Quiet please: Italian town takes vow of silence as violins recorded
A town in northern Italy that makes the world's finest violins has taken a collective vow of silence so that the mellifluous sounds of the instruments can be recorded for posterity.
Cremona has been known for centuries as the home of violin making, including the Stradivarius instruments produced by Antonio Stradivari, considered the finest exponent of the art.
He established his workshop in the town in the late 17th century and made more than 1,000 violins, violas, and cellos, winning commissions from royalty.
Now the town has blocked streets and a piazza off to traffic and urged residents to go about their business with as little noise as possible as the music made by four violins is digitally recorded by a team of technicians in the town's Violin Museum.
The rumble of a truck, the barking of a dog or the click of a pair of high heels could compromise the project. The noise restriction measures will be in place until February 9, giving experts the chance to attain the most perfect recording of the instruments.
"So far we've not had any complaints and people seem to be positive about the project, which is important for Cremona," Gianluca Galimberti, the mayor, said.
The instruments are so esteemed that they have individual names, including the Stauffer, a viola made in 1615 by Girolamo Amati, a violin called the Prince Doria, made in 1734 by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu and a violin called Vesuvio crafted by Stradivari in 1727. The instruments are played in an auditorium within the museum.