Samstag, 8. Mai 2021

Fresedo's famous time 1923-1928

The famous Sexteto Osvaldo Fresedo was finally accomplished during the year of 1926 and was dominated by the major instrumentalists of José Mari Rizutti (piano) and Adolfo Muzzi (violin). So building up this sexteto was a progress that had started in the beginning of 1923 when Juan Carlos Cobián left Fresedo to form his own orchestra. The tremendous José Maria Rizzuti therefor joined Fresedo. Fresedo knew him from the 1918 days where they played together with De Caro. Now Rizzuti stayed for a long time with Fresedo's orquesta.
Sextetto Fresedo in 1923

When also Leopoldo Thompson and Francisco Ortega left the orquesta the entire "bass section" of the recorded music was weighted on the left hand of Rizutti's piano play. We can tell in his play how his style of playing these typical rhythmical adoracions of the left hand was shaped by the musical role he took in these days playing with Fresedo and which we can clearly follow while listening to his recorded play.

Agesilao Ferrazzano
In Fresedo's recordings first the violoncello (1920) and then saxophone (1922) have to be seen as a sort of experiments of try to get bass sound on  shellac recordings. Now in 1923 they put the lower frequencies entirely on the left hand of the piano. In addition to this the violins got supported by a third, played by Agesilao Ferrazzano who joined in 1923 - but him joining the ensemble led straight to the end of Fresedo's collaboration with Tito Roccatagliata, who quit after six years playing together. They even had travelled together to New Jersey(US) for recording there in 1920. We can fairly assume that Fresedo lost a friend.


Gracias! Carlos Picchio
Soaring high Fresedo shared his passion for music with the aviation sport; it would not be strange, then, that in 1923 he obtained his pilot's license, which he bore under the No. 231, from Eduardo Olivero himself, one of the pioneers of this activity in the country, who was also his instructor. In return, Olivero, a bandoneon enthusiast, received lessons from Fresedo. Months later, the musician was the winner of an aeronautical competition held at the La Plata circuit, in which national and foreign pilots took part. He drove a Curtiss JN-4 machine of 90 horse-power. Registering a time of 62' 45", earning himself a check for two thousand pesos. "We flew doing advertising for a soft drink called "Pomona", having its name written under the wings". In the book "La victoria de las alas" by Brigadier Angel Maria Zuloaga, referring to those men who contributed to the evolution of national civil aviation, he includes Osvaldo Fresedo, considering him one of the most outstanding pilots of those difficult beginnings. Within his work as a composer, Fresedo has perpetrated that love and admiration for aviation, in two tangos. One of them is entitled "La ratona" and about it the Maestro manifests: -"To the airfield where Olivero, Duggan, Uriburu, Newbery flew, came Ernesto Uder with a small machine, a small plane of 3 or 4 meters named "La ratona". With that little machine Olivero beat an altitude record and could still have surpassed it, if it had not been for the great cold felt at the altitude of two or three thousand meters, which forced him to descend, since these aircrafts lacked heating. On that occasion and as a tribute to Olivero's temerity, I composed the tango that I called "La ratona". In the second title, Fresedo, subjugated and moved by the grandiosity of the celestial space, wanted to eternalize those feelings in a tango that he called "Desde las nubes", a work that was premiered in 1923 in the "Tercer Baile de los Aviadores", celebrated in the "Opera" theatre.
After the intense and successful recording period of 1923 with more then 60 recordings in 8 months 1924 Fresedo returned to a new engagement in the Abdullah Club. For this occasion again he renewed his orquesta by removing Ferrazzano by adding the violins of Adolfo Muzzi and Jean Koller to Francia. Jean Koller knew Fresedo from 1918 when they played together with Rizzuti and De Caro. The Odeón record company was the most successful at that time. Francisco Canaro was contracted there, too. But back in 1924 Fresedo still recorded for Victor.
In 1924 he returned to the "Abdullah Club" of the Güemes Gallery; there, in view of the success he was obtaining with his orchestra, the directors of L.O.R. Sociedad Radio Argentina, had the initiative to make radio transmissions from the mentioned night club.
During this stage of his career, they formed his orchestra:
Bandoneons: Osvaldo Fresedo, Alberto Rodriguez and Pastor Trivelli
Violins: Manlio Francia, Adolfo Muzzi and Jean Koller
Piano: José María Rizzuti.
Double bass: Carmelo Mutarelli, alternating with Humberto Costanzo.
Drums: Raúl Fresedo.

