Rafael Flores

Gardel’s records

arlos Gardel, caring about his recordings, many times committed to record his voice in more than one take; he would personally choose later the one to be released. Collectors, from time to time, find an unknown item, among the discarded takes for the record release. They enjoy it with their peers in an almost ceremonial seclusion or surrender it for an eventual issue. Because of that, there is a fragment missing in the complete oeuvre, as it happens with any general knowledge. It seems that Gardel, furthermore, would have wanted it to be that way, as if knowing that an oeuvre will never encompass a life’s span.

On one occasion, Armando Defino, the testamentary executor and heir of Gardel’s personal collection, had hired a painter to restore his house. When they were moving the furniture in the salon, the man was astonished before a pile of lacquer discs among which there was one on whose label the following was written in handwriting: Carlos Gardel, "Lo han visto con otra".

The painter, touched by the finding, very enthusiastically asked Defino about it, so that the latter finally gave him the record. When working hours were over he took the record to Domingo Marucci, a radio emcee, a friend of his. That very evening for the first time Gardel’s voice singing "Lo han visto con otra" with accompaniment of piano and violin was broadcast. This piece which was among those which were never played for the public had been sleeping for over thirty years.

Like this one many other cases have occurred and still take place, half hazardly, from time to time... The last extraordinary finding was made by Horacio Ismael Atadía. He found in 2000, among the country elements and other utensils that his father had bought in auctions, a movie reel in which Gardel is starred singing "El quinielero" and an excerpt of "Amargura". These tango pieces are added to the ten numbers known of the film Encuadre de Canciones, directed by Eduardo Morera. The latter said on several occasions that the titles sung by Gardel in his movie had been fifteen. Nobody had evidence of their existence. We think that the immense oeuvre of the one also known as "El Mago" still has surprises waiting for us.

From the book: "Gardel y el tango. Repertorio de recuerdos", by Rafael Flores, Ediciones de la Tierra, Madrid: 2001.