El Marne Tango
Fea Tango
Oscar Zucchi

Orquesta Típica Osvaldo Fresedo

he first group that Osvaldo Fresedo led was a quartet that made its debut on May 31, 1913. Personnel: Osvaldo (bandoneon), Emilio Fresedo (violin) and the brothers Pedro Barreto and Martín Barreto (guitars).

In 1914 Pedro Barreto quit and the group continued as a trio with the remaining members. Later he formed another group with Enrique Modesto (violin) and Antonio Basso (piano).

In 1915, he put together a series of trios, firstly, with the Uruguayan Manuel Aróztegui (piano) and Paulino Fasciola (violin). Later, with his brother Emilio Fasciola (violin) and El Negro José Ricardo (guitar)(before his association with Carlos Gardel).

He continued with his brother and José Pracánico (piano), Francisco Pracánico’s brother «who played tango very well» (according to Fresedo’s comments). At the Cabaret Montmartre and at the Royal Pigall (later Tabarís): Fresedo (bandoneon and leadership), Francisco Canaro and Julio Doutry (violins), José Martínez (piano) and Leopoldo Thompson (double bass).

On December 1, 1917, for the first time, he was not fronting an aggregation. He appeared with the Firpo-Canaro giant orchestra at the Teatro Colón of Rosario.

In 1918 the first Orquesta Fresedo appeared at the Casino Pigall with the leader on bandoneon, Julio De Caro, Juan Koller (violins), José María Rizzuti (piano) and Hugo Ricardo Baralis (double bass).

July 1919: Fresedo and Pedro Maffia (bandoneons), Juan Koller and Julio De Caro (violins), José María Rizzuti (piano) and Hugo Ricardo Baralis (double bass).

On Spring Day, for the Sexto Baile del Internado (Internship Sixth Ball) : Fresedo, Ricardo Brignolo, Luis Minervini, Roque Biafore and Luis D’Abbraccio (bandoneons), Rafael Rinaldi, Julio Doutry, Juan Koller, Julio De Caro, Bernardo Germino, Emilio Ferrer and Arturo Abruzese (violins), José María Rizzuti, Enrique Delfino and José Martínez (pianos), Hugo Ricardo Baralis and Olindo Sinibaldi (string basses).

In 1920, Fresedo, Tito Roccatagliata and Enrique Delfino went to Camden, New Jersey (United States) to record for the Victor Company. There Alberto Infantas Arancibia (violin) and the German Herman Meyer (cello) were added to put together the Orquesta Típica Select.

In 1921, the Orquesta Fresedo that played at the Casino Pigall was led by Pedro Polito and was without Fresedo who was in the United States. When the latter came back the personnel of the orchestra was as follows: Osvaldo Fresedo and Pedro Polito (bandoneons), Miguel Orlando, Julio De Caro and Manlio Francia (violins), José María Rizzuti (piano) and Hugo Ricardo Baralis (double bass). Thereafter he put together the Cuarteto de Maestros with Tito Roccatagliata, Enrique Delfino and Agesilao Ferrazzano. Time later Delfino quit and was replaced by Juan Carlos Cobián.

In 1922, in Mar del Plata: the Fresedo, Juan Carlos Cobián, Tito Roccatagliata and Roberto Zerrillo quartet. Later Zerrillo was replaced by Manlio Francia and Luis Minervini (bandoneon) was added. At the Abdullah Club (basement of the Galería Güemes on Florida Street), Fresedo and Alberto Rodríguez (bandoneons), Tito Roccatagliata, Manlio Francia alternating with Agesilao Ferrazzano (violins), Juan Carlos Cobián and, later, José María Rizzuti (piano) and Leopoldo Thompson (double bass). When they played other genres the Spaniard Francisco Ortega (saxophone) was included.

In 1923, again in Mar del Plata: Fresedo, Alberto Rodríguez (bandoneons), Manlio Francia and Juan Koller (violins), José María Rizzuti (piano) and Carmelo Mutarelli (double bass).

In 1924, at the Abdullah Club: Fresedo, Alberto Rodríguez and Pastor Trivelli (bandoneons), Manlio Francia, Adolfo Muzzi and Juan Koller (violins), José María Rizzuti (piano), Carmelo Mutarelli alternating with Humberto Costanzo (double bass), Raúl Fresedo (drums). At the eleventh and last Baile del Internado where he introduced his tango “El once (A divertirse)” he appeared with the same lineup.

In 1925, he backed up Gardel with his orchestra in two recordings, “Fea” and “Perdón viejita”. The players possibly were (according to Luis Adolfo Sierra) Fresedo and Alberto Rodríguez (bandoneons), Adolfo Muzzi and Juan Koller (violins), José María Rizzuti (piano) and Humberto Costanzo (double bass).

