The tracks recorded with Hector Mauré are probably the most popular D’Arienzo’s vocals from the 1940s, especially outside of Buenos Aires.
This tanda, featuring tracks by Alberto Echagüe and Armando Laborde (yup, I mixed singers yet again!), sounds quite distinct from the late ’30s and early ’40s vocal tracks. You can hear the transition to this sound in the more romantic tangos recorded with Mauré, especially “Amarras.”
One of the things I like about all these songs is that they have very good lyrics. You may notice that 3 out of 4 are also longer than the 1930’s vocals. The earlier songs all clock in right around 2:30, give or take. “Color cielo” is 3:01, “Después” is 2:59, and “No nos veremos nunca más” is the longest of the bunch, at 3:26. “Yuyo brujo” is the shortest, clocking in at 2:33.
This tanda has a dark mood. “Color cielo” (Sky Blue) is a lament for a lover who has died. You can read the lyrics to “Después” by clicking through above to Poesía de gotán (careful readers and listeners will note that I also featured this song in the previous Troilo/Marino tanda—you can really hear the difference in the two orchestra leaders’ approaches by listening to them in succession). “No nos veremos nunca más” is as bleak as you’d expect from a song titled “We Will Never See Each Other Ever Again.” “Yuyo brujo” (Witch’s Brew) is probably the lightest of the bunch—which isn’t really saying much.
Pabellón de las rosas (1935)
Visión celeste (1936)
Corazón de artista (1936)
Valsecito criollo (1937)
In the late 1930s, D’Arienzo recorded many very fun instrumental valses. I could have chosen the classics, like “Amor y celos” and “Lágrimas y sonrisas,” but I’ve chosen to go with slightly more offbeat, though by no means, unknown selections. Enjoy!
Milonga del corazón (1938)
Estampa de varón (1938)
La cicatriz (1939)
D’Arienzo recorded some wonderful milongas throughout his long career. I love these early vocal ones with Alberto Echagüe singing. Actually, “La cicatriz” is one of my favorite milongas of all time, and it took a long time and a lot of help from many different people for me to translate it. Click on the link to read the story and the translation of this wonderful milonga.
Although D’Arienzo is known as the “Rey del compás,” the king of the beat, he does have a softer side. These tangos with singer Hector Mauré are some of his classic melodic offerings. Happy Birthday Juan D’Arienzo!
I’ve finally moved into the 1940s with D’Arienzo! His defining singer of this decade was definitely Hector Mauré. Within D’Arienzo’s ouevre, Mauré’s more lyrical and dramatic style compliments Echagüe‘s raw sound, just as Campos complements Castillo within the Tanturi catalog.
This particular tanda still displays D’Arienzo’s speed and rhythm, though, since it is from the early 1940s. It opens with the classic “Dime mi amor,” lightens up a bit with “Tierrita” (though the words are not light at all…), then dives back into speed and power with “El olivo,” culminating with the powerful “Humillación.” I get chills every time I hear Mauré sing “¡odio este amor!”
Alberto Echagüe has a distinctive, almost rough voice that Argentines call reo. He and D’Arienzo teamed up several times throughout their careers, but my favorites are the earliest 27 songs they recorded between 1938 and 1939. Like the early instrumentals, they are fast yet hypnotic. I like to end this tanda with “Pensalo bien,” the most iconic and familiar of the group…perhaps because it was featured in Sally Potter’s film The Tango Lesson.
El cencerro (1937)
La payanca (1936)
El flete (1936)
“In my view, the tango is above all rhythm, nerve, force, and character.”
In the midst of the Infamous Decade, when musical innovators like Julio De Caro had already appeared on the tango scene, D’Arienzo’s rhythm, nerve, force, and character returned to the mythical jovial, picaresque, roguish roots of the tango. Supposedly, Aníbal Troilo once admonished other musicians who dismissed D’Arienzo as simple and repetitive by reminding them that without him, they would all be out of work.
When these tangos were recorded, Rodolfo Biagi was still D’Arienzo’s pianist, and the legend goes that in the late 1930s this orchestra filled the Cabaret Chantecler up with enthusiastic dancers.