The drama of a lost love



This piece was written in 1945 by Juan Larenza (music) and Cátulo Castillo (lyrics), and it was then recorded by the orchetras of Domingo Federico, Alfredo De Angelis, and Carlos Di Sarli within 10 months. The Federico version is very popular, and I was asked several times to discuss this song in my comparisons.


The lyrics express desperation because of a lost love.

"Para qué te quiero tanto

Si no puedo ser feliz,

Si vivir es un espanto....."

"Why do I love you so much

If I cannot be happy

If life is a horror ...."


These are the versions in chronological order:

Domingo Federico with Carlos Vidal, 19th of July in 1945

Alfredo de Angelis with Carlos Dante, 13th of Novermber in 1945

Carlos Di Sali with Jorge Durán, 3rd of May in 1946.


Federico's version:

Federico's general sound is dark and solemn, and the piano accompanies elastically and in low registers. The bandoneons have a strong rhythmic function during the whole song. The sound volume goes up and down all the time in the orchestra and the singer, with each short piece of motif; it's like breathing but being short of breath (although Carlos Vidal with his nice baritone obviously has perfect breath). The singing is accompanied in a congenial way by the violins, playing sometimes soft and melancholic, sometimes crying. The instrumental part after the singing (before the singer comes back) is particularly delicate and meditative.


De Angelis' version:

The orchestra plays lively and rich in instrumentation and decorations of the instruments, especially the bandoneons. The general mood is still melancholic, but less dark than in the other versions. At the transition between the first two parts we hear a typical De Angelis transition note (discreetly in this case), at 0:30. The accompaniment of the singing is extremely rich and sometimes hectic, showing-off especially of the violins. This version is playful and "buttery".


The Di Sarli version:

Di Sarli celebrates this song even more solemnly than Federico, with the violins forming a tapestry of sound and Di Sarli's piano decorating it. At the end of the B part there is a bit of drama (stronger than in the other versions), performed by the violins and the piano in the low register. And the drama continues when the singer comes in, in a perfect dialogue between Jorge Durán and the violins in which none of the parts dominates; and in the end the drama increases, ending in a final chord with change from minor to major.