Various: Berlin Philharmonic Florence (Live From Florence) (Sarah Chang/ Zubin Mehta) (Arthaus Dvd: 107164)
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In 1540 Cosimo de'Medici moved with his family and court into the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. On 1st May 1995 the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra performed its jubilee concert - conducted on this occasion by Zubin Mehta - in the same building. Since 1991 the orchestra has commemorated its foundation on 1st May 1882 with a concert, each time in a different European musical capital. Florence is important in the history of music because, like all the royal houses of the time, the Medici liked to surround themselves with the most accomplished composers and players. Yet in the rooms of the palazzo, which are otherwise bursting with art treasures, one fi nds no evidence of this musical past. Apart from one gem; and that is a special room closed to the public which is enough to thrill the heart of every string player. It is a virtual treasure chamber of work by all the great Italian violin-makers. There is a 1662 Nicola Amati violin, a 1736 Guarneri and a violin, viola and cello by Antonio Stradivari. They were all made in Cremona, at the school of violin making, which was founded by the Amati family, and were obviously ordered directly by the Medici, as they all bear their coat of arms.