Dear Luciano,

Almost two generations lie between us, but your name has always been present in my life. Long before I had the honour of playing with you I had heard you on Radio Lugano. You were very highly esteemed and your performances illuminated the daily musical life of Lugano.

We often met you at concerts, always smiling, always a kind word, an encouragement to go on with our music... There were not many of us in Lugano who were musicians, it was a small circle and we all knew each other. Then there were the early friendships, Lorenzo Bianconi, the Jeunesses Musicales, the discovery of Monteverdi, the harpsichord, the continuo. And again it was you who advised me to go away to study.

During my studies in Geneva, I discovered Michel Corboz's Monteverdi, and then, this time both of us professionals, we met again in the instrumental ensemble. My first concerts. I often listened to you relating, in that deep voice of yours, interesting things about life, about music, always with such modesty. I also loved reading the long letters you wrote me, clarifying every detail of a future collaboration, telling about your numerous changes of living quarters, and your inexhaustible fund of anecdotes that were never merely anecdotic.

Then I discovered the Baroque violin and once again we got together in Lugano to record several 17th century Italian sonatas. While the musicians around me were wondering what had got into me, it was you Luciano, who helped to convince me that my investigations were justified, and I remember your enthusiasm.

Then we met again around a fortepiano. It was Haydn. I remember seeing you seated at this instrument; you said you were tired, and yet the moment your fingers touched the keyboard there was a swirl of brilliant pearls, very rapid, perfect. Not a single slip. This concert, so filled with music, has remained etched in my memory.

Hence my desire to prolong this moment and make a recording on which I accompany you. And yet once more, I found in playing with you, all those dazzling musical qualities our generation is indebted to you for.

Another thing I love in you is that simple generostiy when you turn your fees and your instruments over to the young musicians around you who need them. In the restless life we all lead, when music too often becomes a profession and no longer a pleasure, I always find in you a sincere, profound and calm attitude that should be that of every musician.

Thank you, Luciano.


This tribute appeared
in the notes for the
Harmonia Mundi CD of
Schobert's chamber music
performed by Chiara Banchini
and Luciano Sgrizzi.