“Polaco” passed away on the 27th of August, 1994, due to pneumonia.
Roberto “El Polaco” Goyenche, a man who is considered to have been one of the greatest tango singers of his time, passed away on August 27 of 1994 from pneumonia. 25 years after his passing, his voice continues to echo in ears of tangueros around the world. His contributions to Tango have become constants in milongas, helping to create the musical culture of Argentina itself.
El Polaco, received his name from his thin figure and head full of bright blonde hair, had enamored hundreds with his captivating voice. His unique lyrical style as well as the expressiveness of his voice had enchanted tangueros from the moment they heard him.
An accomplished lyricist penning; Afiches, Gricel, Garúa y Chiquilín de Bachín, among others. One of his most defining features, was his mastery, and popularization of the classic rubato, also known as Tempo Robado. This technique consists on accelerating or decelerating your voice so it doesn’t coincide with the music or tempo. Tempo Robado, requires is a difficult technique to master since, if improperly used can come off as disorganized, untalented, or even amateurish.
After his passing, friend and tango singer, Cacho Castaño dedicated a beautiful tango, which moved hundreds of milongueros. Castaña’s ballad moved hundred of milongueros, reaching such height’s that even today it is one of the iconic ballads that every tango lover must hear. A piece full of emotion and melancholy, that bared in full the pain that Cacho felt in the absence of his friend, Goyeneche. A proper farewell, recognizing the man for the legacy he had left behind and for the great as he was in life with, “Garganta con arena”:
The sun doesn’t rise,
Sings no more,
The night has grown longer,
Your life had a karma,
Singing, always singing.
Of the tango that you loved,
Saying everything with certainty,
What no other could match,
From faeries and spirits,
Of an old Bandoneon.”
. . .
In recognition of Goyeneche’s mastery has come from all over Argentina. From, the naming of a Football stadium in his honor, in the city he lived; an avenue which bear his full name in the city he lived in. As if that weren’t enough, a full size d statue of him can be found near his home at one of Buenos Aires most important parks.
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