Ricardo García Blaya

Orquesta Típica Ángel D’Agostino

ll of them were very talented, they played at neighborhood theaters at a very young age, adding music to silent movies or at the intermissions: Ángel D'Agostino (piano), Ernesto Bianchi (bandoneon), Ennio Bolognini (cello) and Juan D'Arienzo (violin).

In 1919 he joined the staff orchestra of the Teatro Nacional, which also included Juan D'Arienzo and Alfredo Mazzeo (violins), D'Agostino (piano) and Nicolás Primiani and José Arturo Severino (bandoneons).

In March 1920 he put together a group to play tango and jazz. The following year he appeared at the renowned Palais de Glace with the Quinteto de Maestros, co-led by D'Agostino and Agesilao Ferrazzano: D'Agostino (piano); Ferrazzano and Alfredo Mazzeo (violins); Ernesto Bianchi and Abel D'Onofrio (bandoneons) and the female singer Teresita Asprella.

In 1925 he joined the Orquesta Típica Paramount, which made its debut at the movie theater with the same name: Anselmo Aieta (bandoneon), Alfredo Mazzeo and Juan D'Arienzo (violins), Ángel D'Agostino, firstly, and Alfonso Lacueva, later, (piano) and José Puglisi (double bass).

In 1928, along with Alfredo Mazzeo, he co-led a group that appeared on Radio Prieto. In that radio program, a new artist appeared weekly, and it was there where Aníbal Troilo and Francisco Fiorentino met.

In the early years of the 30s he put together his own tango orchestra. In 1935 the personnel of his ensemble included, among others: Ángel Domínguez, Jorge Argentino Fernández, Aníbal Troilo (bandoneonists) ­who had quit the Sexteto Vardaro­, Hugo Baralis (violin), Alberto Echagüe (singer). They appeared at the Casanova cabaret and at the Teatro Paris. D'Agostino himself introduced his singer, Alberto Echagüe, to Juan D'Arienzo, who invited him to Radio El Mundo to listen to his orchestra. Then, one of the most popular teams of the forties was born: D'Arienzo-Echagüe.

In 1939 Alfredo Attadía joined them as lead bandoneon and arranger. In the mid- 1943 the bandoneonist and Ángel Vargas split with the leader to form their own team and the former was replaced by Eduardo Del Piano. A few months later, the singer came back with D’Agostino, and Attadía stayed with the musicians and went to Montevideo where he appeared for a year.

With D'Agostino, Del Piano wrote many arrangements and orchestra charts; the ones which stood out are “A pan y agua”, “De pura cepa”, “De corte criollo” and “El cornetín del tranvía” which starts with a bandoneon solo. There is no improvisation, he works out his solos and his variations with facility. With Vargas, they were showcased, because Ángel used to ask him a counter melody which had a wide acclaim in the public.

Without a chronological order, the following players appeared in his music groups:

Bandoneon players: Alberto Caracciolo, Domingo Mattio, Máximo Mori (1947/48), Ismael Spitalnik, Ciriaco Ortiz, Anselmo Aieta, Santiago Coppola, Alberto García, Salvador Cascone, Mario Rodas.

Violinists: Mario Perini (1939), Benjamín Holgado Barrio, Alberto del Bagno (1943/45), Víctor Felice, Víctor Braña (1944), Alberto del Mónaco.

In 1942 the violinist Bernardo Weber joined the D'Agostino orchestra, his debut was at the successful radio program Ronda de Ases, with the tango “La mariposa”. He always recalled how the leader was on edge, he scarcely prompted the beat of that tango. They played it very slowly, but the public liked it and from then on that was his style. It was the great attraction of the Salón Imperio.

The violinist Mario Perini also played the banjo and was arranger and composer. He had a long tenure with the D'Agostino orchestra and he also played with Osvaldo Fresedo and collaborated with the arrangements.

Double bass players: Francisco De Lorenzo, Pedro Caracciolo, Romeo Morro.

He had important vocalists. Among them, the most outstanding one was Ángel Vargas, who became an icon of the orchestra. In 1930 when the Cine Edix (on Corrientes and Callao) was opened there was a show and, among the artists, Francisco Fiorentino with D’Agostino sang the refrain of some tangos.

In 1940 Ángel Vargas joined the D'Agostino orchestra in which he stayed for six years, and committed 94 tracks to disc, true gems of the genre. That same year, Eduardo Del Piano switched to the Ángel D'Agostino’s group, after Alfredo Attadía’s withdrawal. It was in the short period when Ángel Vargas quit the orchestra and returned soon later. His tenure with D’Agostino lasted until September 10, 1946, date of the last recording. Thereafter, the definitive breaking up of the singer, who went to the province of Mendoza to appear on Radio Aconcagua on a five-month contract.

In 1946 Antonio García (Tito), dancer and bandoneon player, who run a dancing academy on 1671 Corrientes Avenue, connected his brother, the singer Tino García, with D'Agostino, with whom he appeared on the radio and a large number of clubs and dancing venues. With this orchestra he succeeded in recording for the first time, furthermore, it was the only one with which he went to the recording studios.

Between 1951 and 1957, Rubén Cané joined the new D'Agostino orchestra, sharing the bill with the vocalists Tino García and Ricardo Ruiz. Other vocalists: Ricardo Ruiz (1953), Roberto Alvar (1959/62), Raúl Lavié (1963).

Additonal information: in 1942 the dancer El Pibe Palermo made his debut at the Palermo Palace salon with the Ángel D'Agostino orchestra and with Carmencita Calderón as dancing partner.