"The 11th Internship Dance"
On September 21st of that year '24, Fresedo's orchestra was summoned to play at the eleventh dance of the Internship -which was the last one- and it took place at the Victoria Theatre, where the quoted director presented his tango "El once", whose subtitle was "A divertirse". Fresedo reminded us of that event:
- "I was performing at Florida Dancing -which until recently had been called "Abdullah"- I had been hired for the 11th Internship Dance and it had been agreed that I should compose a tango alluding to that celebration.
With all the other things I had, I completely forgot what had been agreed and with seven days to go, I had not even began the tango.
So, we were playing in the cabaret and I said to the boys of the orchestra: "You are going to accompany me in A Major, and I will start and you follow me and I will tell you the tone. And so the tango "El once" came out, like an improvisation, with the accompaniment of the orchestra.
Then I wrote it, I published it and it could be out on time in four or five days.
The printing house, which was in Bartolomé Mitre and Riobamba, had it ready in two days.
Emilio's lyrics were added later".
In 1924, Prince Humberto of Savoy arrived in the country, before whom Osvaldo Fresedo performed with his orchestra in August. After hearing his congratulations, the Maestro Fresedo thanked him humbly: "Your Majesty, thank you. We do what we can".

Fresedo's very successful orchestra of the years 1923-1925 (until changing to Odéon) had the following members:

Bandoneons        Osvaldo Fresedo, Alberto Rodríguez & Pastor Trivelli
Violins                Manlio Francia, Adolfo Muzzi & Jean Koller
Piano                   José María Rizzuti
Double-bass        Humberto Costanzo  
Drums                 Raúl Fresedo

Due to disagreements over the renewal of the contract with Victor, Fresedo went on to revue the cast of Odeón. As Fresedo left Victor this was a fundamental loss for the record company, so to replace him, the directors made the decision to form a group uniting in it the best musicians who were part of Victor, which they called with the name of the label. The Orquesta Típica Víctor left an important mark in the history of tango and way back then competed with Firpo's success on the rival label. This time the Victor company was very careful that the name of the director did not transcend so that their claims to remuneration would not grow at the same rate as its popularity. As a consequence Fresedo's 1st violinist Manlio Francia also left the orchestra, stayed with Victor and there joined the various Victor ensembles with different names, but similar integration. The position of Manlio Francia in the ranks of Fresedo was filled by "El Tano" Adolfo Muzzi.
Now with the cast of Odeón artists, Fresedo inaugurated the series as director with the tangos "Entrá nomás", by Juan Rezzano and Francisco Bastardi and of his own "Perdón viejita", with lyrics by [José Antonio] Saldías, plaque Nº5001, with its corresponding matrixes 3299 and 3302.

Osvaldo Fresedo was already at that time one of the three most important conductors (the others were Roberto Firpo and Francisco Canaro, who recorded for "Disco Nacional") and the main star of Víctor label and who consolidated this label in the market of the tango. Its value was of such magnitude that, beginning the last quarter of 1925, Max Glücksmann decided to take it to his company Nacional Odeón allocating a substantial amount of money for it. Once the objective was achieved and as a welcome, in the first record that Fresedo recorded for his label, joined the orchestra with the voice of Carlos Gardel.
The mid 20s started full of work for Maestro Fresedo, Zucchi narrates in his book the following events:
“In 1925 Fresedo performed with his orchestra at the Errazuri’s Palace in front of Edward of Windsor, Prince of Wales.

During his stay in the Victor label the Maestro Fresedo had the chance to accompany the singer Ada Falcón in two acoustic recordings also from the year ‘25, with the tangos "Oro y seda" by Osvaldo Fresedo and Amadeo H. Canale, "Pobre chica" by Osvaldo and Emilio Fresedo on the first one and "Casquivana" by Ferreri and F. Martinelli Massa together with "Risas de cabaret" by José María Rizzuti on the second one, records No. 79592 and No. 79622 respectively.

