La Cumparsita by Gerardo Matos Rodriguez. Performing are "ConTangoOz" directed by Maggie Ferguson -- www.maggiefergusontango.com/ with dancers Amy Teuchert and Jairo Sanchez Rivera Original Orquesta Tipica version courtesy of TangoVia www.tangovia.org Juan D'Arienzo's arrangement of La Cumparsita, sold more than 14 million copies and he recorded it eight times: in 1928, 1929, 1937, 1943, 1951, 1963, and again in 1971. The 1951 version is considered the best. It is said that D'Arienzo returned tango to the tango dancers! In so doing, he got the interest of the youth, which not only reinvigorated the entire tango scene, but made it chic as well. At that point, of course, not only did he became a celebrity, but he also started making his fortune. www.maggiefergusontango.com/juan-darienzo-king-of-the-beat/ "Young people like me. They like my tangos because they are rhythmic, nervous up-tempos. Youth is after that: happiness, movement". Source www.verytango.com/legends/juan... The song was originally a Uruguayan carnival march whose melody was composed in early 1916 by an architecture student in Montevideo, an 18-year-old man named Gerardo Hernán "Becho" Matos Rodríguez, the son of Montevideo's Moulin Rouge nightclub proprietor Emilio Matos. On 8 February 1916, Matos Rodríguez had his friend Manuel Barca show orchestra leader Roberto Firpo the music in the cafe called La Giralda. Firpo looked at the music and quickly determined that he could make it into a tango. As presented to him it had two sections; Firpo added a third part taken from his own little-known tangos "La gaucha Manuela" and "Curda completa", and also used a portion of the song "Miserere" by Giuseppe Verdi from the opera Il trovatore. Years later, Firpo reported the historic moment as follows: Lyrics to the song were written by the Argentine Pascual Contursi in 1924, and soon became a hit. This version of the song is considered the most widely known tango song in the world, closely followed by "El Choclo". Contursi recorded the song under the title "Si Supieras" ("If you knew"). Living in Paris at that time, Matos Rodríguez discovered that the song was a big hit when he talked with Francisco Canaro who was playing the tune at Paris engagements as "Si Supieras". Canaro told Matos Rodríguez the song was "all the rage by all the orchestras". Matos Rodríguez spent the next two decades in various court battles over royalties, and finally succeeded in ensuring that "La cumparsita" was re-established as the title of the song. However, Contursi's lyrics became intimately associated with the song. Canaro formulated a binding agreement in 1948, one which would end the lawsuits. He determined that 20 percent of all royalties would go to the estates of the lyricist Contursi and his business partner Enrique P. Maroni. The other 80 percent of recording royalties would go to the estate of Matos Rodríguez. Canaro established that future sheet music printings would show Contursi's lyrics in addition to less well-known ones written by Matos Rodríguez, and no other lyrics. Famous versions of this tango include Carlos Gardel's vocal and performances by orchestras led by Juan d'Arienzo and Osvaldo Pugliese. La Cumparsita is very popular at Milongas; it is a common tradition for it to be played as the last dance of the evening. The song was named cultural and popular anthem of Uruguay by law in 1997. Gene Kelly dances to "La cumparsita" in the film Anchors Aweigh (1945). The song was included in a ballroom scene of the film Sunset Boulevard (1950) in which Gloria Swanson and William Holden danced the tango. In the movie Take the Lead Jenna Dewan, Dante Basco and Elijah Kelley danced to a remixed version. Famous versions of La cumparsita tango include Carlos Gardel's vocal and performances by orchestras led by Juan d'Arienzo and Osvaldo Pugliese. La Cumparsita is very popular at Milongas; it is a common tradition for it to be played as the last dance of the evening. The song was named cultural and popular anthem of Uruguay by law in 1997. In the Olympic Games of Sydney 2000, the Argentine team marched to "La Cumparsita". This provoked protests and official claims from the Uruguayan government. Excerpt from www.todotango.com/english/biblioteca/cronicas/la_cumparsita.asp Filmed live on 29 November 2013 at Verbrugghen Hall, Conservatorium of Music, Sydney. Video and sound recording produced by Jason Julian www.jasonjulian.com . . . .