Interview with Stefano Trabucchi by Roberto Messina
“Wanting to unravel the ‘mysteries’ of a violin is ancient desire. Not only that: very modern and contemporary.
The latest step in this long quest of violin makers, musicians and musicologists is the volume “The Violin Unveiled – History, Techniques and Secrets of Italian Violin Making from Stradivari to Today.” A book interviews luthier
‘Cremonese’: Stefano Trabucchi who answers questions from journalist Roberto Messina. The book is published by Academ Editore types (pp. 103). Trabucchi is a long-time luthier, and his Cremonese workshop, in the ancient medieval quarter of the weavers, has now been working for the world for 30 years. Arriving from the Lombardy mountains of Sondrio, Italy, at the age of fourteen, Stefano climbed all the difficult steps to the elite of stringed-instrument makers. From his Olympus, he now profiles the artistic history of this wonderful art that began, in the mid-sixteenth century, under the Torrazzo. He unrolls, answer after answer, all the steps leading to the construction of these powerful ‘machines’ of sound. He does more. He tells of the ‘secrets’ of those ancient Cremonese masters by purging them of the fantastic narratives of a nineteenth century that loved, unparalleled, ‘mystery’. It brings those stories back to the simple reality of yesterday and today: namely, the ability of those artists in working the material. Of choosing the most precious woods. Of finding the appropriate thicknesses. Of calibrating, with mastery, the elements of varnishes. Of transmitting to that material, only apparently soulless, a present and a future. Of endlessly experimenting with measurements and proportions and reaching the goal of the ‘perfect’ sound. A quiet dialogue. As serene as the work in the workshop and as life in that Cremona that for Trabucchi, and his family, has become ‘home’ forever. A city that has entered his heart. He recounts its activities with a constructive spirit; free from personalistic encrustations. Willing to achieve the ‘common good’ especially in the artistic field: true gold mine for the whole city, not only artistically, but also economically. Attentive to all forms of participation that can, in some way, bring prestige to this true unicum recognized by Unesco as intangible heritage of humanity that is the ‘making of luthiers’, A beautiful book. Fruit of a sincere confrontation. Which does not avoid technical and human problems and difficulties, but addresses them in a constructive spirit.
Also very useful to read is the introduction by Roberto Messina: an indispensable viaticum for those who want to enter, on tiptoe, into this extraordinary world made of sounds. Of nature. Of ingenuity and infinite passion. Well edited is the part devoted to images. Equally essential is the English version.” – Roberto Fiorentini