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Legendary ensemble brings style to Shanghai

THE legendary Italian string ensemble I Musici will perform in Shanghai on Saturday at the Shanghai Concert Hall.

The ensemble, once described by maestro Arturo Toscanini when he heard it rehearsing in April 1952 for Italian Radio as "the best chamber orchestra in the world," will perform its signature piece "The Four Seasons."

Antonio Vivaldi's work was itself a stepping stone for the development of music, introducing a classical theme to the Baroque style.

Written in 1725, it was originally part of a 12-part series "The Contest of Harmony and Invention," but has become one of the most popular and most loved of all classical concerti.

And it was I Musici's recording of the work in 1955 - the ensemble's first-ever recording - that gave the music its worldwide popularity.

I Musici's interpretation is widely accepted as the benchmark and Shanghai audiences will enjoy hearing this great work performed by the original orchestra that first brought "The Four Seasons" back to life.

Another major piece in the concert will be "The Concerto for Strings" by Nino Rota (1911-79), the great film composer who dedicated this work to I Musici.

Also in the concert will be music from the movies featuring soundtracks composed by Morricone, Rota, John Williams and Leonard Bernstein.

Movie fans will recognize great moments from "Schindler's List," "Once Upon a Time in the West," "Cinema Paradiso," "Godfather" and will thrill to the rich interpretations of great themes such as "Moon River" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

I Musici - meaning "The Musicians" in Italian - was founded in 1952 by 12 young Italian musicians, most from Rome and most graduates of master classes at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia.

The style and the unchanging sound of I Musici have lasted for half a century, a dedication to the respect the group holds for each composer and for music.

The ensemble tries to maintain the original flavor of each piece of music and effortlessly holds on to its title as "The Ambassador of Baroque Music" throughout the world of music.

It has been awarded the Grand Prix de l'Academie Charles Cros, Grand Prix International du Disque, the Edison Award, Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and Grand Prix des Discophiles.

Except for one cello, I Musici will also be playing its own instruments, all of them rare and precious examples from 15th-17th centuries including a Guadagnini, an Amati, a Ceruti, a Cappa, a Pressenda, a Carcassi, a Storioni, a Sgarbi and a Guarneri.

Shanghai is one of the stops in I Musici's Asian tour which includes China and Singapore.

Date: February 28, 7:30pm

Address: 523 Yan'an Rd E.

Ticket: 100-580 yuan


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