears the title of Father of Tango, a somewhat exaggerated qualification because there were many circumstances which originated our music. But his influence was so important in the beginnings and its development which made him deserve this designation.
He is the great transformer of the Spanish tanguillos, the cuplés, the habaneras, turning those musics into a River Plate rhythm.
A natural artist, he avoided no activity which enabled him to earn some money for a living. It is said that he was a typographer, circus clown and any other job he was required for. With a facility for writing, he devised stanzas for carnival costumed groups and numerous poems and prose writings for well-known magazines of the time: Caras y caretas, Fray Mocho and P.B.T.
In this episode, we talked about an icon of tango, his name was Carlos Gardel. We could make hundreds of programs talking about him; he was tango's first superstar and still one of its most enduring performers. He died young in plane crash in 1935, and he was the first singer to adopt the tango as a form of popular song. Previously, it had been entirely instrumental dance music, played marginal places.
Gardel didn't change those qualities, but his work popularized the genre beyond all expectations. Thanks to extensive touring and movie career, Gardel was able to become a star throughout Latin America, the USA and Western Europe; in fact, tango's international acceptance legitimized it in the eyes of Argentine skeptics.
Blessed with an expressive, sobbing baritone voice, Gardel helped establish an important part of tango's emotional language. Moreover, his charismatic personal style made him a folk hero to countless fans. His rise symbolically paralleled tango's path to international fame; in Gardel the common folk of Buenos Aires saw themselves and their culture validated on a massive scale. Since his death, we say that he sings better every day. Gardel is still The King of Tango.
Black roots of Tango
In this episode we discussed the origins of this lovely music called tango. Few people know that the major influence of this music is actually African, and it evolved from the candombe. We talked about how this marginal music and culture surged from so many different sources like that afro Argentinean, the European and the native Argentinean coming from the gauchos, and we dove deeper on the black culture of the 1880s to analyze how it nurtured this genre.
Centennial of "La Cumparsita"
Iconic tango composed by an Argentinean and Uruguayan 100 years ago, and probably the most played and danced, in all tango shows and milongas around the world and it is a tradition to be the last song in these events.
"La cumparsita" is a tango written at the end of 1916 by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, with lyrics by Pascual Contursi and Enrique Pedro Maroni. Roberto Firpo, director and pianist of the orchestra that premiered the song, added parts of his tangos "La Gaucha Manuela" and "Curda Completa" to Matos' carnival march ("La Cumparsita"), resulting in "La cumparsita" as it is currently known.
There are contradictions of opinions as for the date and, as we shall further see, also about what orchestra was the first one to record it.
For Legido and for Matos Rodríguez´s grandniece, Rosario Infantozzi Durán, the dates are in 1917 and the first recording was by the Alonso-Minotto orchestra.
It is not at issue that the Roberto Firpo orchestra had been the first that played “La cumparsita” in public. The dispute is about the year.
Truth is that it turned a centennial and became one of the most famous tangos in its different versions.
About the title:
Cumparsa: Lunfardo (dialect of Buenos Aires) word that denotes a group of people that attends the carnival festivals dressed in a similar fashion (usually, but not exclusively, wearing masks). The term seems to be a corruption of the italian 'comparsa'.