Cremona, Italy: Now a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site
Amati, Guarnieri, Stradivari.Â What do you think of when you hear those names?Â
You are probably already imagining the sounds of the finest violins ever made.Â
Beginning in the 16th Century, Cremona became a preeminentÂ center for manufacturing musical instruments. The stringed instruments made in the shops of the aforementioned families became legendary for their design, craftsmanship and unrivaled sound.
As reported recently in Strings magazine, just this past year, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) has added the Northern Italy town of Cremona to its 2012 list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.Â If you love great music that is performed on these instruments, or instruments by makers who wereÂ inspired by them, you might think, well, its about time.
Indeed it is.Â Not only was the art of violin playing elevated to an unprecedented level during the Baroque Era, so was the creation of wondrous sounding instruments.Â And, they are still being made there in Cremona.Â The tradition of fine craftsmanship never stopped, and part of the award is in recognition of the ongoing tradition.
So, whether you’re a lover of the Baroque music of Corelli, Geminiani, or Vivaldi, or marvel at the sound of great virtuoso players such as Pinchas Zukerman or Itzhak PerlmanÂ playing the Beethoven or Brahms concertos on their priceless Guarnieri or Stradivarius. Its also good to recognize what a miracle of human craftsmanship occurred in this Italian town now recognized as an important cultural heritage site for us all.
Here’s some music from the era that made Cremona most famous: