Carlos Hernani Macchi

Real name: Macchi, Carlos Hernani
Violinist, flutist and composer
(1878 - 13 July 1929)
Place of birth:
Ricardo García Blaya

e do not have precise information about his place of birth and the date he was born but some of the researchers we have consulted state that he was born in Buenos Aires in 1878.

His first instrument was the violin. His elder brother taught him the first lessons. By the end of the ninetieth century and beginning of the twentieth they together organized, also with the flutist Luis Teisseire, -the composer of “Entrada prohibida”- and some occasional guitarist -according to Héctor Ernié, one may have been Eusebio Aspiazú (Cieguito)- an orchestra that played at balls at backyards and cheap cafes near the Mercado de Abasto. Some authors also mention the violinist Julián Urdapilleta as sideman.

Soon thereafter he switched violin for flute and, in 1910, he joined the Domingo Santa Cruz’s orchestra to play at the Café La Morocha. It was a quartet that also included Alcides Palavecino (violin) —some evenings Julio Orioli played as substitute— and Juan Santa Cruz —Domingo’s brother— (piano). He dedicated his tango “Santa Cruz” to the bandleader and the latter, instead, dedicated to the former one entitled “Hernani”.

Two years later he joined the aggregation led by Juan Maglio (Pacho) that appeared on the stage of the Café La Paloma to a great acclaim. Because of that gig they were hired to record for the Columbia label and became the Orquesta Típica Criolla Juan Maglio Pacho, that in fact was a quartet that also included José Bonano aka Pepino (violin) and Luciano Ríos (7-string guitar).

In 1913, he split with Maglio to form, with Bonano (violin), Leopoldo Thompson (guitar) and Juan Manuel Firpo (bandoneon), the Cuarteto Típico Criollo La Armonía.
When the quartet disbanded he again played with Pacho until around 1920.

He also carried out a wide work as educator and assistant to other musicians because he transcribed to the music staff a large number of pieces composed by fellow musicians that were unable to write music. In his domicile he as well taught to play all the instruments of the tango orchestra.

Towards the end of his life he wrote an important bandoneon playing method (editorial Balerio y Bonini, 74 pages) with transcriptions of Czerny, Clementi, Chopin and other composers.

He was teacher of, among others, Manuel Aróztegui —composer of “El Cachafaz”— and close friend of Eduardo Arolas. Macchi was the one who in 1909 wrote on the music staff “Una noche de garufa”, the first tango composed by El Tigre del Bandoneón. He did the same in 1912 with the Agustín Bardi’s opera prima, the tango “Vicentito [b]”, when the latter was still unable to write music.

Even though his numbers reached a certain acclaim, it was only in his time. However he was a substancial composer.

Of his many pieces we can mention: the tangos “Amanda”, “Andresito”, “Anita”, “Buen amigo [b]”, “Curupaity”, “Chacabuco”, “Don Quijote”, “El clásico”, “El fierrazo”, “El gracioso”, “El impertinente”, “El Maldonado”, “El Paisanito”, “El reservado”, “El rey de la copa”, “Gente fina”, “La bruja [c]”, “Ladiate”, “La montaña de las brujas”, “María Angélica”, “Meté tiza”, “Neutral”, “Olivos”, “Pepino”, “Primer agua [b]”, “Puro brillo”, “Sacale el jugo”, “San Isidro”, “Sarita”, “Un boleto a ganador”, “Villa Crespo”; the waltzes “Carmencita”, “Dulce ilusión”, “Emilia”, “Jirones del alma”, “Lía”, “Lo pensaré”, “María Luisa”; the two- step march “Fleur d’amour”; the polkas “Buenas noches”, “Dolce sorri”, “Ingrata”, “Rosas de primavera”; the mazurkas “Adelina [b]”, “Gotas de oro”, “Hojas secas”; the estilos “Amor campero”, “Hora triste”, “María [c]”, “Mis lágrimas [b]”; the vidalita “A mi madre [e]”; the gato “El chiripá”; the zamacueca “La pueblera”; the song “Nocturno a Rosario [b]” and the national air “La querencia”.

He signed some of his numbers with the sobriquet M. Hernani like, for example, “El trovador [b]” (Il trovatore), transcription for bandoneon of a fantasia based on the Verdi’s opera with the same name.

He passed away at age fifty-one of a heart attack.