Roberto Selles

Armenonville - Story of the tango "Armenonville"

arlos Bonifacio Diego Lanzavechia and Manuel Loureiro met for the first time in 1892, when both were working as waiters at the Hotel Vignolles, in San Isidro, a locality of the province of Buenos Aires.

Two decades later, in the late 1911, as partners they opened the renowned restaurant Armenonville, on Avenida Alvear (today, Avenida del Libertador General San Martín) and Tagle street.

«The bandoneon player Juan Maglio —Pacho— was among the closest friends of the owners of the local —as Georgina Paván de De Tomaso, Lanzavechia's granddaughter informs us— and because of that he precisely named “Armenonville” one of his tangos».

Armenonville” was the third tango composed by Maglio; “El zurdo” and “Un copetín” had preceded it. The three appeared in 1912 and in that same year their composer committed the former to record which was the first recording of his orchestra (José Bonano —Pepino— on cornet-violin, Carlos Hernani Macchi on flute, Luciano Ríos on seven stringed-guitar and he himself, of course, on bandoneon), recorded on Columbia Record, T 520, matrix 56.606.

Juan S. Balerio published the sheet music, on whose cover an illustration representing Armenonville's facade could be seen with the following dedication: «For the distinguished gentlemen: Loureiro and Lanzavechia». The boom of the piece was such, by then, that in a short time six editions of a thousand numbers each were sold out.

Another Maglio's tango, “Royal Pigall”, reached a similar boom, dedicated in 1916 to the cabaret of the same name, also owned by Lanzavechia and Loureiro, now in partnership with Alejandro Lombart.

Coming back to Armenonville, Vicente Greco's was the first orchestra that played in it. Other musical numbers were —according to the interesting book El lejano Armenonville, written by María Luisa Lanzavechia de Paván, daughter of one of the owners—, the orchestras of Francisco Canaro, Roberto Firpo, the piano and violin duet by Bienvenida and José Orzali, and the Gardel-Razzano vocal duo. Inexplicably, Juan Maglio never played at that venue.

Published in the Sunday magazine of the Crónica daily paper.

Other recordings of "Armenonville":
Quartet Juan Maglio —Pacho— (1912)
Orchestra Juan Maglio —Pacho— (1929)
Orchestra Roberto Firpo (1922)
Quartet Los Ases (1942)
Orchestra Juan D'Arienzo (1970)
Quartet Juan Cedrón (1995)
Los Muchachos De Antes
Orchestra Miguel Villasboas
Panchito Cao y sus Muchachos de Antes