The most famous of the silent movie theater orchestras

Everything related to researching, scoring and performing music with silent film.
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radiotelefonia
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The most famous of the silent movie theater orchestras

Unread post by radiotelefonia » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:52 pm

In 1923, a film exhibitor of decided to replace its piano player of its second run movie theater with a popular tango orchestra. The gamble was a success and soon, most of Buenos Aires theaters would open their doors to tango orchestras, many of which managing to get recording contracts.

The most popular and important in those years was the ensemble, a sextet, conducted by Julio De Caro, performing his cornet violin. Fortunately, unlike a most of the 1920s music, these tangos didn't age at all... people are still listening, and dancing, to this music.

Yet, almost nobody is using for background music for silents. The original audiences didn't go to the movies to see the films: they went to listen to their favorite musicians. And there was never an attempt to match the melodies to the images.

But, even today, the music blends fine with the movies.

De Caro left 137 recordings from 1924 to 1928 published by the Victor Talking Machine. In 1929, he moved to Brunswick (then a subsidiary of Warner Bros.) were he continued making great recordings for a while until he himself was affected by the sound film revolution.

Here are a few examples, lifted not from RCA-Sony-BMG reissues but original 78 rpm discs (many of them have never been reprinted:

EL TAITA, tango
(Salvador Grupillo)
Victor 80885 (44141)
Recorded on June 13, 1928

http://www.esnips.com/doc/3e89bbcd-cf68 ... R-GRUPILLO


LOCA BOHEMIA, tango
(Francisco De Caro-Dante A. Linyera)
Victor 80957 (44295)
Recorded on September 14, 1928

http://www.esnips.com/doc/6d0df77b-2bbd ... CO-DE-CARO

FAROLITO DE MI BARRIO, tango
(Emilio Pollet-José de Grandis)
Victor 79788 (1066)
Recorded on December 16, 1926

http://www.esnips.com/doc/982c99a5-ad93 ... o-E-POLLET

BUEN AMIGO, tango
(Julio De Caro-Carlos Marambio Catán)
Victor 79553 (592)
Recorded on May 12, 1925

http://www.esnips.com/doc/28cd7a97-2133 ... GO-79553-B

EL REBELDE tango
(Pedro Laurenz-Emilio Marchiano)
Victor 79561 (612)
Recorded on June 19, 1925

http://www.esnips.com/doc/421b09c7-f0c5 ... DE-79561-B

BLANQUITA, tango
(Lancelloti)
Victor 79577 (640)
Recorded on July 29, 1925

http://www.esnips.com/doc/a04abd5f-a9f3 ... -BLANQUITA

TRISTE, tango
(Francisco De Caro-Pedro Maffia)
Victor 79520 (526)
Recorded on December, 1924

http://www.esnips.com/doc/6a5dfa2e-2244 ... TE-79520-A

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radiotelefonia
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Unread post by radiotelefonia » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:31 pm

MALA PINTA, tango
(Julio De Caro-Francisco De Caro)
Victor 80948
Recorded on August 27, 1928

http://www.esnips.com/doc/a2d9c72b-c093 ... CO-DE-CARO

ADIOS PUEBLO, tango
(Agustín Bardi)
Victor 80942 (44264)
Recorded on August 14, 1928

http://www.esnips.com/doc/890a34d1-754d ... TIN--BARDI

LA ULTIMA CITA, tango
(Agustín Bardi-Francisco García Jiménez)
Victor 80922 (44225)
Recorded on July 19, 1928

http://www.esnips.com/doc/8adcaebb-6666 ... STIN-BARDI

ALLA EN EL BAJO, tango
(Agustín Magaldi-Pedro Noda-Ismael Martinelli Massa)
Victor 79677 (843)
Recorded on June 16, 1926
(this version is complete; all reprints are incomplete)

http://www.esnips.com/doc/5c0eee79-0f2c ... I-y-P-NODA

GAUCHA, tango
(Pedro Laurenz-Luis Rubistein)
Vocal refrain by Luis Díaz
Brunswick 1204
Recorded in 1929 (recording dates are unknown for this series)

http://www.esnips.com/doc/b3de5e0f-e19d ... A---GAUCHA

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Rodney
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Unread post by Rodney » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:24 am

I love Julio de Caro's orchestra. I didn't know he had played in movie theaters.

