12 August 2014

Troilo for beginners

Some time ago, I decided to try liking Troilo. Ok, so I already liked his earlier tangos a lot, like Te aconsejo que me olvides from 1941 with Fiorentino as the singer, or the instrumental C.T.V. from 1942. But I simply could not move on to appreciating the change that happened in Troilo’s music towards the middle of the 1940s. It felt like all the fun was gone and was replaced with this weird mix of introvert and dramatic - a frustrating combination for any girl who enjoys the (maybe simpler) musical pleasures of the 1930s.

For me, tango music had always been an acquired taste, though. In the beginning, I didn’t like the traditional tango music at all, but as I heard it being played in the milongas, I slowly started discovering orchestra after delightful orchestra. Yet my relationship with Troilo remained firmly distant. It seemed that an affinity for his music wouldn’t just come with time, the way it had happened with the other orchestras.

Then I started DJing. I knew that Troilo was considered one of the most important orchestra leaders and that people I respected liked his music. I realised that the time had come for a bit of self-education.

So I sat myself down to make tandas. I picked a couple of tangos I already thought were quite nice - like Gricel with Fiorentino 1942 and Alhucema with Marino 1944 - and tried to find good matches for them. The tandas turned out quite nicely, so I played them at milongas. And since I had become more familiar with these tangos, I found myself wanting to dance to them as well. And that’s more or less it. Not only have I started liking these tangos a lot better than before. I’m even finding a few of them desperately, heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Cotorrita de la suerte. Torrente. Cristal.

Not all music is “catchy”. Not all music will float painlessly through your ear canals and magically turn into favourites. You might need to make an effort to understand it, because understanding something is often the key to liking it. And the effort you're putting in will in some cases make you like the challenging music more than the easy stuff. Try it!

The music on YouTube:

Te aconsejo que me olvides (1941 - singer: Francisco Fiorentino)

C.T.V.  (1942 - instrumental)

Gricel (1942 - singer: Francisco Fiorentino)

Alhucema (1944 - singer: Alberto Marino)

Torrente (1944 - singer: Alberto Marino)

Cristal (1944 - singer: Alberto Marino)

Cotorrita de la suerte (1945 - singer: Alberto Marino)