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Pedro Laurenz

Pedro Laurenz and his orchestra Pedro Laurenz was one of the greatest bandoneón players of all time, a great musician in the innovative school of Julio De Caro (with whom he played bandoneón alongside Pedro Maffia). Like Pugliese, he endeavoured to take the musical ideas of De Caro to a broader public, although in his case with a greater emphasis on a rich and varying rhythm, something that would later be instrumental in his participation in the legendary Quinteto Reál.

Laurenz was also an also an important composer. His most famous works include Mala junta and Orgullo criollo (both with Julio De Caro); Amurado (with Maffia); Berretín, Milonga de mis amores and Mal de amores.

Laurenz's reputation is assured despite the relatively modest success of his orchestra, which never reached the heights of popular acclaim reached by Troilo, Pugliese or Di Sarli. One factor would have been his singers: until Alberto Podestá joined him from Di Sarli in 1943, the orchestra lacked a truly great singer, and found itself without one when Podestá returned to Di Sarli in 1946.

However I like to think that the orchestra was simply ahead of its time. Some musicologists consider that his first recording, Arrabal, inaugurated the true golden age of tango. Considering that this is from 1937 it puts Troilo's 1941 sides with Fiorentino in a very different light, and of course it's light years ahead of what D'Arienzo and Tanturi were doing at this time. Today it still sounds fresh and exciting.

Whatever the reason, the orchestra left very few recordings. Although he signed a contract with Victor in 1937, they cut just 29 titles over the next six years. He signed to Odeón in 1943, recording once again just 29 sides over the next four years. 8 more sides followed with Pampa in 1952/53: a miserly 66 numbers over 16 years. This makes collecting them a pretty easy job.

A basic Laurenz collection

The small number of Laurenz's recordings mean there are very few CDs, and it doesn't take much time to tell you about them. For a long time the El Bandoneón Laurenz CD (EBCD 82, Milonga de mis amores) was the Laurenz CD of choice and one of the most important in their catalogue.

Things changed though with the release of Coleccíon 78 rpm. Their Laurenz cd is even better - you can read more on our essentials page. As an added bonus it presents only tracks from Laurenz's tenure with Victor, so if you go on to buy more of Laurenz on Reliquias, who present material from Odeón, there's no overlap.

However to sell any CDs you have to be in print, and Euro have been failing at this abjectly in recent years. Our recommendation is thus the new CD on the French label Le chant du monde

Tango Masters - Pedro Laurenz: Patria Mía

LCDM 2742314

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le chant du monde are not owned by either BMG or EMI, which means they are free to print tracks from Laurenz's periods with both companies on this excellent compilation.

The discs are sensitively remastered and the fidelity is very good throughout.

Track list

  1. Arrabal
  2. Abandono
  3. No me extraña
  4. Desconsuelo
  5. Amurado
  6. Orgullo criollo
  7. Al verla pasar
  8. Es mejor perdonar
  9. Firuletear de bandoneón
  10. Nunca tuvo novio
  11. Venticuatro de agosto
  12. Alma de bohemio
  13. Patria mía
  14. Garúa
  15. Que nunca me falta
  16. Recién
  17. Yo quiero canta un tango
  18. Todo
  19. Muchachos mi último tango
  20. Como el hornero
  21. Llueve otra vez
  22. La madrugada
  23. Más solo que nunca
  24. Me están sobrando las penas
  25. Nada más que un corazón

Cantan:

  • Héctor Farrel (2)
  • Juan Carlos Casas (3-5,9)
  • Martín Podestá (7)
  • Alberto Del Campo (8)
  • Alberto Podestá (10-20)
  • Carlos Bermúdez (21-25)
  • Instrumental (1,5)

I want more

Reliquias 529110

Your next Laurenz purchase is the outstanding Creaciones inolvidables con Podestá y Bermudez on Reliquias. Since the effective replacement of the Laurenz album on Euro Records with the one from le chant du monde above, this CD offers less value than it did because there is some overlap. Nevertheless, anything from Laurenz from this period is essential.

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As ever on this label you get a terrible cover but the transfers are first rate. Laurenz demonstrates how good he is with vals (Paisaje) and milonga (Maldonado giving even Di Sarli a run for his money).

Track list

  1. Alma de bohemio
  2. Garúa
  3. Recién
  4. Que nunca me falta
  5. Patria mía
  6. Yo quiero cantar un tango
  7. Con el hornero
  8. Todo
  9. Muchachos... mi último tango
  10. Paisaje vals
  11. Yo soy de San Telmo milonga
  12. Maldonado milonga
  13. El criollito oriental milonga
  14. Más solo que nunca
  15. Me estan sobrando las penas
  16. Nada más que un corazón
  17. Llueve otra vez
  18. La madrugada
  19. Temblando vals
  20. Milonga de mis amores (1944) milonga
Cantan:
  • Alberto Podestá (1-13)
  • Carlos Bermúdez (14-19)

I'm a DJ or collector - I need everything

Grabaciones Olvidadas Vol.2 There isn't much more. Ten sides of Laurenz, nine of them his final sides on Odeón from 1944-1947, are available on a second album on Reliquias shared with Ricardo Malerba (EMI 595160). The tenth is Quejas de bandoneón, recorded on Pampa in 1952. Reliquias have now released 29 of Laúrenz's 30 tracks on Odeón. Perhaps we can hope they will release the other seven of the eight sides on Pampa.

El Bandoneón's album of Pedro Maffia, EBCD-96, worth buying in its own right, will give you one more track you haven't found elsewhere, Taconeando.

That's it - there isn't any more.

Where next...


© Michael Lavocah / milonga.co.uk 2000-2017