The Maestro Sacconi
in the testimony of the violinist
Uto Ughi

  Venice, February 17, 1985

It is with real interest that I collaborate with ACLAP on this publication designed to bring to light the figure and the works of one of the greatest Master of Modern violinmaking, Simone Fernando Sacconi, twelve years after his death (the testimony is from 1985, editor’s note). He was both a great violinmaker and a great restorer to whom goes, first of all, the merit of having rediscovered that prestigious tradition of the classical Cremonese violinmaking, whose original sources of inspiration were Amati, Stradivarius and Guarnerius del Gesù.

I met Sacconi for the first time in Venice, and later I saw him again in New York at Wurlitzer's. He gave me the impression of having infinite competence and enormous experience, not dissociated from surprising friendliness and humanity.

He had a passion not only for the violin, but also for music, and he took interest in the violinists' careers. Being a great violinmaker, he was terribly interested in the violinist and the approach he had to the instrument. He enjoyed talking about the different schools and the diverse approaches to tone. He talked with me about the different characteristics of the Guarnerius sound and the Stradivarius sound, and about the fact that there are violinists more adapted to the Guarnerius, and violinists more adapted to the Stradivarius – an opinion which I share in general, even though, personally, I am as comfortable with one as I am with the other.

I had a chance to show him my Stradivarius, which he found very good and admired greatly, although for lack of time it wasn't possible for him to do a complete réglage.

I would do Sacconi an injustice if I didn't mention the great esteem and highest consideration that everyone in musical circles had for him. They all knew him, from Menuhin to Stern, to Francescatti, to Brengola, Gulli, Accardo, Zukerman, Perlman, etc., and everyone considered him a great luminary, the superlative professional, both in restoration and in fitting up antique instruments. His ability to repair the great masterpieces of the past was proverbial. He brought them back to life with an extraordinary manual dexterity, which was the fruit both of his enormous experience and of his exceptional sensitivity and great love for the creativity of his work.

To reintroduce the figure of Sacconi today means above all, I think, a re-proposal of the central value of creativity in work in the context of our modern industrial society, a value which I believe the work of the violinmaker and the art of the violinist should have in common.

Venice, February 17, 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, DC (Cremona, ACLAP, first edition 1985, second edition 1986, page 267 - Italian / English).