In 1926, the impresario of a cabaret, Eduardo Calvo, who admired him, opened a café which he called Bar Fresedo. It was opposite the Teatro Politeama (Corrientes and Paraná). He had to put together a parallel aggregation with Fresedo and Miguel Caló (bandoneons), José María Rizzuti (piano) and Adolfo Muzzi (violin).

In 1927, the regular orchestra was at the Tabarís, the other at the Bar Fresedo and a third one at the Casino Pigall which included Nicolás Vaccaro (piano), Francisco Della Rocca, Pascual Storti and José Della Rocca (bandoneons), Ateo Dapiaggi and José Lorito, sometimes Samy Friedenthal (violins), and Angel Corletto who alternated with Hugo Ricardo Baralis (double bass). At the Cine Fénix in the neighborhood of Flores, he formed another group: Carlos Di Sarli (piano), Américo Bianchi and Emilio Bianchi, later replaced by César Ginzo and Tito Landó (bandoneons), José Lorito, alternating with José Pécora and David Abramsky (violins), Ángel Corleto (double bass). Later, Luis Bernstein and Abraham Krauss (double bass). It is the debut of its first refrain singer (estribillista), Juan Carlos Thorry. At the Bar Fresedo other musicians also played: Alfonso Lacueva (piano) Luis Minervini and José Della Rocca (bandoneons), José Lorito and Juan Cruz Mateo (violins) and Carmelo Mutarelli (double bass).

In 1928, in Paris, hired by the Nouvelle Garrón. The ones who traveled were: the leader, Alberto Rodríguez, Luis Minervini, Adolfo Muzzi, Juan Koller, José María Rizzuti, Humberto Costanzo and Ernesto Famá. After a time Rodríguez, Rizzuti and Muzzi returned and Nicolás Vaccaro, José Lorito and José Salvatore (bandoneon) replaced them. Famá also quit but he was replaced. In a photograph of the new lineup Carlos Espósito (bandoneon), a Genaro Espósito’s brother who was in Paris, appears.

In 1929, from Paris they traveled to New York. Nicolás Vaccaro was replaced by the German Otto Montbruk, later by Sebastián Lombardo (pianist and orchestrator). Genaro Veiga, Pilar Arcos and Fortunio Bonanova (refrain singers).

In 1930, he returned to Argentina. At the Cine Metropol (later Atlas) on Lavalle Street: Fresedo and Juan Salvatore (bandoneons), Manlio Francia, Juan Cruz Mateo and José Lorito (violins), Alfredo Corleto (double bass) and Roberto Díaz on vocals.

In 1933, a new orchestra: Fresedo, Pascual Storti, Juan Salvatore, later Ángel Farina, replaced by Luis Petrucelli and, shortly, Eduardo Del Piano (bandoneons), Adolfo Muzzi, Pedro Desrets and José Lorito (violins), Sebastián Lombardo (piano), Humberto Costanzo (double bass), Saly Nisguritz (drums), Tomás Fumo (sax), Roberto Ray (singer). Later, Rizzuti returned and the singer and guitarist for other genres was Charles Wimer.

In 1934, the third trip to the United States without his orchestra took place. There the National Broadcasting Company offered him to conduct the New York Symphony Orchestra (that Arturo Toscanini used to conduct) with the lead violinist, Remo Bolognini. The singer was Carlos Spaventa. The following year, on his comeback to Argentina, he included vibraphone, harp and again drums. So he appeared on November 29, 1935 when LR1 Radio El Mundo opened.

In 1936: Fresedo, Luis Petrucelli, Pascual Storti and Ulderico Panella (bandoneons), Adolfo Muzzi, José Lorito, Pedro Desrets and Mario Perini (violins), José María Rizzuti and Ricardo Desrets (pianos), Humberto Costanzo (double bass), Charles Wimer (American guitar), Saly Nisguritz (drums and vibes), Nélida Gianneo (harp), Ricardo Ruiz, Roberto Díaz and Roberto Ray (vocalists).

In 1939, on Radio El Mundo, only as leader: Luis Petrucelli, Pascual Storti, Ulderico Panella (bandoneons), Víctor Felice, José Lorito, Pedro Desrets and Mario Perini (violins), Demetrio Riseti, later, Do Reis (viola), De Luca (drums and vibes), Nélida Gianneo (harp), Lalo Scalise (piano), Hugo Ricardo Baralis, later Tito Colom (he changed his name to Ray Nolan when he switched to jazz), Ricardo Ruiz, Carlos Mayel and, for recording one number, Carlos Roldán (singers).

Between 1941-1945: in 1941 Luis Petrucelli passed away and his place was taken by Héctor Artola, Federico Scorticati replaced Ulderico Panella. A conflict and a new orchestra: Ángel Ramos, Félix Lipesker and Anselmo Esmella (bandoneons), Elvino Vardaro, Simón Blech, Antonio Casanova and Augusto Frediers (violins), Emilio Barbato (piano), Nerón Ferrazzano (cello), Raúl Muñoz (double bass), De Luca (vibraphone), Nélida Gianneo (harp), Oscar Serpa (vocals).

