Rie Payaso is a wonderfully exciting tango. It's both playful and upbeat, but as so often in tango; lyrically it's telling quite a somber story. Written by Virgilio Carmona & Emilio Luis Ramon Falero in 1929, the song is based around the character Canio from the 1892 Italian opera "Pagliacci" (Clowns) by Ruggero Leoncavallo.
The bandoneon is the key to the tango sound. Named after its inventor, Heinrich Band (1821–1860), the bandoneon is a large, rather complicated concertina originally developed in Germany for churches that could not afford organs. Around 1870, German and Italian emigrants and sailors brought the instrument to Argentina, where it was adopted into the early genre of tango music.
Tango music can be traced back to the 1850s, but during the Guardia Nueva period, (1925-1935) Tango dancing had started to decline. The musicians began focusing less on the beat and more on the melodies as people were buying records and listening to tango on the radio. Dancing was no longer the primary concern.
In 1937, Aníbal Troilo's orchestra debuted with Francisco Fiorentino as the singer. Troilo was a large man and had the nickname "Pichuco." He was an innovator and kept pushing tango into new areas especially once he hired a young bandoneon player named Astor Piazzolla and made him arranger for his orchestra.
Born in Uruguay in 1888 to impoverished Italian immigrants, at the age of 10 his family emigrated to Buenos Aires. Bursting with musicality, he made his first violin out of wood and the remains of an oil can. Canaro proceeds to teach himself to play this bizarre instrument.
Canaro went on to become one of the driving factors in the creation of the wildly successful Buenos Aires based Tango Music Industry of the Golden Era of Tango. Canaro earned a place as a national icon of wealth and prosperity, along with the inevitably associated greed.
Juan D'Arienzo was in many ways the engine that drove the Golden Age - by virtue of his orchestra filling the dance halls. His beat, his sound and his musicians were just amazing. When he arrived in the latter 1930's, he infused a whole new life and energy into Tango.