Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Valentine's Day gift to you: "Esta Noche de Luna"


Friday, February 14, 2013




Here is my Valentine's gift for you in multiple forms!  


Libertad LamarqueIt's the romantic tango "Esta Noche de Luna" (This Moonlit Night). Even the lyrics are romantic and not melancholy or morbid - just don't read the last line!   

For Valentine's Day, I wanted to send you a video of a beautiful couple dancing to the version by Carlos di Sarli with Roberto Rufino singing.  (Don't worry. The link is below, and more!)

But there are important recordings of this tango by other great orchestras, including Osvaldo PuglieseFrancisco CanaroJulio De Caro, and the songwriters themselves.  Probably my favorite version, the one recorded by the great female tango vocalist Libertad Lamarque, is not even danceable!  But I find her interpretation so beautiful I wanted to share it with you as well.  My second favorite version is Di Sarli's.  And the most famous version today, internationally, is surely Pugliese's.


I wondered how I could present to you in a neat Valentine's Day package a number of those different recordings of this tangoas well as the lyrics in Spanish and translated to English, AND a couple of video links!  Then, when I was searching for the best translation of the lyrics, I found on my preferred tango translation site a tidy package including everything I wanted to send you, except the dance videos.  I'll give you the link in a moment, and you can get to know this very useful and interesting website.

But first, here's a little background on the tango, with some of my commentary (or scroll down to the links, if you prefer):  
"Esta Noche de Luna" was written in 1943 by José García & Graciano Gómez and the lyrics by Héctor Marcó.  That was in the middle of  tango's Golden Age.  Somehow, to my ears, Julio De Caro's recording brings to it bits of flavor of the previous decade. De Caro was a contemporary of Di Sarlis', D'Ariezo's . . . in fact, of the whole Golden Age gang, most of whom were born right around 1900, and the others within about 10 years in either direction. Yet because of the sound of his music, I always thought of De Caro as being from an earlier half-generation, along with Canaro (born 1888).  Actually, in the mid-1920's, both De Caro and Di Sarli, were musicians in Osvaldo Fresedo's orchestra, and both formed their own orchestra and sextet, respectively, in the late '20's.

These days, when anyone asks me which is my favorite orchestra, I have to answer "Di Sarli", especially his music of the 1940's, and even the 1950's (who doesn't love "Bahia Blanca"?).  Yet I listen to De Caro's music from the 1930's with a sense of both enchantment and deep respect.  Osvaldo Pugliese must have felt the same way, because he re-orchestrated many of De Caro's tangos, and recorded an album of them, called "De Caro por Pugliese", and most have become great tango classics that today are played in milongas and used for performances. De Caro is rarely played in milongas.

So without further ado, here is the translation web page for "Esta Noche de Luna".  You'll find there the lyrics in English and Spanish, as well six embedded recordings by the orchestras and artists I listed above. Please make sure to listen to Libertad Lamarque's recording, which is "last, but not least"!

And here are two "Rose Vine Tango" dance performances to "Esta Noche de Luna".  In the first, dancing about four years ago to Di Sarli's recording, are Frank Obregon and Jenny Gil:
A month ago I wrote to you about Frank and Jenny, having seen their performance in a milonga in Buenos Aires.  What had impressed me about them, after having watched so many "cookie cutter" performances, was their musicality and their obvious love for the music. They have evolved in the years since this video was shot, but I think you'll still enjoy their performance. 

The second is Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes dancing last summer in Vienna to Pugliese's version:  
Sebastian and Mariana have long been considered masters of musicality!

In my parting words to you on this Valentine's Day, I'll paraphrase what someone I admire very much wrote in a message to her many readers:  

"Before you think about how to express your love to others, give some thought to expressing love to yourself, and then treat yourself accordingly!  Loving ourselves sets a healthier stage for relating to anybody else." 


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