The Maestro Sacconi
in the testimony of the violinist
Ruggiero Ricci

  Harrogate, Great Britain, August 7, 1985

I think I met Sacconi in the late thirties, when he was still working with Herrmann. We were always going in for bridges and soundposts, and to try out violins. Sacconi was a sort of friend to the artists, especially the violinists. I would say he was something like a godfather to us.

He knew the violins in the shop and would advise us about them. I think it was in the thirties that I bought a Storioni from Herrmann. Sacconi was still there, and then later I still went to see him when he worked at Wurlitzer's with all the other violinmakers. D'Attili, Weisshaar, and all his pupils were working in the shop, and I used to go down, have some coffee or talk, and try out different instruments while he prepared mine.

I remember when I had my 1734 Guarnerius «Camposelice» and took it to Wurlitzer's because I wanted it with a stronger G string. Sacconi said to me, “Oh, I know a violin you should use! You must try the «Cooper Ben» violin that's upstairs.” And ultimately it was on his advice that I bought my present «Cooper Ben», which they traded me for my «Camposelice».

He was a good friend, and you always had a sort of feeling that you were talking to Stradivarius, because he looked very distinguished and was very well-mannered. He was really fond of the violinists that came in, and would tell stories about them like the one he told me about «Cooper Ben»: when he brought in the violin I now own, he said to Sacconi, “The E string is not 'victorious' enough”, in Español because he was Spanish. Sacconi was full of these stories.

Sometimes he would reprehend the artists, like the time he saw something like melted rosin on my fingerboard and said, “What are you putting on this violin?” I answered, “Nothing, that's just alcohol to clean the strings, “and he said, NO!!!”. He never trusted you for sure. He didn't want the artist to do anything to the violin. If you touched it, he would say, “Oh, you changed the bass bar on this violin!”. He was very alert.

He was such a great friend to the violinists that no one has ever replaced him. You felt he cared about you, and it wasn't really for the shop that we'd go there. We really went there because Sacconi was in the shop. That's why they became great shops, not because they were Herrmann's and Wurlitzer's, but because Sacconi made their era.

Harrogate, Great Britain, August 7, 1985

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 237 - Italian / English).