Regarding the switch to Odeón, and judging by the matrix numbers, Fresedo’s very first recordings in Odeón were made with Gardel. This was a brilliant move by Odeón. Striking a contract with one of the biggest figures of the Victor label and making him record with the most successful singer at the time would bring great success to the newly incorporated, but already established Fresedo. This also might have effected Victor to form the OTV with Manlio Francia, Julio De Caro, Ciriaco Ortíz, Luis Petrucelli and other extremely talented musicians. The Orquesta Tipica Victor was under the direction of Luis Petrucelli first and then later under Adolfo Carabelli's, without even stating the director’s name in fear that a switch like Fresedo’s could happen again.

Also in 1925 he had the compliment of accompanying with his orchestra the Maximum Singer (Carlos Gardel) in a 78 rpm disc of 25cms made with the acoustic system that took the Nº18201, with the tangos "Fea" of [Horacio] Petorossi and Alfredo Navarrine, in the side A (matrix 3288) and in the back "Perdón viejita" of Osvaldo Fresedo and José Antonio Saldías (matrix 3289/1).

The opinion of the Maestro Fresedo with reference to his work with Gardel, was the following:

"I would have liked to do something else with the accompaniment, but Carlitos was used to sing with the guitars and with the sung tangos he sped up a lot. I wanted to restrain him a little bit and I could only play the rhythm. At that time you couldn't accompany in any other way".

Zucchi continues:

“In the course of this year 1925 of so much activity for the Maestro Fresedo, his orchestra appeared on stage at the National Theatre, of the businessman Pascual Carcavallo, during the theatrical representation of the sainete of José Antonio Saldías entitled "La muchacha de Montmartre", in which he presented his tango "Muchachita de Montmartre" with lyrics by the same Saldías.”

Until November 1926 the Fresedo Sexteto recorded for the Disco Nacional Odeón record company in Argentina in acoustic recording technic. The switch to the new and better electric recording technic using microphones happened at that time. The first electric recording was on November 16th. 

In the summer of 1926, Fresedo returned to his classic presentations in the refined clubs of Mar del Plata, then he performed at the Carnival dances of that year at the San Martín theatre in Esmeralda street, where the audience got to know his tango "Pinturita". Fresedo’s activity was so intense this year, he had to form another orchestra to play in different venues. 

The maestro himself told Zucchi about it: 

 "By the year 26 I was playing in what had been the "Abdullah Club" and when Lombart took it over it was called "Florida Dancing". Lombart immediately called me to play there with my orchestra. The manager of this place was Mr. Eduardo Calvo, who became a close friend of mine. So close, in fact, that he decided to create a piece with me. One day he gave me the lyrics and I, as if to get rid of him, made the music; it was the tango "Arrabalero", which in the end turned out to be famous.

As I had so much friendship with this man, he allowed me to send him a “change” in the "soirée" section from 8:30 pm to midnight. Besides, Calvo wanted to do business together; he proposed me to buy a cinema and finally ended up getting me a bar, which we called "Bar Fresedo", which was in front of the "Politeama" theatre. Consequently, I made a parallel orchestra to play there, with Miguel Caló and me on bandoneons, José María Rizzuti on piano and Adolfo Muzzi on violin.
The actual orchestra was at the Florida Dancing"
(“El bandoneón y sus intérpretes - Generación 1910" First part, Zucchi, Oscar. Ed. Corregidor, 2001).
Over the year of 1926 the famous "Sexteto" finally was completed. In addition to Manlio Francia, Adolfo Muzzi entered as 2nd violin and Jean Koller goes to 3rd violin. Later Francia leaves and Muzzi becomes incredible 1st violin. For some time Pastor Trivelli had entered as 3rd bandoneón and left again. Mutarelli was replaced by Humberto Costanzo on the doublebass.  

So the "Sexteto" was accomplished to the line-up below and got extremely successful until late 1928 with up to 300 (!) recorded tracks between november 1926 and october 1928 when the Orquesta left for Paris. 

This period we could fairly name the peak of the guardia nueva went together with the general cultural "roar" of the famous roaring twenties - where in many cities people were having a good time after the end of Worldwar I. also as a result of rebuilt. In 1926 they also had the tremendous increase of recording technology which made the major step from acoustic to electric recording. These times eclipsed "slowly" from mid 1928 in the huge financial crash over the year 1929 which had a large effect on Argentina that used to be one out of ten of the wealthiest countries in the world before this crash.

