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Novembre in music

November must be dreary, there is no escape, but crossing the Po so swollen with water thrilled me, and Cremona, despite the dreary afternoon, is still a little Po Valley living room.

It is a city with a secret: its ancient relationship with musical instruments.

Not far from the Torrazzo with its astronomical clock (to be wound every day) and the Piazza del Duomo stands the Violin Museum.

A reductive definition.

The refurbished building of the former Palazzo dell'Arte, commissioned in the 1940s by fascist hierarch Farinacci, houses a museum and an Auditorium

The Museum is a path through the art of luthiers and a container of extraordinary stringed instruments, ancient and not.

Violas, violins, cellos crafted by the hands of Stradivari, Guarneri and other luthiery artists.

Entering the Auditorium is like entering a sound box, wood is everywhere molded into soft honey-colored swirls, a space where sound envelops you.

I'm metioning sound because , in this Auditorium, instruments from the museum collection are kept 'alive', entrusted, in the hands of experienced musicians in turn. It is about a 30-minute 'audition'. Short performances that keep the instrument in practice and give the museum's visitors the great opportunity of enjoying classical music.

Because the ancient sound of a Stradivari cello from the 1700s warms everyone's heart.

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