In Brazil, a similar thing transpired, where composer Ernesto Nazareth conducted an orchestra in a silent film theater. His maxixes and other dance pieces are still revived by concert pianists -- he was sort of a Louis Moreau Gottschalk for Brazil. His most famous composition, "Odeon," was named for the movie theater where he got most of his work.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"

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radiotelefonia
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Unread post by radiotelefonia » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:55 pm

Julio De Caro orchestra was great during the silent era.

He achieved major film success by playing in movie theaters. If you pay attention to the original editions of the sheet music scores they always state things like "the latest success at the Select Lavalle".

The Select Lavalle, was a movie theater in a section in downtown Buenos Aires that was saturated with one big cinema next to another. All of them were filled with tango and jazz musicians. (In the case of the Francisco Lomuto orchestra they doubled for both, with Lalo Schiffrin's uncle playing the first violin... I just restored a series of his recordings for Max Glücksmann, himself a film exhibitor). De Caro started in the Select Lavalle, then moved to the Renacimiento and finally to the Real Cine.

The sound film revolution was the first big crisis in the history of tango. Orchestras resisted as much as they could.

Julio De Caro manages to continue his success while theaters were wiring for sound. But when he returned from an European tour in 1932, he went back to the Real Cine, it was all over. But he still kept the same popularity... until 1934!

The audiences that went to the movie theaters where the De Caro orchestra (a sextet) was playing were not really film buffs but tango enthusiasts. Most of them were deeply influenced and they would follow the same pattern. Musicians like Aníbal Troilo, Alfredo Gobbi, Horacio Salgán (who is still alive) and particularly Osvaldo Pugliese, kept many of De Caro's ideas, and also melodies, during the 40s and 50s.

There were also tangos dedicated to movie theaters in Argentina as well. For instance, Enrique Delfino wrote and recorded in 1922 a tango called "Grand Splendid" dedicated to Max Glücksmann most important theater. The theater has been preserved as a book store now; but Delfy's recording, despite I managed to rescue and restore most of them thanks to cooperative collectors, is lost.

One aspect of Julio De Caro that is very important is that his ensemble was the first one to made systematic use of written orchestrations. He was not the one who introduced them (that honor belongs to Luis Riccardi in the Francisco Canaro orchestra in 1920) but with him they became extremely elaborate. In fact, the original piano editions of the original melodies they played are obviously not intended for pianists but they are the orchestrations themselves.

As an example, here is the sheet music score of "Boedo" (1928) :

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After a few days of being off line, here is the recording (other tangos are still unavailable):

BOEDO, tango
(Julio De Caro-Dante A. Linyera)
Victor 80999 (44378)
Recorded on November 16, 1928.
(This was his next to last recording for Victor)

http://www.esnips.com/doc/5542fac8-91d6 ... IO-DE-CARO

And here is another one:

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MALA JUNTA, tango
(Julio De Caro-Pedro Laurenz-J. M. Velich)
Victor 79925 (1422)
Recorded on September 13, 1927

http://www.todotango.com/spanish/downlo ... sp?id=1878

Image

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radiotelefonia
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Unread post by radiotelefonia » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:10 pm

The most important contribution by Julio De Caro were probably the sound effects he created with his violin, that were later copied by everyone including Astor Piazzolla. Here is one example that it is still online:

LA RAYUELA, tango
(Julio De Caro)
Victor 79673 (833)
Recorded on September 6, 1926

http://www.esnips.com/doc/80ae0304-508a ... ---1926-28

And a few more melodies by De Caro for now. This is the only music that, for me, evokes silent films

EL MALEVO, tango
(Julio De Caro-Mario Castro*)
Victor 79923 (1638)
Recorded on February 2, 1928
* Pseudonym of lyricist María Luisa Carnelli (who also is credited as Luis Mario)

http://www.esnips.com/doc/a2cbe2c7-15d2 ... -Caro-1928

And here is a rarity, never reprinted by RCA Victor or Sony BMG, a waltz:

CATA, waltz
(Julio De Caro)
Victor 79958 (1528)
Recorded on January 12, 1927

http://www.esnips.com/doc/7e6db77f-dd08 ... IO-DE-CARO

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radiotelefonia
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Unread post by radiotelefonia » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:16 pm

Here is an forgotten recording by the De Caro orchestra, never reprinted:

PURA MAÑA, tango
(Pedro Maffia)
Victor 79561 (611)
Recorded on June 19, 1925

http://www.esnips.com/doc/8bacc8b4-6e64 ... ÑA-79561-A

The tango was written by Pedro Maffia who was, then, first bandoneon player of the Julio De Caro orchestra, which was actually a sextet.

