Roberto Firpo (May 10, 1884 – June 14, 1969) was an Argentine tango pianist, composer, and leader. Firpo was among the first innovators of the classic tango music genre. He was the creator of the standard tango sextet (Orquesta típica), and the establisher of the piano in the tango orchestra.
Firpo was born in the Flores district of Buenos Aires, where his father owned a grocery store. Firpo left school at 15 to work with his father and then several other companies, he eventually saved 200 Pesos (around US$100, at the time) to buy his first piano.
Around 1903 he began to have lessons with one of the greats of the period, Alfredo Bevilacqua. In 1907 he began composing and performing.
In 1913, at the age of 29, he formed his first orchestra that played the hits "Argañaraz", "Sentimiento criollo", "De pura cepa", and "Marejada" that year. In 1914 classic tango "Alma de bohemio" materialized and presented; one of his most admired work until today.
During his career Firpo played in most of the famous Buenos Aires tango venues such as the Armenonville, El tambito, Palais de Glace, Bar Iglesias, L’Abbaye, Teatro Buenos Aires, Teatro Nacional, Salón San Martín and Colonia Italiana. Many famous musicians passed through his various orchestras including the bandoneonist Pedro Maffia, the violinist Elvino Vardaro, Cayetano Puglisi, Juan Guido, Luis Cosenza and Carlos Garcia. His quartet was one of his most famous ensembles and he wrote many tangos.
He was one of the few tangueros to play in a cafe in Avenida de Mayo in Buenos Aires and he was the first person to play the tango La Cumparsita in the cafe La Giralda in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Firpo in 1930 gave up his tango career for a short while, to try his hand at cattle ranching, but he was forced to return to tango when the Paraná river's floods destroyed his livestock, and after that (trying to recover from the losses and trying his luck) he lost the rest of his fortune on the stock market.
Firpo retired in 1959 and died on June 14, 1969.
Birth and Death Data: Born May 10th, 1884 (Buenos Aires), Died June 14th, 1969
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1912 - 1941
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer
Recordings (Results 26-50 of 52 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BAVE-44583||10-in.||Summer 1929||Sueño florido||Orquesta Típica Cayetano Puglisi||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-60993||10-in.||Sept.-Oct.1931||Que salga el toro!||Orquesta Adolfo Carabelli||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BS-82504||10-in.||5/9/1934||Alma de bohemio||Hebe Marin||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-86736||10-in.||Alma de bohemio||Trio Ciriaco Ortiz||Instrumental trio||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-93093||10-in.||Between 1/31/1936 and 3/10/1936||Sueño florido||Orquesta Típica Juan D'Arienzo||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-93475||10-in.||1/12/1937||Marejada||Orquesta Típica Victor||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-93548||10-in.||4/1/1937||El apronte||Orquesta Típica Juan D'Arienzo||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-93586||10-in.||4/27/1937||Homero||Orquesta Típica Juan D'Arienzo||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-93855||10-in.||8/14/1937||El amanecer||Orquesta Típica Victor||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BA-727||10-in.||Fall 1925||Alma de bohemio||Orquesta Típica de Caro||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||G-1974||10-in.||5/8/1917||Lo que está bien ... tá bien!||Orquesta Típica Alonso-Minotto||Instrumental quartet||composer|
|Victor||G-1976||10-in.||5/8/1917||El solitario||Orquesta Típica Alonso-Minotto||Instrumental quartet||composer|
|Victor||G-1977||10-in.||5/8/1917||Sueño florido||Orquesta Típica Alonso-Minotto||Instrumental quartet||composer|
|Victor||G-1979||10-in.||5/8/1917||Alma gaucha||Orquesta Típica Alonso-Minotto||Instrumental quartet||composer|
|Victor||G-1980||10-in.||5/8/1917||Que salga el toro||Orquesta Típica Alonso-Minotto||Instrumental quartet||composer|
|Victor||G-1981||10-in.||5/8/1917||En el desierto||Orquesta Típica Alonso-Minotto||Instrumental quartet||composer|
|Victor||G-1982||10-in.||5/8/1917||Homero||Orquesta Típica Alonso-Minotto||Instrumental quartet||composer|
|Victor||G-1984||10-in.||5/8/1917||El horizonte||Orquesta Típica Alonso-Minotto||Instrumental quartet||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-012192||10-in.||4/12/1938||El horizonte||Orquesta Típica Juan D'Arienzo||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-039644||10-in.||11/18/1940||Argañaraz||Orquesta Típica Los Indios ; Ricardo Tanturi||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-039702||10-in.||before 3/18/1941||Viviani||Orquesta Típica Carlos Di Sarli||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BAVE-039816||10-in.||2/26/1941||Fuegos artificiales||Orquesta Típica Juan D'Arienzo||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Columbia||56796||10-in.||approximately 1912||La chola||Orquesta Típica Juan Maglio ("Pacho")||Instrumental EnsembleInstrumental ensemble||composer|
|Columbia||56810||10-in.||between 1920 and 1923||La gaucha Manuela||Orquesta Típica Juan Maglio ("Pacho")||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Columbia||57166||10-in.||approximately 1912||La despedida||Genaro Espósito ; Orquesta Típica de Genaro Espósito||Instrumental ensemble||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Firpo, Roberto," accessed October 17, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111106.
Firpo, Roberto. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 17, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111106.
"Firpo, Roberto." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 17 October 2021.
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