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Alfredo De Angelis

Alfredo De Angelis with Roberto Mancini and Juan Carlos Godoy. Stazo, Cubría and Pinella on bandoneon The style of Alfredo De Angelis's orchestra is musically very simple. At its best, in the vocal duos of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel, it is an unalloyed delight. At its worst, in many of his later recordings, it is thin and mechanical.

De Angelis formed his orchestra in 1941 and began recording on the Odeón label in 1943. He remained with them right through to the end of his recording career in 1977, recording 486 numbers, far too many of which are available on DBN's Reliquias label.

De Angelis generally focussed on the melody with a very simple rhythmic conception. This being the case, his best numbers were those prominently featuring the harmony of his vocal duos, especially the famous duo of Dante and Martel, perhaps the best duo of the tango era. These are the recordings that many people begin with. Around 1949 the orchestra went through a brief "rhythmic" period but the departure of Julio Martel at the end of 1951 marks the end of their best recordings, with the exception of some instrumentals from 1957-58 of which the most famous is the unique if overplayed Pavadita.

A basic De Angelis collection

Adiós Marineo

Alfredo de Angelis


The orchestra of Alfredo de Angelis is one of those that tango snobs like to denigrate for the simplicity of its style. His music is however perfect for dancing and, in his early waltzes, completely irresistible. It is a very happy music.

This disc from El Bandoneón features no less than fourteen of the wonderful duos of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel, five of them waltzes. Soñar y nada más is excellent and for my money puts Canaro's interpretation in the shade - although Troilo manages to create a different mood with the same piece. This is also the only place one can easily find the vals Pequeña .

The tangos too are delightful, most especially in De Angelis' own compositions, Remolino and Pregonera. Meanwhile, tracks such as Amigazo give the lie to the suggestion that De Angelis's music is just too light and fluffy. (If you like those stronger tracks, check out his classic version of Gloria).

Track list
  1. Compadrón
  2. Remolino
  3. El entrerriano
  4. Del pasadomilonga
  5. Pobre flor
  6. Adiós marinero
  7. 9 de julio
  8. Amigazo
  9. Soñar y nada más vals
  10. Pregonera
  11. Flores del alma vals
  12. Cien guitarras milonga
  13. Pastora
  14. Pura Maña
  15. Por eso grito
  16. El chanar
  17. No vuelvas María vals
  18. Virgen de la serranía
  19. A Magaldi vals
  20. Mi cariñito vals
  21. Pequeña vals
  22. Victoria
  23. Que vachache
  24. Confesión
  25. Cambalache
  26. Esta Noche Me Emborracho

I want more

Reliquias 529106 After this its time to look at the CDs on Reliquias. Why not listen to these strong recordings with his first vocalists, most notably Floreál Ruíz who has the first 8 tracks on this cd. Marioneta and Dejame así are recordings of the very highest quality. Check out also Los Priméros Instrumentales - some of the 50s tracks are forgettable, but the best tracks here are wonderful.

I'm a DJ or collector - I want everything

Are you sure? Reliquias have reissued over half of De Angelis's 486 recordings, which some may consider rather too many. Get their discs of Dante, Martel and Oscar Larroca (I used to love his Prohibido) but avoid the later cds with Lalo Martel and Juan Carlos Godoy unless you're sure it's to your taste. We recommend you start with Fumando Espero, a cd of recordings with Carlos Dante - worth it just for the fabulous rendition of the title track, one of the most sensual tango recordings ever.

Consider the cd of 50s duets with Carlos Dante y Oscar Larroca; there are a dozen more on Cantan Oscar Larroca y Carlos Dante.

Here's the full list on Reliquias: 17 cds (340 tracks)

Where next...

© Michael Lavocah / 2000-2018