In 1949 D'Arienzo said:
«In my point of view, tango is, above all, rhythm, nerve, strength and character. Early tango, that of the old stream (guardia vieja), had all that, and we must try not to ever lose it. Because we forgot that, Argentine tango entered into a crisis some years ago. Putting aside modesty, I did all was possible to make it reappear. In my opinion, a good part of the blame for tango decline is on the singers. There was a time when a tango orchestra was nothing else but a mere pretext for the singer´s featuring. The players, including the leader, were no more than accompanists of a somewhat popular star.
For me, that can´t be. Tango is also music, as is already said. I would add that is essentially music. In consequence, the orchestra, which plays it, cannot be relegated to the background to spotlight only the singer. On the contrary, it is for the orchestras and not for the singers.
The human voice is not, it should not be another thing but an instrument more in the orchestra.
To sacrifice everything for the singer´s sake, for the star, is a mistake. I reacted against that mistake which caused the tango crisis and placed the orchestra in the foreground and the singer in his place. Furthermore, I tried to rescue for tango its masculine strength, which it had been losing through succesive circumstances.
In that way in my interpretations I stamped the rhythm, the nerve, the strength and the character which distinguished it in the music world and which it had been losing for the above reasons. Luckily, that crisis was temporary, and today tango has been re-established, our tango, with the vitality of its best times. My major pride is to have contributed to that renaissance of our popular music."
extracted from http://www.todotango.com
Originally published in Tango y Lunfardo Nº 132, Year XIV, Chivilcoy, 16 September 1997. Director: Gaspar J. Astarita