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Building a library

When choosing a CD for your library the the selections on the disc, and the fidelity presented, must be the best available.

To begin your collection, we suggest you get discs of Di Sarli, D'Arienzo, Pugliese and Troilo.

RCA Victor 100 Años - Carlos Di Sarli

BMG 87490

For years the Di Sarli disc we all wanted was the Instrumental disc on FM Tango, which collected many of the great instrumentals from Di Sarli's late period, tangos which we adore for their spaciousness, for the sweeping sensuality of their strings, for the compás stretched further than others had thought possible. That disc, and it's reprint on Solo Tango, are long gone. But there is now an even better alternative: this disc on RCA Victor 100 Años series. The transfers on this CD are taken not from 78s or LP reissues but from the original masters in the RCA vaults. They are immaculate - this CD sounds as though it was recorded last week. The best selling tango CD in the UK.

Track list

  1. Bahía Blanca
  2. Milonguero viejo
  3. Rodríguez Peña
  4. Buenos Aires
  5. La cumparsita
  6. La morocha
  7. Don Juan
  8. A la gran muñeca
  9. Fumando Espero
  10. Comme il faut
  11. 9 puntos
  12. El ingeniero
  13. El once
  14. Verdemar
  15. Germaine
  16. El jagüel
  17. El amanecer
  18. Nido gaucho
  19. Organito de la tarde
  20. Cara sucia
  21. Viviani
  22. Palabras de Carlos Di Sarli - El choclo

Osvaldo Pugliese - Ausencia

EMI 835886

If D'Arienzo excites us, then it is Pugliese who moves us, who makes us tremble with emotion. Pugliese took the musical invention of De Caro and clothed it in humanity. The recordings he gave us so generously stand today as testament to a great human being and one of the greatest musical geniuses of the twentieth century.

Pugliese was a communist who ran his orchestra as a collective, with the income spilt equally amongst its members. In one famous incident he visited the striking workers at the Ford factory and embraced them. These tendencies were not popular with the authorities and he was at times blacklisted and even jailed. On these occasions his orchestra, who were completely devoted to him, played without him, placing a red carnation on the empty keyboard to mark his absence. Following the maestro's death in 1995 that absence has now become permanent. EMI Argentina draw the connection very elegantly with the particularly poignant cover photograph - this time with the more appropriate rose - on their commemorative album Ausencia (Absence).

There are a lot of Pugliese discs available, but look closely and most have (albeit minor) drawbacks: the transfers are poor, or there's no balance between the instrumentals and the sung tangos, or between the early and late periods, or you don't get La Yumba. Ausencia suffers from none of these defects. It is the only one to give a good representation of his entire oeuvre. Chanel's Rondando tu esquina, Morán's Pasionál, Maciel's Cascabelito - all his great singers are here. The great late instrumentals, too: Nochero soy, Emancipación, La mariposa. And finally, his defining work, La yumba. Other discs claim to have it, but this is the only one with the immortal 1946 recording.

There is a lot of great Pugliese which is not on this disc, but there is nothing on this disc which is not great Pugliese. Pura emoción.

Track list

  1. Farol
  2. Mala junta
  3. Recuerdo
  4. Rondando tu esquina
  5. Fuimos
  6. La yumba
  7. Puente Alsina
  8. Pasional
  9. Chiqué
  10. San José De Flores
  11. Desvelo
  12. Emancipación
  13. Antiguo reloj de cobre
  14. Cascabelito
  15. Remembranzas
  16. Nochero soy
  17. La mariposa
  18. La beba
  19. Arrabal
  20. Desde el alma vals


cover artwork

Aníbal Troilo - Yo Soy El Tango

BMG 659436

This is musical history in the making. The combination of the brilliant Troilo sound with the voice of Francisco Fiorentino, the first time that the singer had been fully integrated within the orchestra, is a powerful one.

RCA Victor originally reprinted Troilo's complete recordings over 26 lps in 1959. El Bandoneón reprinted the first lp (more or less) as their first CD, El Bandoneón (EBCD-1) in 1991.

Then in 1995 RCA made a new collectors series on CD, reprinting the LPs over 16 CDs. This was a good series for collectors, with sleeve notes from Oscar del Priore and complete discographic information.

Obra Completa en RCA Vol. 1 In 2004 RCA discontinued that series and made a new edition. They went back to the original LP covers - infinitely more attractive than the previous ones - but printed one LP on each CD. This means that there are now 26 cds now instead of 16. This is a real frustration for the collectors who want to collect the whole set, but for the rest of us these CDs are much more enjoyable to own. Pop the CD in your computer and you'll find some multimedia features: all the lyrics, as well as photographs and newspaper cuttings on Troilo's career.

Now for the music. In general it is well nigh impossible to pick out particular tracks as every one of these cuts is a classic but my own favourites would be Tabernero, Cachirulo and the gut-wrenching Te aconsejo que me olvides (I advise you to forget me).

Track list

  1. Yo soy el tango
  2. Toda mi vida
  3. Con todo la voz que tengo milonga
  4. El bulín de la calle Ayacucho
  5. En esta tarde gris
  6. Mano brava milonga
  7. Milongueando en el '40
  8. Tabernero
  9. Una carta
  10. Total, pa' que sirvo
  11. Cachirulo
  12. Te aconsejo que me olvides
  13. Cordón de oro
  14. El cuarteador
  15. Guapeando
  16. Maragata
  17. Pájaro ciego


Francisco Fiorentino (1-6,8-10,12-14,16,17)

cover artwork

Juan D'Arienzo - De Pura Cepa (1935-1936)

BMG 669330

With his irresistible compás, Juan D'Arienzo quite literally propelled five million people to their feet, bringing about a revolution in the social and cultural fabric of his country. It's an astonishing achievement.

BMG have deleted the wonderful D'Arienzo album on Solo Tango (although we still have a few copies) and so we're now recommending this album, the first in BMG's wonderful 15 cd Homenage a Juan D'Arienzo.

It's a brilliant album with 9 waltzes, including the hard to find Pabellón de las rosas, and two milongas amongst its twenty tracks. Superb sleeve notes inform you, for instance, that Lidio Fasoli is the pianist for the first five tracks, with Rodolfo Biagi joining for the recording date of 31st December 1935 that produced 9 de julio and Orillas del plata. Listen yourself for the change in style.

Criticisms? Early D'Arienzo is just so good, I would loved to have seen every track from this period, but that's hardly a criticism. The sleeve notes are only in Spanish.

Track list

  1. Hotel Victoria
  2. Francia vals
  3. De pura cepa milonga
  4. Joaquina
  5. Pabellón de las rosas vals
  6. Nueve de julio
  7. Orillas de plata vals
  8. Silueta porteña milonga
  9. El flete
  10. Tu olvido vals
  11. Lorenzo
  12. La payanca
  13. Rawson
  14. Amor y celos vals
  15. Lágrimas y sonrisas vals
  16. Una lágrima vals
  17. Ataniche
  18. Corazón de artista vals
  19. La viruta
  20. Visión celeste vals

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© Michael Lavocah / 2000-2018