Orquesta Típica Francisco Canaro
t is a difficult task to get the name of the musicians who joined the different lineups of Francisco Canaro, furthermore, if we take into account his appearances abroad, where due to necessity or obligation, he had to turn to local players. Anyway, we think that the listing below is very important, divided into sections according to each instrument.
He launched his career in 1906, when he was only eighteen. He made his debut at the then town of Ranchos, which today is the head of the General Paz district, 120 kilometers south from Buenos Aires and 83 km from La Plata. It was a fifty-five-year career which lasted until the time, one day in 1964, when was talking on the phone with an official of the Odeon label, about a next recording session when Death began to haunt him relentlessly. He lived with an addiction to work. That juvenile adventure with a trio, his violin alongside Martín Arrevillaga (mandolin) and Rodolfo Duclós (guitar), became a landmark in tango history and in all our Argentine music.
Thanks to the contribution of the academician Carlos Puente, we have unearthed some lineups which are not complete, but which stand out the most important names of each period.
1927: Luis Riccardi (piano); Minotto Di Cicco, Enrique Bianchi, Edmundo Bianchi, Mario Canaro (bandoneons); Ernesto Ponzio, Mario Brugni, Francisco Canaro, Cayetano Puglisi (violins); Vicente Sciarreta (double bass).
In 1929 his symphony orchestra was put together: Luis Riccardi (piano); Federico Scorticati, Ángel Ramos, Ciriaco Ortiz, Héctor Moggio (bandoneons); Cayetano Puglisi, Octavio Scaglione, Mario Brugni, Mauricio Mise (violins); José Ranieri Virdo (flute and trumpet); Olindo Sinibaldi (double bass); Saly Nisguritz (drums).
1933: Luis Riccardi (piano); Ángel Ramos, Minotto Di Cicco, Ernesto Di Cicco (bandoneons); Cayetano Puglisi, Octavio Scaglione, Mario Brugni (violins); José Ranieri Virdo (flute and trumpet); Saly Nisguritz (drums) and Olindo Sinibaldi (double bass).
As for José Ranieri Virdo, he was a musician especially praised by Canaro because he was featured in the tango “Silencio”, when the orchestra accompanied Carlos Gardel in the recording made on March 27, 1933.
1938: Luis Riccardi (piano); Ángel Ramos, Minotto Di Cicco, Héctor Artola (bandoneons); Juan José Gallastegui; Mario Brugni, Octavio Scaglione, Dante Napolitano (violins); Cayetano Bippo (sax); José Ranieri Virdo (flute and trumpet); Vicente Merico (clarinet); Olindo Sinibaldi (double bass).
From 1941 to 1945: Mariano Mores (piano); Minotto Di Cicco, Alfredo De Franco, Héctor Giannassi, Carlos Lazzari (bandoneons); Antonio D'Alessandro, Octavio Scaglione (violins); José Ranieri Virdo (flute and trumpet); Vicente Merico (clarinet); Adolfo Krauss (double bass).
In the 50s: Normando Lazara, Oscar Sabino —on some occasions: Salvador Nicosia and Luis Riccardi—(piano); Minotto Di Cicco, Oscar Bassil (bandoneons); Antonio D'Alessandro, Octavio Scaglione (violins); José Alegre (double bass).
Without keeping a chronological order, we mention the following names, classified by musical instrument.
Guitarists: Rodolfo Duclós, Feliciano Herrera (aka Vizcacha), Félix Camarano (aka El Tuerto), Pablo Bustos, Domingo Salerno.
Pianists: Samuel Castriota, José Martínez, Humberto Canaro, Rafael Canaro, Fioravanti Di Cicco, Domingo Greco, Roberto Firpo [hijo] Jr., Lucio Demare, Carlos Figari, Oscar Sabino, Sebastián Piana.
Violinists: Rafael Rinaldi, Julio Doutry, Agustín Bardi, Tito Roccatagliata, Rafael Tuegols, Agesilao Ferrazzano, Emilio Puglisi, Domingo Demare, Armando Angeletti, José Sarmiento, Ángel de la Rosa, José Cacopardo, Hugo Baralis, Reynaldo Nichele, Bernardo Weber, Ángel Bodas, Claudio González, Mauricio Mise, Manuel Baya Gómez, Ismael Aguilar, Clemente Arnaiz, Adolfo Muzzi, Domingo Varela Conte, Adolfo Helman, Pedro Cincuegrani, Alfredo Barone, José Cukerman, Mario D'Alessandro, Fernando Suárez Paz, A. Prat.
