Gran Hotel Victoria

For my second article I have chosen this tune, that almost every orquesta seems to have recorded. I shall be doing some unashamed plagiarizing here. It just means that if you have any problems with the facts, you can blame someone else.

For those who do not know the tune, here is my favourite version by Francisco Canaro (without the Gran); and here we have D’Arienzo (with the gran)

You can spend hours on Youtube looking into this tune, I am sure you will find your favourite does not agree with mine.

There is an Hotel Victoria in Buenos Aires, on the corner of Alsina and San Jose, but this is not it, as you will see. That one also is also not very Grand.

The historian from Córdoba, Efraín Bischoff, says a different thing. He affirms it is a tango from Córdoba which was composed by Feliciano Latasa for the opening on January 4, 1906 of the enlargement of the Gran Hotel Victoria which was run by Pascual Andruet on 133 San Martín Street in the city of Córdoba».

We shall present a short biography of the composer or, maybe rather, alleged composer of the piece. Pianist and violinist, Latasa was born in San Sebastián —Guipúzcoa, Spain— on September 25, 1870 and settled in the city of Rosario, province of Santa Fe, at the dawn of the twentieth century. At that city he led the orchestra of the Sociedad España and the Orfeón Gallego.

When in Córdoba he appeared at the Club Democrático España and at the Roma and Victoria hotels leading his orchestra lined up by José Ferreras and Cristóbal Boday (violins), José Aguilar (flute), José Guisado (clarinet), Ernesto Di Blasi (trombone) and J. Macia Granja (bass). He composed the tango “Gran Hotel Victoria” (Hotel Victoria), the chotis “Carmencita”, the zarzuelas “Risas y lágrimas” and “Celeste”, and, according to Vicente Gesualdo, numerous dancehall pieces, chotis, mazurcas, polkas, waltzes, pas de quatre, etc. He died in Córdoba on September 18, 1906 when he was nearing age 36.

This is taken from an article in Look it up if you have time, there is a lot more interesting stuff in there.

The Hotel itself has had many refurbishments. It is built in a conventillo arrangement and now has a roof over the central courtyard with a lift to the upper floors standing in the corner. We visited in 2014 but only managed this one picture.

It had just completed another refurbishment when we there and the staff were more than happy for us to look around.

As I always say, if you have any issues with what I have said here, please comment, I am always happy to hear other views.



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