Cremona, 1977. The violinist and composer Remo Lauricella stood deep in contemplation in front of the Andrea Amati violin Carlo IX he had owned from1935 to 1947 which at the time was displayed in the Sala dei Matrimoni of the Palazzo Comunale next to other classical Cremonese masterpieces. On that occasion, he expressed his will to donate, after his death, his Stradivari violin known as Vesuvio to the town of Cremona so that the instrument could return to its place of origin. Indeed, when Remo Lauricella left his earthly life on January 19, 2003, the Municipality of Cremona was informed that the violinist’s last testament provided for the Stradivari Vesuvio to be endowed to the mayor and Council members. In accordance with his last will, today the instrument is entrusted to young talented violinists who play it in performances held at the Museo del Violino.
In 1727 the Cremonese maker was an old man who had worked hard all his life. That same year his son Giovanni Battista Marino died at only 24: he was regarded as the one who could take over the family business, especially considering the advanced age of his brothers Francesco and Omobono, who had been working with their father for a long time. Two years later, Stradivari bought a burial place for himself and his family in the church of S. Domenico from the Villani heirs and finally, on January 24 he wrote his last will and testament. The instruments built in these years still reveal the master’s sure hand while they show no trace of his sons’ work which will emerge in the production of his final period.
The certificate of authenticity drawn up by W. E. Hill & Sons in London in 1929 stated that the scroll, which was not original, was made by the French luthier Nicolas Lupot in the early 19th century; at a later date, the upper right rib was also replaced. The label dated 1727 is probably original although the date appears to have been altered; in any case, the violin can still be considered as a typical example of the master’s work between 1724 and 1728.
Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis / Faciebat anno 1727
W. E. Hill & Sons, London, May 14, 1929
Albert Caressa, Paris, June 27, 1930
Silvestre & Maucotel, E. Maucotel & Deschamps, Paris, February 27, 1937
Endowed by the violinist Remo Lauricella to the town of Cremona, 2003