Part 1: The Great Typical Orchestras
Autor: Isidro Aguirre
Aníbal Carmelo Troilo, alias “Pichuco”, was born in July 11, 1914 and died in May 18, 1975 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He was a well-known bandoneon player, composer and a tango orchestra director. In Argentina, we commemorate the “National Bandoneon Day” every July 11 by honoring the birth of Aníbal Troilo, also baptized by the poet Julián Centeya as “The Major Bandoneon of Buenos Aires”.
Aníbal Troilo’s trajectory
Anibal’s father died when “Pichuco” was 8 years old. Then, when he was 10 years old, his mother Felisa Bagnoli bought him his first bandoneon in fourteen downpayments of ten pesos each.
When referring to this, he once said: “the bellows attracted me so much as a soccer ball did. My old mom made me beg a little bit, but at the end, she gave in and finally got me my first bandoneon: ten pesos each month for fourteen months. Since then, I never separated from my bandoneon.”
He took bandoneon lessons with the master Juan Amendolaro.
In 1926, he played the bandoneon in a fundraising event at the Petit Colón, a cinema theater in the neighborhood of Abasto. Upon this, the owner of the cinema asked him to play in the stable orchestra that performed in several silent films. He was only 12 years old.
By 1930 he joined the sextet lead by the violinist Elvino Vardaro, who performed in the Metropol on Lavalle street. The group was conformed by Osvaldo Pugliese on the piano, Alfredo Gobbi (h) and Elvino Vardaro with the violins, Miguel Jurado and Aníbal Troilo on the bandoneons and Luis Adesso on the bass. This sextet didn´t make any recordings.
In 1932 he was called by Julio De Caro, who gathered a great orchestra that made its debut in the Astor Cinema Theater. The orchestra was composed by the following musicians: Pedro Laurenz, Armando and Alejandro Blasco; Aníbal Troilo and Calixto Sallago on the bandoneons; Francisco De Caro and José Maria Rizzuti on pianos; Vicente Tagliacozzo, Julio De Caro, Samuel Reznik, José Niessov and Sammy Friedenthal on violins; Vicente and José Sciarreta on basses and Antonio Rodríguez Lesende as singer.
In that same year he was part of the orchestra lead by Juan “Pacho” Maglio in the Germinal Café. He was 18 years old by then.
In 1933, Troilo participated in the movie “Los tres berretines”, playing in a trio that featured José Maria Rizzutti on the piano and Vicente Tagliacozzo on the violin. On that same year he was a part of Elvino Vardaro´s sextet performing in the “Tabarís”.
In 1934 he was part of the first tango orchestra directed by Ángel D´Agostino.
He was also a part, playing the bandoneon, of the “Cuarteto del 900” in 1936, directed by Feliciano Brunelli (accordion), Enrique Nicolas Bour (flute) and Elvino Vardaro (violin). This quartet made two instrumental recordings: “Amalia” (Brunelli and Vardaro) and the tango “El Pillete” from Graciano de Leone.
Later he participated in the 1937 carnivals in Juan Carlos Cobian’s orchestra, before he gathered up and directed his own.
In 1937, when he was only 22 years old, he created the “Orquesta Típica de Aníbal Troilo”, with which he continued his professional activity until his death.
However, in 1953 he created a duet with Roberto Grela that would later become a quartet called “Troilo-Grela” and in 1968 he also created “Cuarteto Aníbal Troilo” that was originally composed by Troilo and Ubaldo de Lío (later replaced by Aníbal Arias) on the electric guitar, José Colángelo (piano) and Rafael del Bagno (bass).