The Maestro Sacconi
in the testimony of the cellist
Rocco Filippini


Lugano, October 23, 1983


I wish to leave my testimony about Sacconi even though destiny did not allow me to meet him in person. Destiny... How often, shortly after having met someone, you say reciprocally that «it is as if we had been friends all our lives»... Well, that's just the way it is with Sacconi: this man remains a secret for me, I never heard his voice, I am not familiar with his lineaments, and yet it is as if I had always known him because so many things talk to me of him. Besides his life's work, his violinmaking which is so luminous and subtle, and his writings that I have studied passionately, there is one of those «animals» which is closest to my heart – my cello – that speaks to me every day about him. In fact, like another hundred or so Stradivariuses restored by our indefatigable author, my 1710 «Baron Rothschild» was also opened, studied, repaired, and fitted up by him. The bass bar and the soundpost are his work, and during my daily hours of practice, just as in the unsuppressed solitude of the concert hall, my eye can look through the strings and read the famous inscription «Wurlitzer N. Y.» on the bridge, that sort of «morganatic signature». Will I ever spend as much time looking into the eyes of the woman I love as I have gazing at that bridge carved by his band which has become so familiar to me?

In the «Letters to the Pall Mall Gazette» published in 1872, Charles Reade tells of another great Stradivarius cello called the «Bass of Spain» and says that Tarisio went to Madrid to procure it for himself and then took it back to Paris, making the whole trip on foot...

Why do I cite this example?

Because what moves one so about these great instruments, and what adds to their own unparalleled value, is the fact that they have been the object of such passions, sacrifices, dreams, hopes, thrills and delusions as they've passed step by step through history in the hands of untiring men, from whom they acquired something like a secret value and captured a mysterious luminosity.

Thus it seems to me that my cello speaks to me in secret of Sacconi, of all his knowledge and of his great love for violinmaking, and this makes him even more dear to me.

Lugano, October 23, 1983

Taken from the book: «From Violinmaking to Music: The Life and Works of Simone Fernando Sacconi», presented on December 17, 1985 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. (Cremona, ACLAP, first edition 1985, second edition 1986, page 203 - Italian / English).