In 1946: Ángel Ramos, Julio Ahumada and Hamlet Calise (bandoneons), Domingo Varela Conte, Antonio Casanova, José Amatriain and Oberti (violins), Emilio Barbato (piano), Nerón Ferrazzano (cello), Raúl Muñoz (double bass), Nélida Gianneo (harp), Oscar Serpa (vocals).

In 1948, Osvaldo Cordó joined them and Roberto Ray returned (singers). The previous year Ángel Ramos had quit and Mariano Rodas (bandoneon) is included. Also Emilio Barbato left and was replaced by Lalo Scalise. That year Fresedo bought the Cabaret Rendez Vouz, on Maipú 854.

In 1950, Roberto Pansera, who was only 18 years old became the lead bandoneon player and was in charge of a great number of arrangements. The lineup: Pansera, Américo Caggiano (replaced later by Roberto Pérez Prechi) and Mariano Rodas —also Oscar Baglione alternated— (bandoneons), Domingo Varela Conte, Pedro Lopérfido, José Amatriain and Antonio Casanova, sometimes Ángel Bodas (violins), Lalo Scalise (piano), Enrique Bourguet (cello) and Raúl Muñoz (double bass), Nélida Gianneo (harp).

In 1951-1952 the singers Armando Garrido, later Héctor Pacheco and Carlos Barrios were included. Pansera continued his bandoneon playing until 1954, but he did not stop his work as arranger, now with the collaboration of Roberto Pérez Prechi. José Márquez appeared on piano.

In 1955: Roberto Pérez Prechi, Pedro Vidaurre and José Appendino (bandoneons), Domingo Varela Conte, Pedro Lopérfido, Juan Scaffino, Manolo Baya Gómez —later Claudio González instead of Varela Conte— (violins), José Márquez (piano), Jorge Eduardo González (viola), Ignacio Fuster and later, Flavio Russo, José Bragato and Ricardo Francia (cello), Rufino Arriola and later Raúl Muñoz (double bass), Fortunato Pugliano (drums and vibes), Héctor Pacheco and Carlos Barrios (singers).

In 1958-1961, the singer Héctor De Rosas entered and Pacheco left. Thereafter, in 1959, the singers were Hugo Marcel and Blanca Mooney. For some recordings Carlos Barrios and Ricardo Ruiz returned and Oscar Luna, Roberto Bayot and the melodic singer Roberto Yanés were included. In this period the orchestra did not appear regularly. Roberto Pérez Prechi, José Appendino and Pedro Vidaurre (bandoneons) continued. The latter quit bandoneon and picked up cello to soon join the Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra. Manolo Baya, Elvino Vardaro, Juan Scaffino, Pedro Lopérfido, José Nieso and Enrique Francini (violins), the latter two were only included for recordings. As from 1960, José Márquez alternated on piano with Roberto Cicaré. Enrique Bourguet (cello), Domingo Donnaruma (double bass), José Pugliano (drums and vibes).

In 1966, his last vocalist, Osvaldo Arana, was included but he did not cut any recording. Later he recorded four numbers which were not released commercially with Fresedo’s authorization on the tracks that had been recorded for Oscar Luna and Roberto Yanés.

His last ball and his last performance was at the Sociedad Rural Argentina in December 1969 with Roberto Cicaré (piano), Roberto Pérez Prechi, Pedro Vidaurre and José Appendino (bandoneons), Manuel Baya, Pedro Lopérfido, Bautista Huerta and José Nieso (violins), Jorge Eduardo González (viola), Enrique Bourguet (cello), Juan Carlos Moyano (drums), Raúl Muñoz (double bass), Osvaldo Arana (vocals).

In 1970, after a health problem, Fresedo withdrew from the show business activity for ten years. And, in 1979, he accepted to return for recording a disc. His musicians: R. Pérez Prechi, Marcos Madrigal, Ernesto Baffa and Osvaldo Montes (bandoneons), Antonio Agri, Hugo Baralis, Aquiles Aguilar, Manuel Baya Gómez, Mauricio Marcelli, Emilio González, Pedro Lopérfido, Simón Broitman, José Votti and Carlos Arnaiz (violins), R. Cicaré (piano), Enri Balestro and Rodolfo Fernández (violas), Alfredo López Echeverría and Daniel Pucci (cellos), Raúl Muñoz (double bass), Carlos Nicolini (electric bass), Mateo Juan Giarruzzo (vibraphone), José Corriale (percussion), Roberto Pansera (arrangements).

There was another record for the Columbia label, but Fresedo was unable to do anything. It was without him, under the conduction and arrangements by Pansera. The singers were Argentino Ledesma and Hugo García. This recording cannot be regarded as belonging to his discography. It is worthwhile mentioning the beautiful arrangement of the Arolas’s number, “El Marne”, written by Pansera.