A nostalgic poem in extremely different styles
This is a nostalgic tango full of metaphors; "yuyo verde" means wild green plants, an image for forgiveness after a painful end of a love. This song was written in 1944 by Homero Expósito (lyrics) and Domingo Federico (music) and became a big hit; it was recorded by four orchestras within 6 months.
These are the versions I will discuss:
Domingo Federico with Carlos Vidal, recorded 12th of September, 1944
Rodolfo Biagi with Jorge Ortiz, recorded 24th of January, 1945
Osvaldo Pugliese with Alberto Morán, recorded 25th of January, 1945
Aníbal Troilo with Floreal Ruiz, recorded 28th of February, 1945
Domingo Federico is the author of Yuyo verde, and he was the first to record it. From the start we hear the special driving rhythm that is typical for Federico: Piano and double bass are backed by the bandoneons playing staccato; and sometimes, for example in the very beginning, the bandoneons play every crotchet. As always in Federico's orchestra, the tone is dark; but here the mood is relaxed and serene. The arrangement is relatively simple, with some piano decorations, and dialogues between bandoneons and piano in the B part. The accompaniment of Carlos Vidal's restrained singing is mainly rhythmical. After the first part of the singing Federico plays a short melancholic solo, then more bandoneons come in with a variation.
This version accentuates the rhythm with high energy; bandoneons and violins alternate between staccato and legato, and they sound sharp and attacking. After the first phrase, before the repetition, there is a retardation to a slow triplet, which comes again later during the singing. In the B part the bandoneons play in dialogue with the piano, as in Federico's version, but in Biagi's completely different, sparkling style, particularly in the repetition. The singer's part is hard work because the orchestra plays the same melody in unison with the him, with some decorations. After the first part of singing Biagi plays a piano solo, with some extra rhythmical accents.Then the singer comes back with a long stretched ending.
This version is subtle and delicate. It starts with magical interweaved violins celebrating the beautiful melody; in the repetition of the first part the bandoneons start to drive the rhythm with Pugliese-typical arrastre, and the solo violin plays a nice countermelody. The B part is played gently, and there is a playful piano solo - calmness before Alberto Morán starts singing. He manages excellently to change the intensity of his voice without much changing the volume, expressing disappointment and nostalgia. He is accompanied mostly by soloists, in a complex and exquisite arrangement, with changes of tempo.
The instrumental opening is full of contrasts, a typical Troilean feature. It starts with a very plain, almost muffled solo bandoneon, then the tutti comes with full power, then the solo piano with a countermelody played by the violins, and once more the tutti with some sincopas. In the B part Troilo plays a short, passionate bandoneon solo, and then once more the tutti with the rocking piano of José Basso. The timbre of Floreal Ruiz's voice is perfect in expressing the nostalgia, and he plays a lot with the volume. Troilo's bandoneon solo in the instrumental break is not meditative, as one would expect, but virtuouso. The orchestra accompaniment of the singing varies between strong rhythmical moments, gentle counterpuntal melodic parts, and slightly dramatic transitions.
Domingo Federico with Carlos Vidal
Rodolfo Biagi with Jorge Ortiz
Orchestra Osvaldo Pugliese with Alberto Morán
Aníbal Troilo with Floreal Ruiz