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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Los cantores de Carlos Di Sarli

Occasionally a strange story does the rounds that traditionally, singers should not feature in the music played at a milonga, ie. that the DJ should play only instrumentals. It probably originated from, and was confused with, the reluctance of porteños to dance to recordings of the legendary singer Carlos Gardel, out of respect for him and his untimely death. Certainly the great tango orchestras who used to play nightly for the dancers in the milongas of Buenos Aires had no problem including singers – Famá (Canaro), Campos & Castillo (Tanturi), Vargas (D’Agostino), Maure (D’Arienzo), to name just a few.

At this year’s Sydney International Tango Festival, Pat realised, after DJ-ing the Saturday milonga, that most of her selection involved singers – not deliberate, but just the way she had charted the moods & energies of the evening. Yet, the music received rave reviews, including from BsAs choreographer, Mario Morales. Could it have been that it was the frequent use of singers that enhanced the tango experience for the dancers?

I’m particularly taken with the singers that accompanied Carlos Di Sarli in the 1940s & 50s – somehow he managed to assemble a stable of consistently high quality male singers. When they sing, they often tug at the heart-strings, bringing out the romantic in me – something that allows the music to take over the dance.

Make your own judgment by listening to these five singers:
Alberto Podestá singing Nada in 1942 (he’s still performing in Buenos Aires), Roberto Rufino - Anselmo Acuña el Resero (1943), Jorge Duran - Tu Intimo Secreto ( 1945), Mario Pomar - Bailemos (1955), Roberto Florio - Porque regresas tú (1956)
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a recording by Horacio Casares on the internet, so at your next milonga, you might want to put in a request for ‘Hasta siempre amor’ (1958, among the last of Di Sarli’s recordings).

Music with these singers is also popular in dance performance, and in my opinion, the following interpretations capture the essence of dancing to Di Sarli:
Ney Melo & Jennifer Bratt - Nido Gaucho (Podestá)
Milena Plebs y José Almar - Un tango y nada mas. (Duran)
Marcela Guevara Y Stefano Giudice - Y todavia te quiero (Florio)
And those masters of control - Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel dance to Tormenta (Pomar)
Finally, because I couldn’t find a tango performance to my liking with Rufino, here are those wonderful world champions Daniel Nacucchio & Cristina Sosa dancing one of his milongas – Pena Mulata

Bob

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