Another Version of La Tupungatina

Since I read Johan’s aritcle on Pugliese’s 8 controversial recordings, I had been looking for the other version of La Tupungatina. I asked around, it seemed nobody has it. Then few days ago, while I was tidying up my tango CDs, I found a bootleg CD of Pugliese. It was given by a French tango friend, and as far as I remember, he got it from a collector in Amsterdam. I had a look at the index, and then these few words caught my eyes – La Tupungatina Cueca arr en tango C Tapia (inedito). While I was looking around for this song, this CD was already lying in my collection for years!! How stupid I am!

So, this track I found among my collection is indeed the other version of La Tupungatina, just that unfortunately there are defects at the beginning. It is shorter than the one we usually hear from the Reliquias series, so here let’s call it the short version. Besides the sound quality matter, here are some obvious differences I recognized of the two versions, all the time indication below is of the Reliquias version:

  • At the very beginning, the introduction is shorter. The first few bars of the Reliquias version goes like this: A, A, A1, A1; while in the shorter version, it goes like this: A, A1.
  • The bass and piano interval at around 0:45 is shorten in the short version.
  • The interval between 1:47 to 1:54 is missing in the short version.
  • The violin variation between 2:27 to 2:41 is missing in the short version.
  • In between the 2:58 to 3:26 piano solo, there’re whistling sound imitated by the violin in the short version.

And if you listen carefully, even though the arrangements are pretty much the same, interpretation of the violin and piano are different in two versions. These are subtle, the more you listen and compare the two versions, the more you will figure them out.

Ok ok…… I know I’m talking too much. Here’s the song. Enjoy!

12 Responses to “Another Version of La Tupungatina”

  1. Simba Says:

    Too bad it is so scrambled in the beginning, but very interesting nevertheless. Thanks!

  2. Royce Says:

    Hi Simba,

    Try to get the BATC version. It’s much better!


  3. johan Says:

    Dear Royce

    Allow me to add some trivia on “La Tupungatina”.
    The name is derived from Tupungato, a mountain in the Mendoza area, near the Chilean border. La Tupungatina is in fact an old folk tune which was already recorded in 1921 by Gardel & Razzano. This is one of the typical arrangments inspired by Pugliese – I like to call them “transformations” – of which it is very difficult to imagine how the original sounded. Similar cases are “Emancipación”, a tango by Bevilacqua (1910) – one should compare it with the version of Adolfo Perez (Pocholo), 1935 – and “A Evaristo Carriego” (by Eduardo Rovira, 1966) whose original sounds almost “campera” – a country tune -, very different in mood from the Pugliese version.

  4. Royce Says:

    Johan, thank you very much for your words on La Tupungatina!

    I found the CD of the original non-tango La Tupungatina on tangostore. Listening to its 45′ sample, Pugliese’s version is very far from it, though it is recognizable. I’m looking forward to my Buenos Aires trip to get this CD. My love to La Tupungatina goes beyond tango~~

    Let me check if I have the material to study the other “transformations” you mentioned. BTW, why don’t you write an article on this subject? There’re many transformation songs in tango – mainly from folk music and classical music. I think that would be an interesting study.

  5. Simba Says:

    Thanks Royce, I’m going there next week or the week after, so I will have to add that to the list 🙂

    Transformations or covers are an interesting topic, so I would love to read your thoughts on that, Johan. Some people frown upon adapting pop music to tango, but as you note, it is an old practice. Not always very successful, of course 🙂


  6. TP Says:

    The BATC version is of lesser quality. Orfeon has a new CD “Pasional” which has cleaned (slightly better) version of it.

  7. Royce Says:

    Hi TP,

    Yes, I got both CDs (fresh from Bs.As. BATC). I’m just wondering what’s the relationship between BATC and Orfeon. Did they bought over it? When I looked at the “Pasional” CD, it doesn’t look like a usual commercial print to me (though it has barcode), especially the CD itself, it looks more like a private bootleg disc than anything. I’m a bit puzzled.

    Anyway, all the 8 controversial Pugliese songs are in 1 disc now, we should feel happy about it. 🙂


  8. Rani Says:

    hi Royce, I found your blog when i did search on bandoneon. I am an indonesian (singapore PR) with great interest in learning the bandoneon. I love tango music, although I cannot dance.

    Me and my family plan to do a trip to Argentina end of this year, in which i hope to get one week of the trip for a bandoneon class and buy bandoneon.

    Or do you recommend buying a bandoneon from germany from ebay?

  9. Royce Says:

    Hi Rani,

    Taking bandoneon class is rather easy and convenient. You don’t need to have a bandoneon, the bandoneon teacher usually has one for his student for taking classes.

    But buying bandoneon in BA now is complicated. A law just passed last year in November to forbidden bandoneon older than 50? (forgot the exact year) years old to leave Argentina. I have no clue how the law has been carrying out, and none of the people I know had ever tried to bring a bandoneon out of the country since the law is passed. So maybe you can still buy a bandoneon, but bring it back to Singapore might not be possible.

    I never recommend people to buy instrument online without trying the instrument themselves. But unfortunately, that might be the only option for you, if buying a bandoneon in Argentina is not possible (unless you opt for a brand new one). In Germany there’re many bandoneons for sale on ebay, but most of them do not have the same fingering system as the Argentinian ones. If you really want to get it through ebay, check carefully.

    If you will go to Bs.As. later this year. I suggest you to take few bandoneon classes and see if you like it first. Then talk to your bandoneon teacher and he should be able to advice you on how to get the instrument.


  10. Sergio Gabriel Bustos Says:


    Very interesting. I didn’t know the version. Thank you for noting the intervals, I’m trying to learn a little bit of harmony.
    May I ask you, is there a way to download the music you’re posting or to listen to it?
    I teach tango, and I’m studying a lot, and your material here is very difficult to get. I’ve started to fill up the music tags on the files I’ve got. I’ve started with Canaro with Ada Falcon, and these are all of her edited song.

    I couldn’t get three songs that haven’t been edited, those are “Sentimiento gaucho” (duet with Ramos), “Tahy” (a fado), and “Como anillo al dedo” (not the version with Charlo).
    I hope you’ll like it in the case you didn’t have any of Ada’ssongs, which I doubt, but anyways.
    Thank you for “La tupungatina”!!!!


  11. Royce Says:

    Dear Sergio,

    Your link is interesting, I will go and have a look when I have more time. It’s in Spanish so I need double time and effort to read. 🙂

    I think you can listen to the audio materials directly from my blog, maybe you need Quicktime to play, same for downloading. If you’re asking for full song, then I’m really sorry as for legal matters I cannot post full songs on my website.

    I don’t have information on the three songs you mentioned.


  12. Sergio Gabriel Bustos Says:

    Dear Royce,

    as I imagine you collect, I’d like to ask you for a couple of songs by Edgardo Donato i’ve not been able to find. Those are:

    Qué hacés, Ciriaco
    La muerte de Milonguita

    I finally found the Sentimiento Gaucho version I wrote you about. Feel free to email me if you want it. Cheers.


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