"To stay with the tango of the past would be killing it" Osvaldo Fresedo declares

In the magazine "La canción moderna" issue 395 published the 12th of October, 1935 we find this beautiful interview with Osvaldo fresedo.

Here the transcription in english language:

Tango versus Jazz
"To stay with the tango of the past would be killing it".

Osvaldo Fresedo declares

Osvaldo Fresedo, the popular orchestra director, is "a busy man". His multiple activities absorb many hours a day. That's why it is necessary to warn the reader that this interview was made on the spur of the moment. According to Fresedo, the topics we touched on in this interview deserve to be treated calmly and at length. Struggling with the time pressure that the well-known musician-aviator was able to dispense us, we have here synthesized his opinions, which contain, in their brevity, interesting and conclusive statements:

-What is your concept of tango?

-As music it represents the character of the people, as dance it is very comfortable and elegant, at the same time that it incites the dancers to externalize more intimacy than in other dances.

-What considerations does the evolution that has been noticed in tango suggest to you?

-It is necessary. We cannot stay with the tango of the past; it would be to kill it. That progress is essential, as it has been in popular music all over the world, so I consider that all evolution is beneficial.

-Let's talk a little bit about the tangos of the past and those of today.

-The ones of today, present a musical "dressing" of more quality, but (the public ignores it), most of the composers write a simple piano part, with which the conductor of the orchestra makes of it the tango that the public listens to. As for the tango of the past, to be authentic it must lack instrumentation, since at that time those who performed it did not know it, except for rare exceptions.

-Thus, the instrumental modification in our orquestas tipicas...

-Orchestras have progressed in their composition and I believe that the time has come to abolish the name "típica". Orquestas típicas could be the old ones, in which each musician contributed what he could from his inventiveness, but not now that most of the orchestras play special instrumentations, of their director, and where each component has to limit themselves to strictly perform their part.

-Let's move on now to jazz. It's musical value with respect to tango...

-They are much more advanced than us, without ignoring that jazz also began with rudimentary "typical" orchestras. But they took harmonization and instrumentation more seriously, with great masters taking care of them while tango is defending itself, but the instrumentation required by our popular music has not yet been studied.

-Why did you incorporate jazz compositions to your repertoire?

-Because I love everything that is music; for me music has no boundaries. That's why I include in my auditions, fox-trots, rumbas, maxixas, marches and any composition that pleases me and my listeners.

-What do you think about the lyrics of tangos?

-There are good and bad ones. I detest the tragedies, the eyes that bleed, the boys that gets run over by the trolley, etc., and those that are expressed in lunfardo, preferring what is sweet and sublime and adapts to the melodic phrase.

-And those of the foxes?

-With my little knowledge of English I can't say much, but I still haven't been able to find one that talks about a woman who left with another man.

-Of the Criollo singers and the Americans?

-There is no room for discussion about that; there are singers for all tastes, but our singers would shine more in a musical framework, that is, accompanied by good orchestras, with scores specially written to accompany them.

-What opinions did you gather abroad about tango?

-They like it very much, but they prefer it melodic and somewhat romantic, so much so, that the dancers have a little nap on their partner's shoulders (I'm referring to New York).In Europe it is more or less the same thing: when performing a tango, the room has to be dimly lit forcibly.

-And what is your opinion about the Argentinean jazz bands compared to the American ones?

-The local jazz bands have progressed a lot, in general, but they will never surpass the American ones, because the compositions are by American authors, and the instrumentation is known here as it is there, and besides, there is no ambition here to surpass themselves because of the little competition and the easy way of making a living.

-Very interesting, in spite of the fact that you have devoted yourself to tango...

-I have not devoted myself exclusively to tango, but to music.

This last sentence defines, from our point of view, Osvaldo Fresedo's personality. Read in the next issue the answers of Raúl Sánchez Reinoso, Director of the "Santa Paula Serenaders".