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Friday, 10 December 2010

What a difference a singer can make

Whenever anyone asks me which tango orchestra a prefer, all I can ever say is "It depends on my mood". Moods are governed by emotions, and music reflects, affects, or should I say, manipulates our emotions. In his Tango & Chaos website, Rick McGarrey illustrates this beautifully using Una emocion as an example. He also adds an interesting, perhaps controversial, observation about Pablo Veron's interpretation when he dances this tango with Geraldine Rojas during the credits of the film Assassination Tango.

Enrique Campos, who sings this piece with the orchestra of Ricardo Tanturi, seemed to change the mood of Tanturi's tangos when he joined the orchestra in 1943. Despite the strong rhythmic elements, there is an overwhelming romantic, softer, more introspective feel about them.

Whereas his predecessor, Alberto Castillo, with his extrovert style, appeared to bring out the more energetic side of the musicians. I love dancing to his Pocas palabras.

Perhaps the musicians affected the singer rather than vice versa. Or perhaps it was simply a popular style at the time. I'm not sure. I'd love to know the answer. Of one thing I am certain, and that is that they create different moods and demand a different response from the dancer.

Jennifer and Ney performing to another punchy Castillo favourite La vida es corta provide a stark contrast to Regina and Martin's romantic interpretation of the nostalgic En el salon, with Campos.


1 comment:

  1. Thinking about this matter, the difference a singer can make in tango, what I don't know (and never did) for sure is, weather the musicians affected the singer rather than the opposite. Of course, I mean this in live performances, for in studio recordings there is a job to be done and little place and time for emotional playing.
    But one thing is certainly true and is that the singers affected very much the public and the dancers. It's absolutely logic from all point of view and my opinion is reinforced with what is written.
    For example, Alberto Castillo. "... when Castillo faces deep themes, the tenderness he conveys is striking. Definitively, he is a "voice that does not sound like any other's voice", as the unforgettable Julián Centeya wisely said. Nor his style is like anyone's; when he himself said that his peculiar phrasing was what the dancers needed -«people moved according to the nuances of my voice»- ..." or " .... his way of moving on the stage, his way of handling the microphone and bouncing it to and from, his right hand close to his mouth like street vendor, his handkerchief hanging from his coat pocket, his shirt collar unbuttoned and the necktie, loose. All was unprecedented, everything produced sensation, even his improvised boxing fights when he sang "¡Qué saben los pitucos!" (from the tango "Así se baila el tango", by Elías Randal and Marvil) and some "pituco" (fashionable rich boy) considered himself alluded..... "
    About Alberto Marino, "The golden voice of Tango", there are stories saying that when he sang at the milongas, men hatted him for women stopped dancing only to lissen his performances.
    More or less, the same happened with the duet Angel Vargas & D'Agostino as Vargas was a very, very popular singer in those times.


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