And the actual major orchestra line-up that we hear on his Odeón recordings until 1928 was the famous Sexteto Osvaldo Fresedo :

  • Bandoneon: Osvaldo Fresedo and Alberto Rodriguez
  • Violin: Adolfo Muzzi and Jean Koller
  • Piano: José Maria Rizzuti
  • Doublebass: Humberto Costanzo

In 1927 Fresedo's success was such that he had five orchestras performing at the same time, the main one at the "Tabarís" cabaret on Calle Corrientes, the most important in the city. Therefor Fresedo had to rotate permanently at night from one venue to another to appear at least in every place once, where one of his orchestra played. One of these, which accompanied the silent films at the Fénix cinema-theater in the Flores arrabal, was directed from the piano by Carlos Di Sarli, who would become a director at least as successful as Fresedo and was clearly influenced by him. Another famous bandoneonista was playing in one of his orquestas at that time: Miguel Caló!

In 1928 Fresedo recorded many tunes with Ernesto Famá singing and also many instrumentals. Adolfo Muzzi stays in the orquesta for the first violin - and also at the end of the year for the tour to Europe. Altogether Muzzi stayed with Fresedo for twenty years. Also in 1928 Di Sarli was leading one of Fresedo's Orquestas in Buenos Aires - he had five at  that time! Also Miguel Caló was one of the major musicians in one of these Sextets. 

Thanks to the active management of his great friend of the Buenos Aires high society, "Macoco" Alzaga Unzué, for long periods resident in France, the Fresedo orchestra was advantageously hired to inaugurate the luxurious cabaret "Nouvelle Garrón" in Montmartre, with a very high figure in terms of remuneration, as it was 35,000 francs. On October 16th of the aforementioned year 28, they set sail for France in the steamer "Florida", with this group of musicians: Bandoneons: Osvaldo Fresedo, Alberto Rodriguez and Luis Minervini Violins: Adolfo Muzzi and Jean Koller Piano: José María Rizzuti Double Bass: Humberto Costanzo Singer: Ernesto Famá. Maestro Fresedo would have preferred to have two bandoneons and three violins, but the businessman insisted on the opposite, given the attraction of the bandoneons on the audience. After his successful debut at the "Nouvelle Garrón", located on the heights of the "Palermo" cabaret, where one of the pioneers of tango in Paris, Manuel Pizarro, was performing at the same time for three months, working simultaneously in the afternoon at the "The danzantes" of the famous "Lido" of Champs Elysèes. When the contract with the "Nouvelle Garrón" ended, although there were other work possibilities, several of the members of his orchestra decided to return to our country: the pianist Rizzuti, the bandoneonist Alberto Rodríguez and the violinist Adolfo Muzzi. In reaction to this desertion, Fresedo had to resort to the musicians of his parallel orchestra of the Casino Pigall in Buenos Aires, in charge of the pianist Nicolás Vaccaro, who tells the story about it for this work: -In 1928 I received a telegram from Fresedo to travel to Paris, where he was with his orchestra, of which Rizzuti and several other members had left. From here three musicians traveled: the violinist José Lorito, the bandoneonist José Salvatore and myself, to replace Adolfo Muzzi, Alberto Rodríguez and José María Rizzuti respectively". Let us note that the singer Fama had also deserted, but was not replaced, and as for Minervini, he remained settled in Paris where he married and went to Spain to work in various Spanish ensembles that cultivated the típico genre, as they believed it to be. When we returned to our talk with the Maestro Fresedo, he looked for, among many other photographs, one in particular, pointing out: -"This is from 1928, when the boys left me in Paris; I stayed and went to Paramount. Here is Nicolas Vaccaro, the pianist I made travel from the orchestra I had at the Casino Pigall. This is Juan Salvatore, bandoneon, this Carlos Esposito, also bandoneon, who was the brother of "Tano" Genaro Esposito, then Jose Lorito, violin and Jean Koller, also violin, who had stayed in Paris with me. The others are French musicians." This cast played in the fabulous "Ambassadeurs" where they spent four months, from which they went to Belgium in order to make the summer season in the sophisticated beaches of "Ostende", performing in the exclusive dances of the Casino "Kursall" in the illuminated Belgian city.