Laurenz Vals Tanda – March 25, 2021

Tango Mahi “Tanda of the Week” is a tanda of valses be the Pedro Laurenz orquesta tipica.

Pedro Laurenz was an extremely talented bandoneon player, composer and orquesta leader, whose orquesta had a somewhat lower profile than many famous tango orquestas of his peers, but he was and still is highly respected throughout the world’s tango communities (and by Buenos Aires milongueros and taxi drivers) as one of the best.

He switched from violin to bandoneon at age 15 (in 1917) and soon after joined an orquesta in which Edgardo Donato and Roberto Zerrillo were the violinists. He also played with virtuoso bandoneon player Eduardo Arolas at the cabaret Moulin Rouge.

In 1920 (age 18) he joined the Roberto Goyheneche orquesta and five years later was recruited by Julio De Caro as second bandoneonist to Pedro Maffia, with whom he made several duo bandoneon recordings. Laurenz toured with De Caro to Brazil, France and Italy and appeared with De Caro on violin in the film “Lucaes de Buenos Aires” backing Carlos Gardel singing “Tomo y oblige”.

He formed his own orquesta in 1934 (initially with Osvaldo Pugliese on piano) and by 1937 had established a style of sophisticated danceable music that Laurenz, Troilo, Pugliese and others were developing in parallel. An image of sophistication and professionalism was reinforced by Laurenz’s musicians always being dressed in expensive matching tailored suits, the cost of which Alberto Podesta said was a shock to him when he joined in 1942.

While being a very active live performance orquesta, Laurenz made far fewer recordings than other leading orquestas from the mid-1930s to early 1950s. While some released many hundreds of tracks, the Laurenz orquesta released only about 60, including only 8 instrumental tangos and 7 valses (sung by 7 different vocalists). Of the 60 tracks, 15 were composed by Laurenz, or by Laurenz with Pedro Maffia, or Laurenz with Julio De Caro.

I have chosen three Laurenz valses for the Tanda of the Week, ending with “Paisaje” which has been one of my favourites since I first saw the 2016 video clip of Murat Erdemsel and Sigrid Van Tilbeurgh dancing to it so musically! The tanda starts with the Laurenz composition “Mascarita” sung by Juan Carlos Casas, and is followed by “Flores del alma” sung by Martin Podesta, who was not related to Alberto Podesta, the vocalist for “Paisaje”.

1940 – “Mascarita”
Vocalist: Juan Carlos Casas | Composer: Pedro Laurenz
1942 – “Flores del alma”
Vocalist: Martin Podesta | Composer: Juan Larenza
1943 – “Paisaje”
Vocalist: Alberto Podesta | Composer: Sebastian Piana