Violists: R. Glasberg, Francisco Molo.
Cellist: S. Glasberg.
Flutists: José Fuster, Juvencio Física, José Ranieri Virdo.
In his memoirs, Canaro tells us who his first flutist was. He appeared to him on their initial tour. After his debut in Ranchos, the road was leading him until he found himself in San Pedro. There he requested for a musician and they recommended him someone known as El Cuervo, who according to what Canaro said, was a fat Indian whose face seemed to be the one of a crow. He included him in the group, he was just that, a flutist, but he had a problem, between one piece and another, he used to fall asleep. He never knew his real name.
Bandoneon players: Leopoldo Ruiz (aka El Chivo) (1907), Vicente Loduca (1908), Ricardo González (aka Muchila), Augusto Berto, Juan Santa Cruz, Pedro Polito, Osvaldo Fresedo, Juan Canaro, Carlos Marcucci, Vicente Greco, Miguel Orlando, Graciano De Leone, Luis Petrucelli, Ramón Torreyra, Domingo Scapola, Santos Maggi, Antonio Maggi, Domingo Federico, Antonio Germade, Alejandro Barletta, Julio Ahumada, Prudencio Aragón, Ricardo Pedevilla, Héctor Yannasi (in 1946 he changed his name to Alberto Castel), Orlando Sapia, Héctor Presas, Carlos Corrales, Néstor Vitale, José Libertella.
Double bass players: Leopoldo Thompson, Rafael Canaro (who also played piano and violin), Mario Canaro, Ariel Pedernera, Victorio Virgillito, A. Jonte, Juan Pecci, Valentín Andreotta, Rufino Arriola, Ángel Guerra.
Drummers and percussionists: Romualdo Lomoro, Roberto Blankeber, Luis Pastor, José Corriale, Pedro Batistella, José Sormani, Antonio Antonelli.
Trumpet players: El Tano Vicente, José Goldchestein, José Ranieri Virdo.
Clarinetists: Rafael Morelli, Eliseo Rosa, Mario Dellasanta.
Singers (who recorded with Canaro): José Muñiz, Roberto Díaz, Ernesto Famá, Agustín Irusta, Roberto Fugazot, Carlos Gardel, Ignacio Corsini, Roberto Ray, Charlo, Roberto Maida, Francisco Amor, Carlos Galán, Carlos Roldán, Eduardo Adrián, Domingo Conte, Ricardo Ruiz, Guillermo Rico, Carlos Dante (in Paris), Enrique Lucero (Mariano Mores’s brother), Armando Barbé, Jorge Ayala, Marcelo Paz, Mario Alonso, Juan Carlos Rolón, Enzo Valentino (for a movie in November 1961), Carlos Lombardi (Brazilian).
In Canaro’s Golden jubilee with tango, Jorge Negrete (the Mexican tenor singer), Rodolfo Galé and Argentino Ledesma sang.
The orchestra also backed the appearance of a large number of singers, among them, Hugo Del Carril, Francisco Fiorentino, Oscar Alonso, Enrique Dumas, Alberto Marino, Néstor Fabián, Roberto Rufino, Tino Rossi (a famous French tenor singer, in radio programs while he was in our country).
Female singers: Teresita Asprella, Linda Thelma, Carmen Alonso (an amateur singer who was by chance found on the ship that was taking the orchestra to the United States and replaced Linda Thelma who was ill), Isabel Sánchez, Azucena Maizani, Libertad Lamarque, Ada Falcón, Adhelma Falcón, Tita Merello, Nelly Omar, Dalva de Oliveira, Carmen Del Moral, Isabel de Grana, Amanda Las Heras, Alicia Vignoli, Manolita Poli, Delia Márquez, Élida Lacroix, Myrna Mores, Susy Del Carril, Maruja Pibernat, Chola Luna, Elena Lucena, Gloria Marín (for Canaro’s 50th anniversary with tango), Virginia Luque, Perla Greco.
Among others, he backed up Rosita Quiroga, Alba Solís, Rosanna Falasca, Olga Guillot, Nelly Vázquez.
His last appearance was on November 30, 1964 at the Palacio Peñarol in Montevideo.
Sources: Several notes in journals and magazines were checked, furthermore, we found information in Los Grandes del Tango magazine and the books Mi Biografía (My Biography), by Francisco Canaro, and Yo fui a Japón con Canaro (I went to Japan with Canaro), by Antonio D'Alessandro.