I MUSICI 1952 / 2002 In 1952, twelve young and promising italian musicians, mainly roman and mostly graduates of the master classes at the Accademia di Santa Ceacilia, got togeter "inter pares" to create a unique chamber orchestra comprising six violins, two violas, two cellos, one double bass and one harpschord, with the intention of revitalizing the string repertory, particulary that of the italian composers of the "settecento". They choose the simple, yet nice, name I MUSICI and they deliberately decided to shape the ensemble without conductor, in order to establish among the twelve colleagues and friends, an egalitarian relationship thus bringing ti their rehearsals as well as to their concerts, a unanimous decision on technical and interpretative problems of the scores; a rather unconventional but unexpectedly suitable procedure. It was quite symbolic that Arturo Toscanini upon hearing them while they were rehersing in april 1952 at the italian Radio formulated the first enthusiastic reaction in front of journalists and musical personalities, even dedicating his portrait to the group with the words "bravi, bravissimi...no! la musica non muore".
A few weeks earlier, on the 30th of March 1952, their public debut was an enormous success at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia; it was the starting point of an astonishing career, which in a schort time catapulted them among the ranks of the great international performers. In several European countries I MUSICI are known with a different name: I MUSICI DI ROMA. This curious anomaly was the idea of a Munich impresario to whom they had asked to be their manager for Germany and Austria. He suggested them, that they should add the atrributive DI ROMA in those countries, because central European audiences, at all times in love widh Mediterranean classicism, would immediately know their roost and olso will be a good pubblicity, for this unknown (then) Italian orchestra. After some initial puzzlement they accepted: the results were so positive that their new name I MUSICI DI ROMA was permanently adopted for the cult and exsigent central European audiences. Today, any international concertgoer can hear I MUSICI at the Mozarteum in Buenos Aires or at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona as well as I MUSICI DI ROMA at Musikverein in Vienna and will know that olways is no other than the same famous roman chamber orchestra.
I MUSICI's remarkable quality has alwais been, ever since its beginning to extrat from its ensemble all the required soloists - individually and in diverse instrumental combinations - , so its programs offer a rich balance in styles and tonal colors. I MUSICI has an astonishing list of recordings - from the first 33 rpm LP's to the modern CD's - enriched on several occasions by the collaboration of renowned wind virtuosi: S. Gazzelloni, F. Bruggen, A. Nicolet, M. Larrieux, H. Holliger, M. Bourgue, K. Thunemann, M. Costantini, M. Andr¸, H. Hardenberger, G. Touvron, B. Soustrot, and awarded many times wich prizes:
Grand Prix de l' Acad¸mie Charles Cros
Grand Prix International du Disque
Grand Prix des Discophiles
The masterful interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons has been always a best seller and was recorded in six successive versions (PHILIPS):
1955 soloist Felix Ayo LP 33 giri MONO
1959 soloist Felix Ayo LP 33 giri STEREO
1969 soloist Roberto Michelucci LP 33 giri STEREO
1982 soloist Pina Carmirelli CD
1990 soloist Federico Agostini CD e Laser Disc Video
1995 soloist Mariana Sirbu CD Bitstream
"There are cigars and there are CUBAN COHIBAS, there are red wines and there are CHATEAU LAFITE ROTHSCHILDS. There are performances of TheFour Seasons and there is I MUSICI'S FOUR SEASONS." (The Palm Beach Post).
Today I MUSICI's recording production is a huge collection of compositions from authors of the 18th., 19th. and 20th. Centuries.
On its Fiftieth Anniversary, I MUSICI remembers with gratitude all the colleagues, who in those years have more assiduosly partecipated in their concert life; all of them high level musicians, who in many cases continued to glow with their own light. Alphabetically they are:
violini di spalla: Salvatore Accardo, Federico Agostini, Felix Ayo, Pina Carmirelli, Roberto Michelucci, Franco Tamponi.
Violins: Italo Colandrea ,Anna Maria Cotogni, Walter Gallozzi, Luciano Vicari.
Violas: Dino Asciolla, Aldo Bennici, Paolo Centurioni, Carmen Franco, Alfonso Ghedin, Bruno Giuranna.
Cellos: Enzo Altobelli, Mario Centurione.
I MUSICI today with their instrument:
Violins: Mariana Sirbu (Antonio Stradivari) 1702 Cremona
Antonio Perez (Floreno Guidantus) 1736 Bologna
Arnaldo Apostoli (Gennaro Gagliano) 1730 Napoli
Claudio Buccarella (Giov. Batt. Ceruti) 1796 Cremona
Pasquale Pellegrino (Paolo Antonio Testore) 1720 Milano
Antonio Salvatore (Giov. Batt. Guadagnini) 1751 Milano
Violas: Massimo Paris (Giov. Paolo Maggini) 1600 Brescia
Silvio Di Rocco (Lorenzo e Tomaso Carcassi) 1752 Firenze
Cellos: Francesco Strano (Carlo Tononi) 1730 Venezia
Vito Paternoster (Lorenzo Carcassi) 1780 Firenze
Bass: Lucio Buccarella (Antonio Mariani) 1678 Pesaro
Clavicembalo: Maria Teresa Garatti (F. Bettenhausen) 1993 Haarlem (Ruckers copy)
The chamber playing and the unchanging sound of I MUSICI has been patent for alf a century of total dedication, of respect for the style and taste af each composer and, at the same time, a free interpretative liberty alien to any academic dogmatism. With these ductile qualities I MUSICI devolp and narrate the aspirations, sentiments and emotions of those composers who lived in an epoch full of conventions and bonds and nevertheless trasmit with their sublime art a universal and eternal message.
Robert Sherman in the NEW YORK TIMES:
"I MUSICI are ever since a model for all similar groups. They play without a conductor annd each member is a soloist - It means that every performance the give is a true expression spontaneous and meticulously polished of the talent of 12 artists - In every style they bring the essential impulse of life - The result is playng of verve, stylistic purity and impeccable artistry - One is constantly impressed by their ability to achieve the full sonority of a string orchestra without sacrificing the clarity and the utter precision of a string quartet - I MUSICI achieve the most delicate nuances of shading, of balance, of phrasing - Never those the rhythmic impulse falter, never is a note out of place."
Verniero Rizzardi in the NUOVO DI VENEZIA:
"I MUSICI, nowadays, still represent one of the best axamples of the italian instrumental civilization."
Text of Lucio Buccarella