concert and museum

concert and museum

[ Jan.2018 ] In Cremona in Lombardy in northern Italy, we went to a small concert.

Of course it was a violin concert and the ticket was only €7.

It was an event where a young violinist played the violin called “the Vesuvio” made by Stradivari, the historical violin maker born in this town and it was held in the chamber music hall, Auditorium Giovanni Arvedi which is in the new Violin Museum opened in 2013.

According to the leaflet for this concert, ‘Vesuvio’ was created by Stradivari in 1727, when he was already in his 80s.

When it was made, it was in intense burgundy red with perfect transparency and that is why they called it Vesuvio, the volcano.

The violinist called Remo Lauricella who was born in London owned this violin since 1968.

When he visited Cremona in 1977, he was so impressed by the collection which was in Palazzo Comunale in those days that he wrote a will declaring he was going to donate this violin to Cremona city to be used from time to time by promising young violinists who are recognised by the Italian Academy of Music.

When we entered the hall and sat down, I noticed a security guard and I thought he was out of place.

Then I realised that there was the Vesuvio behind him and he was guarding it.

The violinist on the day was 15 year old Clarissa Bevilacqua.

She looked mature in her blue dress.

She is a prodigy who started playing the violin at the age of 5 and made her debut when she was 9.

In the concert, she played variety of music from Bach and Vivaldi to Ennio Morricone.

For me, a layman, her music was wonderful, but after the concert, we heard some people were saying “She has great technical skill”.

I wonder if that means she did not have enough ability to make a deep impression on the audience in Cremona who had ears for music?

The hall itself has the stylish wooden curves and it is worth looking at.

460 people can be seated in this hall and it was designed by two Italian architects with the support of the Japanese acoustical engineer, Yasuhisa Toyota, according to the leaflet.

After the concert, we visited the museum itself (€10).

The building used to be a disused art centre of the Fascist period, and it was well made using the high technologies.

They were showing many aspects of violin making including the history, demonstration, ‘Jewellery Box’ which contains many historical violins and a video concert in a big wooden capsule.

There was a room for the violins which won the prizes in ‘Cremona Triennal’, an international competition for the violin makers which started in 1976 and one Japanese violin was there, made by Nobuhiro Sonoda.

We heard a guide leading a group in the museum saying that there are about 200 violin makers in Cremona now and the average price of their products is €15000 (£13200, $18500) and some of the bows cost as much as €500000.

They live in another world….