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La Cumparsita poster ca. A rendition of it follows. He was a student of architecture and not a great one at that; he did not complete the course. After he wrote the score, Rodriguez either did not have the determination, or perhaps the means, to play it himself.

Rodriguez took his score to Firpo. Hence Rodriguez sold the score and copyright of a tango he had written - a masterpiece the public would adore for evermore - for the paltry sum of only 20 pesos! Money was exchanged quickly, the score was received, and the Breyer publishing house herein owned the piece. And so a legend was born Roberto Firpo referred to La Cumparsita at least three times in writing [excuse my Spanish translation]: One night at The Giralda, a famous and classic cafe in Montevideo, a young boy - likeable but somewhat timid - approached me and asked if he could talk to me for a few minutes He left a very modest score with me.

It was La Cumparsita. I played it on the piano, and liked it. After some adjustments to the score I released it with extraordinary success, as much due to the fact that it was a great tango as the fact that its author was a boy of Montevideo.

Since I had composed La Gaucha Manuela in and Curda, I put the parts of those old tangos that had not been successful. I shared it that night with Tito Roccatagliata and Bachicha and it was divine. They ran it to Matos, and the reception was sensational. This is a plainly incorrect fact. In its first incarnation, La Cumparsita was not successful and in fact was only recorded as a B-side song. However very soon after its release, Cumparsita enjoyed a reasonable period of success but its fame declined after a few years.

The process was that each play required a special tango in fact as a result of this process some famous tangos came to light. For this scene was selected the already forgotten tango. The actor and singer was Juan Ferrari. The success was so great that even Carlos Gardel decided to record it immediately thereafter. After a greeting and a hug our conversation turned to Buenos Aires, and the success of La Cumparsita - Matos Rodriguez had consigned this to history. I told him how it had resurged again and how it was the rage by all orchestras; that Paschal Contursi and Enrique P.

Maroni had composed a very pretty scene and adapted to the score and that Carlitos sang it to Gardel with extraordinary success and it had been recorded This revised score became extremely successful not only in Buenos Aires, where it was played at almost every venue and re-recorded and broadcast, but also when Francisco Canaro took it to Paris, where it became the in-thing to dance to. It was only a matter of time, then, till it spread to the rest of the world.

Five points are noteworthy: It was actually Contursi who changed the lyrics not Maroni; however the joint ownership resides with both, being joint authors of the play. Maroni admitted that the tango was not his. The revised lyrics and the melody did not exactly align, such that the musical director had to adapt the music slightly. It is not that Firpi was underhand; rather Rodriguez never imagined that his tango would be as successful as it was.

Gerardo Matos Rodriguez The cafe - so beautiful! The Greek Argentinean? For two decades he attempted to regain the copyright to that score through the courts: Trial 1: against the Breyer and Ricordi publishing houses. After a lengthy court case, Ricordi agreed to pay royalties to Rodriguez.

Trial 2: against Maroni and Contursi, who had added lyrics within permission. Rodriguez won on the basis that his rights were surrendered whilst being a minor. Trial 3: against Carlos Gardel, to stop his recording of La Cumparsita from being sold. The final binding legal agreement came in from Francisco Canaro tango composer and director - and as it happens - the president of the Argentine Society of Authors and Composers who was asked for an adjudication by the litigants.

Any new printing of the sheet music would include the lyrics of Rodriguez and of Contursi and Maroni, and no other lyrics. The Lyrics There are many many variations of La Cumparsita a source claims he has counted over ! It is worth noting that the original version by Rodriguez only had two verses; two other verses were added later by Peroni and are not shown here to retain historical accuracy.


La cumparsita – Tango





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