Here is the sheet music score:

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Pedro Maffia was the very first bandoneon virtuoso ever. His greatest contribution to tango was to introduce the bandoneon duets in 1925. So, at some point during a film exhibition the orchestra would stop and Maffia and the other bandoneon player, would take over.

This duo left 10 recordings, although only three of them have ever been reprinted... and try to find them in the Sony BMG archive!

Image

With contrasting styles, both Pedro Maffia and Pedro Laurenz were the most influential bandoneon players ever. They were not the only ones, other colleagues would shortly emerge during the silent film era, but they came first.

As an example, here is an obscurity: a recording of the previous tango by the Maffia-Laurenz duo that has never been reprinted, and a big improvement over the De Caro orchestra recording. The audio quality of this recording, which is unfortunately incomplete, is terrible.

But I was able to restore this recording, if somebody needs it:


PURA MAÑA, tango
(Pedro Maffia)
Maffia-Laurenz, bandoneon duo
Victor 79690 (871)
Recorded on July 7, 1926

http://www.esnips.com/doc/42156959-31d4 ... .1926.-RCA

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Unread post by Rodney » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:37 am

While on the topic of tangos for silent films, what is probably the most famous non-Argentinian tango is "Jealousy," (originally Jalousie, Tango Tzigane) by Jacob Gade. Born in Denmark, he played for a number of dance, theater, and cinema orchestras. Jealousy was premiered as part of his score for DON Q, SON OF ZORRO in 1925.

I've heard that Gade wrote a small suite of silent film music, but I've never found anything other than Jealousy, and that in later editions.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"

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radiotelefonia
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Unread post by radiotelefonia » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:23 pm

You should, then, read this article:

http://www.todotango.com/english/biblio ... _celos.asp

But "Jealousy" was never really a popular tango in Argentina (it has been included in repertories, however, in more recent years). It should have been a big hit in 1925; but it wasn't.

Something else was going on at that time, and another melody reemerged with much more stamina than it had had at the time it was originally written ten years before.

Here is the Pedro Maffia and Pedro Laurenz, in a recording that rarely was preserved by RCA Victor, performing one of the very first popular renditions of this tango:

LA CUMPARSITA, tango
(Gerardo Matos Rodríguez-Enrique Maroni-Pascual Contursi)
Maffia-Laurenz, bandoneon duo
Victor 79690 (870)
Recorded on July 7, 1926

http://www.esnips.com/doc/695f4527-245a ... nes---1926


The most famous non Argentine tango is "Fumando Espero".

Here is an original recording from its day:

FUMANDO ESPERO, tango
(Juan Viladomat Massanas-Félix Garzo)
FRANCISCO CANARO Y SU ORQUESTA TIPICA
Vocal Refrain by Roberto Fugazot
Disco Nacional-Odeon (Max Glücksmann) 4359 (1421)
Recorded on September 30, 1927

http://www.esnips.com/doc/45acf471-ed36 ... to-Fugazot

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Unread post by radiotelefonia » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:30 pm

Of the silent film orchestras there is one in particular that it is by far a standout. That was the ensemble conducted from his piano by Carlos Di Sarli.

Di Sarli was probably the greatest tango musician of all times achieving his first success during silent era, recording 50 melodies.

The sound film revolution brought the very first major crisis in the history of tango. In the case of Don Carlos, like many orchestras, he was fired from RCA Victor and after a few failed attempts, by 1932 he had to dissolve his orchestra and work as a musician for others.

But in 1938 he manage to set up a new orchestra, retaining virtually the same style from before to achieve a permanent success and RCA Victor rehired him.

For 30 (1928-1958) years RCA Victor, mostly, made his recordings available. And they are still selling.

