a Final requiem for the Stradivarius. Or almost? The city of Cremona in northern Italy, in which there are multiple music workshops, has launched the amazing project of save the sound of the instruments the luthier world-famous Antonio Stradivari, before that time does not alter completely their sound. A future is inevitable for these violins renowned.
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Three sound engineers have partnered with the Museum of the violin Cremona in order to create a “Stradivarius Sound Bank” (bank of sound of the Stradivarius). It was important that the next generations have also the opportunity to listen to him play one of these rare violins. “We are preparing to make immortal the most beautiful instrument ever made,” says the New York Times Leonard Tedeschi, a former DJ at the origin of the project. “We preserve and restore these [violins],” says Mr. Cacciatori, curator of the museum, “but after a certain age, they become too fragile to be played and “fall asleep”, so to speak”. With this new sound bank available, the engineers think they can manipulate the records in order to continue to play the Stradivarius, even when the instrument in question will no longer be in a condition to be used.
“Macdonald” is one of the few violas Stradivarius belong to a private collector. ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP
according To the engineer leading the project, Thomas Koritke, it took “several years to convince the museum of [the] use of stringed instruments already old of 500 years”. For the occasion, the four musicians have to spend the month of January to play, “hundreds of thousands of notes and variations, eight hours per day, six days per week”, with two violins, a viola and a cello. “A challenge both physical and mental for them,” testifies he.
This ambitious project would have been able to do in 2017, if another failed audit had not revealed a flaw in its implementation. “The streets in the vicinity of the auditorium are made of cobblestones, a nightmare hearing” according to Leonard Tedeschi. To avoid the noise from the street -whether it’s a motor, or the clack of heels on the pavement – affects the recording capabilities of the thirty microphones used, the mayor of Cremona, president of the Foundation Stradivarius which belongs to the museum, decided to close the perimeter of the auditorium for five weeks. The population has also been ordered to avoid sudden noise and unnecessary. In the auditorium, the ventilation and the elevators have been shut down. According to Classic FM, even the light bulbs have been unscrewed in order to avoid any crackling.
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“We’re the only city in the world to preserve as much of the instruments that their” vote ” delights the mayor. “This is an extraordinary project that looks to the future, and I am sure that the inhabitants of Cremona will understand that it was inevitable to close the area.”