Villoldo, Angel & Matos Rodríguez, Gerardo

Biography

Angel Villoldo (1868-1919) was one of Argentina’s pioneer tango composers. On November 1905 at the “Restaurante Americano,” José Luis Roncallo and his orchestra premiered Villodo’s “El Choclo”. Roncallo fretted about the idea of playing a tango for the “crème-de-la-crème” of Buenos Aires society, but the sound of this new piece was so compelling that he sneaked it in and introduced the new work as a “danza criolla,” a Creole dance. Villoldo named it “El Choclo,” the ear of corn, because “…I loved it from the very first note, and for me the ear of corn is the tastiest ingredient of the ‘puchero’, a meat and vegetables stew…” La Cumparsita was composed in 1919 by Uruguayan musician Gerardo Matos Rodríguez (1897-1948). It is one of the most famous and recognizable tangos of all time. Translated as "The little parade," the work was first presented in Confitería La Giralda, in downtown Montevideo. Though it was written in Uruguay by a Uruguayan composer, Argentines have sometimes claimed this famous tango as their own, based on the fact that its lyrics were written by two Argentine poets, Maroni and Pascual Contursi, although without authorization from the composer.

Published Works