Os Tanguistas

Magda Machado


Poem written in 1998, in Miami, at the sound of El Dia en Que Me Quieras, of Carlos Gardel, with the Berlin Symphonic, conducted by Daniel Beremboin.  I set the poem set to music in 2007.  

I have always loved the tango, and the music of Astor Piazzolla haunts me since hearing him in New York decades ago. I met Alexis Alrich in 2012, after her performance as a trio (with violin and cello) for the Hong Kong Chamber Music Society at the Hong Kong Club. Her virtuous playing and compositions, plus the tango of Piazzolla she included in the program, brought me to tears and it was then that I got the notion that I needed to work with her.  She sat with me for many months in 2013, and as I sang my songs, she transcribed the melody, note by note. Oral tradition met Music literacy and my songs became compositions.

By the end of  2013, we were both excited about recording three songs (we would not have time for more) and we pulled it off at the end of June, the day before I was to leave Hong Kong. We were joined by Samuel Ferrer, the outstanding double-bassist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and also by William Lane of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, with the rich telluric of his virtuoso viola playing.  A few months later, the accordion of Caetano Bartholo was added in Brasilia, as well as percussion by Macaxeira Acioli at Casa do Som.

Parts and arrangement by Alexis Alrich in Hong Kong, and by Dudu Maia in Brasilia. Recorded in 2014.




Os tanguistas são donos da tristeza.

Quero entrar onde habitam

Quero lembrar por que a paixão

Dilera os amantes


A dor de amar

Pode abrir uma ferida

Que nada nem ninguem

Vai conseguir sarar


Quando esta musica

Doida, doída, me lembrar

Do amor que eu tinha

Me virá a dor


Toda a dor do mundo

Que é só minha



Tango players are the owners of sadness.

I want to go into their homes

To remember the reason why passion

Is lacerating to lovers


The pain of loving

May open a wound

That nothing and no one

Can ever heal


When this crazy achy

Music reminds me

Of the love I used to have

I will feel the pain


All the pain of this world

Which I bear alone


Maguinha - vocals

Alexis Alrich - piano

William Lane – viola

Samuel Ferrer – double bass

Caetano Bartholo - accordion

Macaxeira Acioli - percussion


Parts and arrangement by Alexis Alrich by Dudu Maia in Brasilia. Recorded in 2014.