Néstor Pinsón

ango had already been introduced in Paris by the Gobbis and later by the legendary outpost in the early 1913 of the lyricist and dancer Enrique Saborido and the pianist and composer Carlos Vicente Geroni Flores. Some months later it continued with the arrival of the musicians Vidente Loduca, Celestino Ferrer, Eduardo Monelos and the dancer Casimiro Aín in The City of Light.

Quite soon Güerino Filipotto and Pepe Chuto arrived to Paris. With them all, tango began to spread. Some of them emigrated to the United States In 1914, others returned to Buenos Aires and the outbreak of World War I came.

When the war was over, tango went on strong and reached its peak with Manuel Pizarro’s presence. His name became a synonym of tango. He soon realized he had to take advantage of the circumstances and summoned his four brothers. So he came to front five Pizarro Orchestras.

In 1924 there was a new Argentine aggregation, the one led by Eduardo Bianco. But, previously, I will make a short account of his story.

Since a young age he had had a formal training. He studied violin in his hometown, Rosario, province of Santa Fe. When he was a boy he went to Buenos Aires to join some orchestra, but according to his own saying, he was not lucky. Then he tried to take a chance in Paris. But he was not merely one player more, he soon understood the public taste and tinged his tangos with a European flavor and was widely acclaimed in all the countries where he appeared.

His first gig was at the Capitol restaurant along with El Inglesito José Schumacher (bandoneon) and Luis Cosenza (piano). It was a six-month tenure. Thereafter he joined the ranks of El Tano Genaro Espósito and switched later to the ones of Manuel Pizarro. But his intention was not being a member of the orchestra, he had his own ideas.

To put them into practice he called Juan Bautista Deambroggio, (Bachicha), who was in Marseilles. He had been the lead bandoneon of Roberto Firpo and was a musician with an excellent training for that time. They teamed up to form the Orquesta Típica Bianco-Bachicha and opened the Cabaret Palermo located on the ground floor of the already famous El Garrón.

A few days later appeared an Argentine guitarist that came from Spain and had played with the brothers Julio Navarrine and Alfredo Navarrine in the Los de la Raza group. His name was: Horacio Pettorossi who was immediately included together with the drummer Mario Melfi and the bandoneonist Víctor Lomito. The rest were European players. Their debut was at the Washington Palace in 1925.

Among the vocalists that passed through the ranks of his orchestra we can mention Teresita Asprella, César Alberú, Juan Raggi and Bianco himself, as soloist or duetting with Pettorossi, with Raggi, and even in a humorous number that Bachicha and Melfi used to sing together. At that time everything was possible, the audience had fun and they had fun among them.

Later, without Bachicha, as refrain singers he had unknown names like José Cohan, Carlos Américo, Mario Visconte Aragonés and many more. As for his capabilities for singing, his voice was a fake one, ready for the occasion, with a small range, pleasant, similar to Juan Carlos Marambio Catán’s and which at times uttered a ritornello that reminded us of Ignacio Corsini.

He appeared at the most important venues: the Opera of Paris; the Capitol of Marseilles; the Real Cinema of Biarritz, the Opera of New York, the Metropolitan of Boston. His show achieved great acclaim because he was careful to appear with an attractive clothing and a sumptuous scenography. He imposed tango in quite different countries: Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Poland, Austria, Bulgaria and the Middle Orient.

In a chat with Lito Bayardo, Bianco confessed «I had the honor of being invited to perform before the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, and was praised by His Majesty who liked tango very much. I played in concerts in several courts, appearing for 17 months in Russia. I was congratulated by marshal Stalin after a performance in Moscow. The war surprised me playing concerts in Germany at the Deutsches Theater. I made my best to be far from the countries at war but I was unable to get a permit to leave. I have seen closely the horrors of war and one day, when we were trying to move away, attempting to cross a border, I was arrested in Innsbruck. We were set free thanks to the intervention of a military that liked tango. For me and my accompanists political ideologies were banned. I was a well-known bandleader and tango composer. However I was afraid of those who chased us night and day. This caused me heart troubles and I was hospitalized at a clinic in Magdeburg».

These concepts, in its time, were refuted by those who affirmed that Bianco had been a “collaborationist” during nazism. Even because of his famous tango “Plegaria”, called the tango of death.

Lastly in 1943, Bianco returned to our country and was hired to appear at the Teatro Nacional on Corrientes Avenue. Here’s a memory by our friend and collaborator Héctor Lucci: «I was eighteen years old and was eager to own a bandoneon. Then I read an ad at the La Prensa newspaper about the sale of two new bandoneons. That was on Uriburu Street, a block from Santa Fe Avenue. I went there and found an apartment, not quite big, with suitcases and half-opened chests. The man introduced himself as Eduardo’s elder brother and who was to travel before the latter to make it easier for him. As he needed money he asked me 180 pesos for each bandoneon. They were brand new black Doble A instruments with mother-of-pearl inlays and were bought in Germany. I bought him both.

«When I went to pick them up because I had not the money with me then, his brother, who had already arrived and was ready to premiere his show, aware of the sale, gave me four admission tickets. The show was quite interesting. At the end of it there was a standing ovation. On stage there was a twelve-piece orchestra. After the show I went to thank him».

Bianco had asthma, the weather of the capital city was not suitable for him. He was suggested to move to the south of our country and he relocated in Comodoro Rivadavia. But his audiences were in North America and in countries of the Middle Orient that required him. In 1950 he traveled again. Here he was an attraction for a short time, when the big orchestras of the forties were a boom.

He died in Buenos Aires. By mediation of Francisco Canaro his remains are at the SADAIC pantheon at the Cementerio del Oeste (Western Cemetery) of Chacarita.

He composed two tangos with lyrics by Lito Bayardo: “Tango romanza” and “Gringa gaucha”. Other numbers to be highlighted are “Poema” which was composed in collaboration by a group of musicians during a trip by train but recorded by Bianco and Mario Melfi; the above mentioned “Plegaria”, “Crepúsculo [b]”, “Perjuro”, “Congojas [c]”, “Sueña corazón” and a large number impossible to enumerate.