A lovely vals by a female composer



Desde el alma is one of the most popular valses. It was composed in 1911 by the 14-year-old Rosita Melo and recorded many times in several decades. Most versions are instrumental, but there are two different lyrics, one written 1922 by Rosita Melo's husband Roberto Cortes, and the other much later by Homero Manzi.


I wanted to present four versions from three different decades: Firpo's instrumental version from 1927, Tanturi's instrumental version from 1944, Canaro's recording with Nelly Omar from 1947, and Osvaldo Pugliese's live performance in Amsterdam from 1989.


But unfortunately, I couln't find any video of Firpo`s version from 20th of October, 1927. You could listen to the song partly (or buy it) either on Amazon music or on Bernhard Gehberger's data base, if you are a member.


These are the video links for the other versions:

Ricardo Tanturi, 28th of August, 1944:


Francisco Canaro with Nelly Omar, 22nd of October, 1947:


Osvaldo Pugliese live in Amsterdam, 26th of Juni, 1989, in a real video:



Firpo's version is sweet and swinging, with delicate variations in volume, and Osvaldo Pugliese's piano does far more than only sustain the rhythm.


Tanturi's version sounds fresh and has an irresistible vals swing and sway - one of the best valses ever for dancing. Desde el alma has many dotted notes, and Tanturi accentuates them by playing them staccato - with a pause between the long and the short note - which gives the feeling of an extra suspension and challenges the dancers in a beautiful way. The slightly dirty violins produce a cozy "rural" atmosphere, particularly in the B part. Towards the end (from 1:45) we hear a lovely violin solo and "dirty duo", leading to the final bandoneon variation.


Canaro's version is less accentuated, but it has a nice drive for the dancers; though for me it's rushing a bit too much. Nelly Omar sings with her beautiful alto voice - which was very unusual in tango - the new lyrics written by Homero Manzi: speaking to and consoling her own soul after a disappointment, "vives inútilmente triste". Nelly Omar is accompanied nicely by a lively clarinet and then by the whole orchestra. The arrangement of the instrumental parts is variable and makes the piano and the bandoneons shine.


Osvaldo Pugliese made a studio recording in 1979, and from 1989 we hava a live recording of Desde el alma from the concert he gave 1989 in Amsterdam (together with Astor Piazzolla). For me, this version is an encounter between light vals and heavy tango. First, the violins and the piano play the swinging vals in a solemn, magic flow, and only sometimes we hear tiny sounds of the bandoneons. Then it gets a bit more excited, with dissonances, and the bandoneons play in dialogue with the violins, with the playful piano around. Then, at 1:37, a fermata and a big pause, and the violins and the piano start again gently with the vals - and then, at 2:00, the solo bandoneon comes in heavily with the serious tango sound, the violins become dizzy .... and after another pause the swinging vals is back, this time played by the bandoneon and then by the whole orchestra, in a grand finale with acceleration.