Canyengue

2018-06-17 - Canyengue

Consistent with modern Buenos Aires usage the word may be pronounced Kan-zjéng-ay . But if you listen to a lot of early (pre-1940’s) singing of tango, the yeisma sounds more often like a Y than taking the modern ‘zh’ sound, so it probably was originally pronounced Can-yen-gue . Certainly this pronunciation is consistent with some of what we know of its early history. It was popular in the suburban districts of Buenos Aires from around 1900, perhaps 1890. In Lunfardo (Buenos Aires slang) the word implies ‘rough’, ‘of low social standing’ but its origins may be in a dance call in Ki-Kongo, an Afro-American language of Buenos Aires at the time—kanienge is a call to ‘Melt into the music!’ ‘Rhythmical walking’ is Marta Anton’s translation, or it may mean ‘lilting walk’. It was just one of the couple dances such as milonga that emerged in the same milieu. Afro-Argentine culture, the polka, and knife-fighting almost certainly contributed to it, but the precise mix of African, European, and Argentine influences and social circumstances that formed it is now lost. What we do know from photos is that this dance, the tango canyengue – rough tango – the tango of the orilleros, or outer lower-class suburbs – was what went to Paris in 1912 and took the world by storm over the following few years. This week features Canyengue from a series of orquestas exploring how it evolved from the very late 1920s onwards. That’s Tango Capital this Sunday evening from 7:00pm to 8:00pm:

Image: http://www.todotango.com/musica/tema/134/Las-cuarenta/

The name Las Cuarenta means  (roughly) ‘Years of the 40s’. This piece was written in 1937, long after tango had mutated into tango liso and then salon tango. This was the music of “el dos”, meaning “the two”, that is, in 2/4 time, with the distinctive quick-quick-slow rhythm played on the left hand of the piano particularly clear in bars 3 and 4.

PLAYLIST:

  •  Copo De Nieve , meaning ‘Snowflake’; recorded by Francisco Canaro on 20 July 1937; a canyengue with music composed by Raúl Cuello Rodríguez, lyrics by Denrique Miguel Gaudino, and sung by Roberto Maida.
  • No Cantes Ese Tango, meaning ‘Do Not Sing That Tango’; recorded by Francisco Canaro on 27 May 1937; a canyengue with music composed by Francisco Lomuto in 1937, lyrics by Rodolfo Blas Arrigorriaga, and sung by Roberto Maida.
  • Que Nadie Se Entere, meaning ‘Nobody Knows’; recorded by Francisco Canaro on 23 February 1937; a canyengue with music and lyrics composed by Alberto Gómez in 1936, and sung by Roberto Maida.
  • Nueve De Julio, meaning ‘Ninth Of July’; recorded by Cuarteto Guardia Vieja in 2005; a canyengue with music composed by José Luis Padula, first recorded in 1916 and lyrics by Lito Bayardo. The name is a reference to the annual celebration of Argentina’s independence.
  • Jueves, meaning ‘Thursday’; recorded by Cuarteto Guardia Vieja in 2005; a canyengue with music composed by Rafael Rossi, first recorded in 1919 and lyrics by Udelino Toranzo.
  • Cantando, meaning ‘Singing’; recorded by Adolfo Carabelli on 4 September 1931; a canyengue with music and lyrics composed by Mercedes Simone in 1931, and sung by Mercedes Simone and Alberto Gómez (Nico).
  • Mentira, meaning ‘Lie’; recorded by Adolfo Carabelli on 2 October 1931; a canyengue with music composed by Francisco Pracánico, first recorded in 1930, lyrics by Celadonio Flores, and sung by Carlos Lafuente.
  • Porqué, meaning ‘Why?’; recorded by Adolfo Carabelli on 2 November 1931; a canyengue with music composed by Osvaldo Fresedo in 1931, lyrics by Emilo Augusto Oscar Fresedo, and sung by Alberto Gómez (Nico).
  • Sentimiento Criollo, meaning ‘Argentine Feeling’; recorded by Roberto Firpo on 31 March 1939; a canyengue with music composed by Roberto Firpo, first recorded in 1913 and lyrics by Domingo V Lombardi.
  • El Horizonte, meaning ‘The Horizon’; composed by Roberto Firpo and recorded by him on 23 May 1938.
  • Matasano, from lunfardo, meaning ‘Doctor’; recorded by Roberto Firpo on 4 July 1937; a canyengue with music composed by Francisco Canaro in 1914.
  • El Chamuyo, meaning ‘The Chat’; recorded by Orquesta Típica Victor on 26 June 1930; a canyengue with music composed by Francisco Canaro, first recorded in 1918.
  • Filo Misho, from lunfardo, meaning ‘Poor Man’s Cash’; recorded by Orquesta Típica Victor on 8 May 1930; a canyengue with music composed by Marcos Larrosa.
  • Recuerdo, meaning ‘Memory’; recorded by Orquesta Típica Victor on 23 April 1930; a canyengue with music composed by Osvaldo Pugliese in 1924, lyrics by Eduardo Moreno, and sung by Roberto Díaz.
  • Hotel Victoria, meaning ‘Hotel Victoria’; recorded by La Tubatango in 2006; a canyengue with music composed by Feliciano Latasa in 1906 and lyrics by Carlos Pesce.
  • Pimienta, meaning ‘Pepper’; recorded by La Tubatango in 2006; a canyengue with music composed by Osvaldo Fresedo, first recorded in 1939.
  • Las Cuarenta, meaning ‘The Decade Of The Fourties’; recorded by Francisco Lomuto on 30 July 1937; a canyengue with music composed by Roberto Grela, lyrics by Francisco Gorrindo, and sung by Jorge Omar.
  • Otra Vez, meaning ‘Another Time’; recorded by Francisco Lomuto on 9 June 1938; a canyengue with music composed by Jorge Fernández, lyrics by José María Contursi, and sung by Jorge Omar.

 

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