1. Héctor Varela / Rodolfo Lesica - "Historia de un amor" 1956
2. Héctor Varela / Rodolfo Lesica - "Y todavía te quiero" 1956
3. Héctor Varela / Rodolfo Lesica - "El bulín de la calle Ayacucho" 1951
4. Héctor Varela / Rodolfo Lesica - "Paciencia" 1951
I hadn't realized before that Varela and Lesica had recorded such an excellent version of the D'Arienzo classic "Paciencia", so I decided to try to make a tanda around the song. Varela's "Paciencia" was published interestingly a month and a half later than D'Arienzo himself had released the song with Alberto Echague. In many cases it seems like every orchestra in the 1950's had to have their own version of a big hit such as this one.
Varela, who himself played in D'Arienzos orchestra previously, continued the strong rhythmical style of his mentor but also made it his own. I've never been a fan of the 1950's recordings from D'Arienzo with Echague even though I absolutely love most of the D'Arienzo instrumental recordings from that time period. The singing of Rodolfo Lesica is a lot more pleasing to my ear in this version and the orchestra plays nicely restrained in comparison to some of the other Varela recordings.
"Paciencia" was of course recorded by D'Arienzo with Enrique Carbel already in 1937, and this version is my favorite. Some might also like the version of Francisco Canaro with Roberto Maida.
Now about the tanda. For a few reasons, it was very difficult to put this tanda together. Mainly because of the rather limited number of recordings from Varela with Lesica and also because a lot of them really are not on the level of "Paciencia". So I wanted to start the tanda with one of the most known songs from Varela "Historia de un amor", which is pretty much a pop hit of it's time as it was recorded by many non-tango orchestras as well all the way from Argentina to Finland. Also because Varela is disliked by some dancers, I want to have a very recognizable song first so it's an easy to choice for the dancers to go dance or go for some fresh air.
I wanted to continue with another hit song in "Y todavia te quiero" (also recorded by Di Sarli, Pugliese and D'Arienzo). These two songs probably are the best known songs from Varela/Lesica. The third one is in my opinion another excellent version of a big song - "El bulín de la calle Ayacucho" was recorded by Troilo/Fiorentino in 1941 and is one of the most popular songs in the Troilo discography. I think Varela's version is very nice although I feel that the songs comes to a very sudden end and I like the arrangement of Troilo better.
So the tanda has the two big hits from Varela followed by two Varela's versions of big tango classics. Notice the recording dates and slight difference in sound/recording quality going from the second to the third song. DJ's might want to boost the volume at least temporarily a bit for "El bulín..." to make up for the difference.
I could've looked for a more consistent style and energy by using more songs from the 1951-1953 recordings of Varela, but like I said it was impossible to find songs that would've been of the same quality of (meaning as good as) "Paciencia". So even though there's some fairly clear difference in the styles of the first two and the last two songs in this tanda, I believe that having four strong songs with less consistency is better than a tanda of weaker songs with more consistency.
Varela, Héctor - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store