Tanda of the week: Carlos Di Sarli c. Jorge Durán, 1945-1946

Tanda of the week: Carlos Di Sarli c. Jorge Durán, 1945-1946

This Di Sarli tanda from the 1940s is designed for the intimate enjoyment of those who have nothing to prove to the world around them. Its energy is contained within the embrace and does not radiate outside. A learned observer, however, can easily discern it and become vicariously involved, too - and a perhaps a little jealous, if he happens to sit it out.

Why I built it this way

The tanda is designed to start on high note and develop lyrically towards a more serious, dramatic ending. It flows at a normal walking tempo around 60 BPM.

Porteño y bailarín (F-ma) opens the tanda for a good reason: it's familiar and cheerful. Originally, I planned it for the third position but ended up promoting it because of its slow end. While I sometimes put "hit songs" in non-headliner spots, the heuristic of putting them in the opening or closing positions has merit, and I'll stick to it here.

Así era mi novia (A-ma/mi) starts seductively in an unambiguously good mood, and so when it hits you with the lyrical alternating theme, it's quite a punch. Durán joins in in a major key again but the song then goes decidedly in the nostalgic, minor-key direction.

Soy el cantor de la orquesta (G-ma/E-mi) follows the same pattern: a joyous opening theme is contrasted with one that has darker undertones. As mentioned above, I originally planned to open with it, and I consider it to be a very strong opener overall. Here, it suits the plan as it ends on the minor key, and thus prepares the dancer for the strong lyrical closing.

Gracias (C-mi) has several strong renditions, among whose I especially love those of Maderna c. Orlando Verri and Biagi c. Carlos Saavedra. I will not pick favorites here: I love all of them.

I think that Jorge Durán was uniquely equipped to deliver the dark, dramatic message of this song, and the orchestra of Mr. Di Sarli enveloped his voice with such emotion that the next tanda better be cheerful! :) Despite the final chord, which alone rests in a major key, the song goes well beyond the region of nostalgia and into the world of pain. Or so it seems.


In my opinion, this tanda would best be served to dancers who have already warmed themselves up and became well connected to their partners. It has a near-infinite potential for intricate, restrained expression in a tight space of a full ronda. The emotions that it provokes cannot be readily consumed with a stranger.

Caveats and disclaimer

The YouTube playlist lacks clarity and precision. If you want to enjoy this at its full potential, you'll want to support the work of those who make faithful commercial transfers for purchase. Most of my Di Sarli catalogues until 1952 comes from TangoTunes while his later work I have from Euro Records CDs. You can't, and probably shouldn't, find the best transfers available for free on YouTube or anywhere, really.

image credit 7 SeTh on Unsplash

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