At half light - A media luz

"At half light"
Poster commemorating A media luz in Corrientes 348
Song by Julio Iglesias , Roberto Firpo and Carlos Gardel
Publication 1925
Gender tango
Composer Edgardo Donato
Lyricist Carlos César Lenzi
Original language español

A media luz is a tango whose lyrics belong to Carlos César Lenzi while the music is by Edgardo Donato , which premiered in 1925 in Montevideo , Uruguay .

The authors

Edgardo Donato ( 14 of April of 1897 , Buenos Aires , Argentina - 15 of February of 1963 ), Buenos Aires, whose full name was Donato Edgardo Felipe Valerio was a bandleader , composer and violinist .

Carlos César Lenzi (Montevideo, Uruguay, 3 of November of 1895 - Buenos Aires, October to June of 1963 was a diplomat , poet and writer who is the author of several letters of tango , among which is A half - light .

Current front of Corrientes 348 in Buenos Aires and commemorative poster of A media luz


In 1925 Lenzi gave Donato a letter that, according to José Gobello, is "more lupanaria than erotic" [ 1 ] It was about the tango A media luz, which would be one of the most recorded worldwide in the history of the genre, which was premiered in Montevideo, in the musical magazine His Majesty the magazine , with the voice of the Chilean star Lucy Clory, which was immediately recorded by Firpo , Canaro and Gardel , starting the series of recordings made by the most diverse artists in the world. It was a great success for Azucena Maizaniwhen he included it in his repertoire from October 1926 at the Teatro de la Comedia, in Buenos Aires, in his own company of magazines that he headed. [ 2 ] It is one of three works of the genre recorded and disseminated worldwide [ 3 ]

According to Francisco García Jiménez , one night in which Edgardo Donato had been hired to entertain a private party that was taking place in the Wilson Palace, a luxurious Montevidean mansion, the musician had the idea of ​​turning the key that turned off the chandelier of main lights and announce: “Now in half light !. While the couples continued dancing, one of the guests, Carlos Lenzi, picked up the phrase and that same night he began a lyrics inspired by it and thinking of the Buenos Aires that he knew so well. He kept working on it for a month until he got the desired result and gave it to Donato to be musicalized. [ 4 ]

Notes on the lyrics

Maple was a well-known furniture store of British origin that had its premises initially at Carlos Pellegrini 326 and later on Suipacha Street almost at the corner of Viamonte in Buenos Aires, next to the "La Orquídea de Mario Camoirano" flower shop. It sold both furniture and accessories - first and then imported manufacturing and national - operated between 1850 and 1982 as MAPLE & company , and since then, as a local company at another address. [ 5 ] [ 6 ] in Currents 348 it was a living polishing head dehulled more Later it was demolished to make way for a modern construction, but in 1978 a plaque alluding to the now famous tango was placed for the information of the many tourists who seek it. [ 4 ]

Edgardo Donato and his orchestra.

The word "cocó" ("As in a drug store cocó") is a lunfardismo for "cocaine" whose sale, at the time of composing this tango, was legal. The same word is used in tango Griseta "(" a night of champagne and coco "). [ 6 ]

"Juncal 1224" is a telephone number since, at that time, it was usual to indicate the characteristic with a name, that is, the first two numbers, in the case "Juncal", followed by the other four.


  1. Gobello, José in Women and men who made tango p. 151, Buenos Aires, 2002, Centro Editor de Cultura Argentina, ISBN 950-898-081-8
  2. Eduardo Romano (coordination and prologue): The lyrics of tango. Chronological anthology 1900 - 1980 p. 83 Rosario (Santa Fe province) 1990, Editorial Fundación Ross ISBN 950-9472-24-7
  3. The other two tangos are La cumparsita and El Choclo : Edgardo Donato. A characteristic rhythm in Tango 1880-1980 a century of history n * 19 p.73 directed by Alberto Fontevecchia, 1980, Buenos Aires. Editorial Perfil SA
  4. a b García Jiménez, Francisco: This is how tangos were born p. 161/4. Buenos Aires 1981 Editions Corregidor
  5. Maple Furniture . Accessed 21-9-2014
  6. a b José Gobello: Tangos, lyrics and lyricists volume 6 Dictionary of tangos p. 135 Buenos Aires 1996 Editorial Plus Ultra ISBN 950-21-1254-7


  • The lyrics of tango. Chronological anthology 1900 - 1980 . Rosario (Santa Fe province): Editorial Fundación Ross. 1990. p. 82. ISBN 950-9472-24-7 .

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