Tanda of the week: Pugliese valses

Tanda of the week: Pugliese valses

Master Pugliese had a magic touch.

Few orchestras had such a unique sound, and even fewer developed it over such a long period of time, unbroken although challenged at every step of the way.

His tangos have a special place on most milongas. Perhaps too special. The music does challenge the leader but the reward is immense.

This tanda brings his valses to the stage. While not numerous, most have a great forward drive and a clear rhythmical base.

It's a tanda that starts on a positive note then dives deep into more lyrical waters.


Let's get this right out of the way: I would love to have three of Pugliese's valses from the 1950s featuring Alberto Morán. Unfortunately, only two exist, and both are included here.

The tanda begins with Puentecito de mi río, canta Roberto Chanel. The year was 1944. The keys are G/B major and the mood is light. I believe that its character is very inviting, if a little deceptive in the light of what's to come.

From the very first notes of La noche que me esperes, we know the direction has changed. The key is F-minor and the character is urgent, touchingly lyrical. Alberto Morán's is impeccable; of Pugliese's singer, I used to love Maciel the most and I am reconsidering.

The closer is Manos adoradas (C-minor) and starts off noticeably but not excessively faster; we've gotten from 65 to 69 BPM. Lyrically, it's less urgent but with the faster tempo comes a stronger pull overall. Ending with a brief coda, it makes for a logical closer.


I have tried this several times, and it does have some demands on the dancers. A prior warm-up is advisable. After this, I would play a "comfort tanda", e.g. late Di Sarli. Other than that, no special concerns.

image credit Peter Oslanec