Sunday, June 8, 2008

Angel Vargas - El ruiseñor de las calles porteñas(The nightingale of Buenos Aires streets)

I think I mentioned somewhere that I would like to dance like the way that Angel Vargas sings.

If you are one of those dancers who run off the dance floor whenever the DJ starts a tanda of music by Angel D'Agostino with Angel Vargas because it is not the type of music that suits your fancy triple enganche/triple colgada drag, jump and fling combos, then you will have no idea what I'm talking about here.

I am not going to regurgitate facts about the life of Angel Vargas - you can read a pretty good account of his life and works here at the Todotango website.

How listening to Vargas makes me feel is a secret treasure in my heart and something I just don't want to share, like our experiences with our tango parents Martha and Manolo. I am not a good enough writer to express myself about this with words - any attempt would sound tawdry, clichéd and banal.

I also figure that if you still don't "get it" even after you have listened to Vargas (or after you had spent some time with Martha and Manolo), you're simply not yet at a stage where you will "get it". No amount of expository writing by yours truly will fix that, and worse, I would be telling you what you should be feeling and thinking instead of letting you evolve to a stage in which you can understand what I mean.

However, I will say this:

Listening to Vargas, you never get the feeling that his ego gets in the way of the music. Yet he is entirely his own person. Strength in humility.

Talking to porteños - no matter if they are dancers, teachers, waiters, taxi drivers, or just anybody on the street - mention any other singer as your favourite and I guarantee you'll get a bit of a debate. However, if you say that your favourite tangos are by "D'Agostino con Vargas", and you will find eyes lighting up, and heads nodding in agreement - "Muy lindo, muy lindo."

And no matter how disgusted, annoyed or exasperated I get when experiencing the sheer ugliness of encounters with the ignorant and the egoistical, the users and the abusers of Tango, listening to Vargas sing makes the whole vain world fall away.

I love D'Arienzo's version of "La Bruja" with Alberto Echague to bits, but the 1955 version by Angel Vargas and Alejandro Scarpino's trio is a whole other revelation:

La Bruja
Musica J. Polito
Letra F. Gorrindo
Ahogando ese grito que sube del pecho
y llega a los labios cargado de rencor,
yo vuelvo a tu lado, atadas las manos,
pero pa'decirte que todo acabó.

Que ya no me importa,
tu risa o tu llanto,
que a fuerza de coraje
enfrié el corazón.

Y que hoy como nunca,
mirando de cerca,
te veo realmente
así como sos.

La bruja, que ayer fuera reina
de todo mi ser,
hoy roto el encanto
no es más que mujer.

La bruja, montón de caprichos
que me esclavizó,
hoy es un paisaje
cubierto de horror.

Me vuelvo a una vida
sencilla y honrada,
me vuelvo a un cariño
que es noble y leal,
y puede que un día
curada mi alma
a fuerza de hombría
levante un hogar,
entonces acaso
me habré redimido
y vos para entonces
quien sabe si sos,
un cacho de invierno
cargado de frío,
un resto de vida
un poco de tos...!"


Unknown said...

Thank you Irene!! La Bruja has always been one of my favourites but I haven't heard this version before. It is sublime.

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Susanita,

Thanks for enjoying the song! I heard a preview snippet of it on the Zival's website and I knew I just had to get the CD! Too bad there aren't more CDs with Angel Vargas singing to guitars - the beauty of his voice and his phrasing really stands out in this format.

Bruno Afonso said...

Beautiful, simply beautiful... I have never danced to this version yet.. but that will change soon :-) Sounds like a perfect music to put on the ipod and dance with a special friend or...

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