Tango Masters: Osvaldo Fresedo

"A poet has said that tango is danced with the soul. For that reason, I try to achieve – with my group – that state of soul in the dancer, preparing his soul for the melody".

In a recording career that was even longer even than Canaro‘s, the orchestra of Osvaldo Fresedo (1897-1984) had many incarnations. An aristocratic touch meant that his music was soon associated with the upper classes, playing in the mid 1920s for two crown princes. This music was hugely successful and by 1927 he was running four orchestras in parallel. However he gave it all up for a two year trip to France and the United States which left him a changed man. Rejecting the conventions of the orquesta típica, he embraced the influences of North American music, adding jazz guitar and vibraphone to his lineup as well as a harp.

Together with his most emblematic singer, Roberto Ray, he forged a dreamy, romantic style which had a touch of Hollywood about it. Always in search of the modern as well as the melodic, the 1950s saw him championing the new work of Piazzolla but with a style that took him increasingly further from tango’s roots.

Michael Lavocah is the author of Tango Stories: Musical Secrets, the guide to tango dance music. This is the sixth volume of the series Tango Masters, which explores the music of the great orchestras of tango’s Golden Age in depth.

ISBN: 978-1-9997551-6-4
Expected: 13th Nov 2023
£15 + postage

Recommended digital albums

For the sextet

Just starting out? This compilation is my suggestion for a single album. Includes the astonishing De puro guapo. It’s available on Spotify.

Want an album that also exists as CD (if you can get one)? Try this album from RGS’s Tango Collection (RGS-1643). It’s available on Spotify

For more (much more!) of the recordings from 1926-1931, check out the youtube channel of Project Fresedo

The orchestra (1933-1948)

This album from Euro Records (EU-17034) is available, with a different cover, on Spotify.

This album from Euro Records (EU-17013) is available, again with a different cover, on Spotify

From Tango Time Travel comes this splendid re-issue of Fresedo’s complete 1930s recordings on Victor (TTT4). The team at TTT4 have not filtered off all the noise, in order to preserve the high-frequency information, so be prepared to sometimes use your tone controls.

This album from the French label ‘Le chant du monde’ (LCDM 2742309) covers the years 1939 – 1957, focussing on the 1950s (from track 8 onwards). It’s on Spotify.

Whilst we’re here: the best ever Buscándote, released in December 2021. Note that this album is most definitely not “Fresedo en Estéreo”, a 12 track album released initially as an LP in 1963.