Julio Nudler

on and grandson of violinists, Mauricio Miserizky was born on August 14, 1912, in the porteño neighborhood of Once. His proletarian point of departure in music was in the cinema theaters with silent movies. The first one where he regularly appeared was the Richmond, on Cabildo and Federico Lacroze, to later switch to the American Palace, on Córdoba and Callao.

With Roberto Firpo he worked at the Astral movie theater, along with the violinists Octavio Scaglione, known as Piscoto, and José Nieso. At age fifteen he was already member of the sextet led by the violinist Cayetano Puglisi which used to play while the movies were shown at the Paramount. By that time the leader was beginning his recordings for the Victor label, with Federico Scorticati and Domingo Triguero (later Pascual Storti) on bandoneon, Alberto Cosenza or Armando Federico on piano —«who had a heavy way of stressing the beat and played overwhelming chords, according to my way of feeling and admiring tango», as Luis Adolfo Sierra says— and José Puglisi, in charge of the ropero (wardrobe)(a nickname used by tango men to refer to the double bass).

Sometimes he worked, together with some band-mates, with Francisco Canaro, under whose direction he accompanied four recordings of Carlos Gardel on December 5, 1930 and appeared, in 1932, in the musical comedy La muchachada del centro. Thereafter he appeared again with a new orchestra led by Puglisi, in which the pianist was Orlando Goñi and had Raúl Romero on vocals.

Mise, trained by maestros Sadowsky and Ramos Mejía, was also member of the orchestra of the pianist José María Rizzuti, the refined composer of “Cenizas” and “Bésame en la boca”.

In the late 1936 he joined the music ensemble fronted by Pedro Laurenz, which brought forward the updated tango peak of the following decade. Mise was one of the players of that orchestra on September 24, 1937 when the first anthological recording was cut for the Victor label: on one side, “Arrabal”, by the pianist José Pascual; on the other, “Abandono”, by Pedro Maffia and Homero Manzi, with Héctor Farrell on the vocal refrain.

Mauricio, who had replaced Alfredo Gobbi when Laurenz was appearing at the Richmond on Suipacha Street, stayed eleven years alongside the composer of “Esquinero”, one of the greatest talents that appeared in tango. Even though the lead violin was played by Samy Friedenthal, on many occasions the latter allowed Mise to be featured despite of the fact that the same would have heartily declined that privilege. Both players suffered of that condition of the soul called apprehension (stage fright). In the Laurenz orchestra he came to know Leopoldo Federico, with whom he would share another important stage of his career.

In 1947 when the temperamental pianist José Basso split with the Aníbal Troilo orchestra to put together his own, Mauricio was assigned to lead the violin section that included Rodolfo Fernández, Osvaldo Rodríguez and Francisco Orefice, reinforced by Marcos González on cello and Rafael del Bagno on double bass. That outstanding orchestra, hired by Radio Belgrano and attraction at the Café Marzotto and the Dancing Ocean, in its beginnings had Julio Ahumada, Eduardo Rovira and Andrés Natale in the bandoneon section. And at the start its vocalists were Ricardo Ruiz and Ortega Del Cerro.

Even though Mise had more than enough skills as soloist, he had not the capability to be a driving leader of the string section: he had not that driving temper to lead the strings that was a feature in Enrique Camerano (Pugliese) or in Roberto Guisado (Di Sarli), even more in an orchestra with so much bravura like Basso’s. Finally, the bandleader summoned Hugo Baralis to carry out that task. Anyhow, Mise’s withdrawal only took place in 1955 when he was fired together with Armando Calderaro (Pajarito), Fernández and Orefice, due to union matters. Mauricio, despite being introverted and melancholic, was well-known for his sharp, witty occurrences that the composer of “Rosicler” not always was willing to stand.

Thereafter Mise continued his long career with Leopoldo Federico, which included the five years when they backed Julio Sosa. He had previously joined Federico in an orchestra formed after a suggestion made to Federico by Alejandro Romay through Leo Lipesker. Romay then had his programs Grandes valores del tango and Lluvia de estrellas on the radio stations Libertad and El Mundo. That music group was put together to accompany Roberto Rufino, Elsa Rivas and Hugo Marcelino (later Marcel), but it did not last long. Federico withdrew —and also did Mise— when Radio Belgrano, on Héctor Artola’s recommendation, offered him the chance to appear with his own orchestra. That musical ensemble would later back Sosa until the tragic death of the singer in November 1964.

Artola, who led an orchestra to accompany Oscar Alonso, Carmen Duval and María de la Fuente, had Julio Ahumada as lead bandoneon player, but as the latter was not allowed by El Mundo to appear on Belgrano, they thought that Federico would be suitable as bandoneonist for the Estable (staff orchestra), and also as leader, since they had none. By the way, Artola had the Federico’s appearance confirmed when he had to accompany singers.

Mise had a very personal way of expressing tango and a very good sound. But he was quite fearful when he had to play a solo. By the time when he played in the Federico orchestra on Radio Belgrano, before the period with Julio Sosa, at the end of each radio program, Federico had to write the list for the following program with the detail of the tangos to be played so that some glosas (lyric poem declaimed over the music) may be written. «Mauricio, shall we include such tango?», he asked, full of doubts, knowing that there was a violin solo. «Eh..., yes, yes, include it», answered Mise. But he later phoned the leader to ask him to cross that tango out because the idea of the solo haunted him. Sometimes, a few seconds before the radio program, sick with fear, while he was coming to and fro from the toilet, he was unable to make up his mind. Finally, when the time arrived, he played his part wonderfully and by heart, and the listeners never imagined what he, Federico and the other players had undergone a few minutes before. However, his nerves made him speed up the tempo. Mise played too fast, as if wishing to finish as soon as possible.

In the Sexteto Mayor, which he joined in 1973, nine years after Sosa’s death and his breaking up with Federico, nothing had remained of that panic, although the cadenzas were more difficult than those that so much had daunted him. Mise, who played and recorded three LP’s with Atilio Stampone (Danzarín, El sonido de Buenos Aires and Imágenes), and was also member of the Juan D'Arienzo orchestra, was never interested in diving into classical music. The crisis of tango surprised him when he was too old to try another road. As composer he left “Si no me engaña el corazón”, with lyrics by Carlos Bahr, which Sosa recorded with Federico.