Here are examples of his recordings from the silent era:

RACING CLUB, tango
(Vicente Greco)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
RCA Victor 47438 (60288)
Recorded on June 3, 1930

http://www.esnips.com/doc/ca909d1d-536b ... -Club---30

FLOR MARCHITA, tango
(Juan Feliú-Carlos Lopettini)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
RCA Victor 47156 (44704)
Recorded on August 14, 1929

http://www.esnips.com/doc/9f739674-0961 ... chita---29

MI PIBE (LA CHANCE), tango
(Enrique Delfino-Manuel Romero)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
RCA Victor 47156 (44705)
Recorded on August 14, 1929

http://www.esnips.com/doc/3b4df588-f00a ... -pibe---29

NO TE AGUANTO MAS, tango
(Adolfo Mondino-Ray Rada)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
RCA Victor 47282 (44942)
Recorded on December 31, 1929

http://www.esnips.com/doc/10bdb09b-1962 ... o-mas---29

All of these recordings are being removed.

And now, for comparison here are a few of his later recordings. At the time of return to RCA Victor, tango musicians were forced to play the melodies at a faster tempo than usual because executives demanded fast sounding melodies; later in the forties the tempo would slow down.

This recordings are not from the silent era, but all of the melodies are:

EL OPIO, tango
(Francisco Canaro)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
RCA Victor 38961 (39255)
Recorded on April 17, 1940

http://www.esnips.com/doc/9ebc5574-5e7f ... -opio---40

SHUSHETA, tango
(Juan Carlos Cobián)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
RCA Victor 39110 (39532)
Recorded on October 8, 1940

http://www.esnips.com/doc/7ac2fad5-dd72 ... rata)---40

ENSUEÑOS, tango
(Luis Brighenti-Enrique Cadícamo)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
RCA Victor 60-0194 (77216)
Recorded on September 7, 1943

http://www.esnips.com/doc/14ae9f2c-f9a8 ... ueños---43

EL INGENIERO, tango
(Alejandro Junnissi)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
Music-Hall/Argentina Sono Film 1008B (BA 1014)
Recorded in 1952

http://www.esnips.com/doc/39a2bdde-d371 ... niero---52

LA CACHILA, tango
(Eduardo Arolas)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
Music-Hall/Argentina Sono Film 1007B (BA 1013)
Recorded in 1952

http://www.esnips.com/doc/14e10a9d-0871 ... chila---52

LOS TREINTA Y TRES ORIENTALES, tango
(Alfredo Mazzeo-José Felipetti-Arturo Rodríguez)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
RCA Victor 1A-0502 (S4043)
Recorded on July 28, 1955

http://www.esnips.com/doc/08122ffd-d3ce ... tales---55

... and in conclusion:

BAHIA BLANCA, tango
(Carlos Di Sarli)
Carlos Di Sarli y su orquesta típica
Philips 2h42055
Recorded circa November, 1958

http://www.esnips.com/doc/f1b6ad9a-bf7d ... lanca---58

Image

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Re: The most famous of the silent movie theater orchestras

Unread post by Darren Nemeth » Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:30 pm

Does anyone offer historical tango recordings like these on CD?

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radiotelefonia
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Unread post by radiotelefonia » Thu May 01, 2008 11:34 pm

The tangos recorded during the silent era, from 1920 to 1932, were produced by five labels: Victor, Disco Nacional-Odeon, Electra (up to 1929) and Brunswick (1929-1932), and Columbia (1930-1932).

The two important labels are Victor and Disco Nacional-Odeon and their successors, Sony BMG and EMI (I hate and despise that name!, I always refer to this company as Odeon) had marginally produced some reissues in LPs and CDs, but they are getting hard to find.

Electra went bankrupt in 1929 and Brunswick master elements ended up in garbage cans in 1932 after the manager of the company committed suicide in Brazil at the time. And the Columbia records have never been officially reprinted.

And the acoustic recordings (pre 1926) have always been ignored.

The recordings survived, however, thanks to collectors and the families of the performers who managed to pass them to other people or put them on the internet so people like us can download them... before the industry shut down those sites (not preserving the recordings). I am the one (the idiot) who tries to restore them.

The "El bandoneon" label made pirate versions (still available for purchase online) for a few years until the industry forced them out of the open market.

There were also some Japanese reissues that are legal in Japan but not in the rest of the world. However, the industry has adopted them in order to rebuild the archives that they themselves have disposed several years ago.

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