Eduardo Fornarini

Real name: Fornarini, Eduardo
Nicknames: E.F.
Composer and teatcher
(1887 - 1967)
Place of birth:
Parma Italy
León Benarós

t was Alberto S. Poggi the one who revealed the mystery that had intrigued us: The one who had composed the tango compadre with a quite popular title: "Piantá piojito que viene el peine" (Get away, litle louse! Here comes the comb)? According to the expressive front cover of the edition, the “little louse”, in this case, was a street young urchin that that was running terrified by the chase of the “comb” of the case, a cop dressed in the style customary by the end of the ninetieth century: a big white helmet, gaiters on shoes and a menacing saber hanging from his belt.

As we said above, the clue about the composer of this tango was given to us by Poggi, author, among other compositions, of "No le hagas caso", "Don Clemente" (tangos), "Caras y caretas" (Boston waltz) and "Siempre cariñosa" (military polka).

Poggi –to whom Ángel Villoldo dedicated the tango "El bohemio"- was an old employee of the Celestino Fernández music house where we interviewed him. He told us that the initials E.F. that appear as signature of his tangos belong no less than to the renowned music maestro Eduardo Fornarini.

Maestro Antonio Eduardo D’Agostino, almost one hundred years old, —the first teacher of the later well-known Sebastián Piana— told us that Fornarini had arrived in our country from Italy. He had been hired by the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia but after some disagreements with the directors of the institution he returned to his country. But fortunately before he left he trained a generation of young talented musicians that later became high level figures.

The music dictionaries have not given him the outstanding place that Fornarini deserved, especially as brilliant educator. Anyhow, in the “Enciclopedia de la música argentina”, published by the Fondo Nacional de las Artes, his author, the late talented musician and historian Rodolfo Arizaga, offers the following information:

«Fornarini, Eduardo (1887 – 1967). Italian educator and composer, born in Parma. His musical studies were at the Parma conservatory. He settled in Buenos Aires by the end of the ninetieth century and stayed until 1920 when he returned to his country to work as instructor at the Alla Scala de Milano theater. His long stay in Argentina allowed him to stand out as pianist and violinist and, occasionally, as orchestra conductor. But teaching counterpoint and composition was his memorable labor, the most outstanding of his period. He was the teacher of many of the early Argentine composers: José María Castro, Juan José Castro, Luis Gianneo and Juan Carlos Paz, among others».

What an honor for tango that a maestro of his level had composed popular music! And no less than a “tango compadre” like the above mentioned “¡Piantá piojito que viene el peine!”.

Director’s Note:

Of his activity as composer we shall mention some of his most important numbers: the tangos "El chiflao", "Locos de verano", "Más o menos" and "Piantá piojito que viene el peine".

He also wrote pieces of classical music: “La última cena”, a cantata for solos, choir and orchestra; “Canticum canticorum”, vocal poem; “Resurrectio et vita”, symphonic poem; “Tres baladas”, concerto for orchestra and “Coral variado”, concerto for organ.

About Alberto S. Poggi we can add that he was owner after 1915 of the “David Poggi e Hijo Editores” music house, founded in 1860 by his father and that later continued under his name.