The Complex: Playlist, Photographs & Summaries

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Julio De Caro:de-caro-sextet-1925

This is the 1925 sextet, Julio De Caro standing on the far left with a Stroh amplifying horn on his violin. Next to him is his brother Francisco seated at the piano. The bass player is Enrique Krauss. To the far right is brother Emilio De Caro, violinist, and the bandoneonists are Pedro Maffia to the left and Pedro Laurenz to the right.
 The De Caro brothers elevated tango to almost chamber music status. There are two distinct periods: the sextet recordings in the 1920s and the full orchestra recordings in the mid to late 1930s. The recordings are not often played at twenty-first century milongas, which, in my view, leaves a gap in the dancers’ experience.

 

Pedro Laurenz:p-laurenz1

A well-groomed Pedro Laurenz poses with his magnificently decorated bandoneon.
A virtuoso bandoneon player, Laurenz direct his talent towards the dance floor. His main recording decade was from 1937 to 1947. He was the bridge between the 1920s De Caro and both Pugliese and Troilo in the 1940s and beyond.

Singers (click on gallery to enlargen)

Osvaldo Pugliese:o_pugliese5

Osvaldo Pugliese sitting wistfully at his piano.
A politically principled man, he was much loved by many. His main dance-orientated recording years were from 1943 to the late 1950s. His sound is characterised by the contrast between powerful surges and introspective lulls.

Singers (click on gallery to enlargen)

Aníbal Troilo:troilo-at-11

Aníbal Troilo as a boy, posing with the bandoneon bought by his mother from a pawn shop.
He is the youngest of all of the orchestra leaders in this book. Although he recorded for over thirty years, to 1971, his main dance period was a short (and interrupted) period between 1938 and about 1945. His main singer during that period was Francisco Fiorentino, and his most well known musician was Astor Piazzolla.

Singers (click on gallery to enlargen)

** Photographs courtesy of Christian Tobler, Switzerland

Getting To Know: Twenty Tango Orchestras

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