In Focus: A c.1920 double bass by Cesare Candi

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René Zaal examines the 20th-century instrument

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Cesare Candi was born in Bologna in 1869. On the death of his father in 1884, the 15-year-old Candi began an apprenticeship in the workshop of luthier Raffaele Fiorini. Four years later he left Bologna for Genoa, to join his brother Oreste who had found employment in a workshop making mandolins and guitars. The Candis started their own business in 1892, focusing on plucked instruments to begin with. Cesare also trained as a violin maker with Enrico Rocca and Eugenio Praga, opening his own workshop towards the end of the century. His instruments won awards at exhibitions in Milan (1906), Bologna (1907) and Cremona (1937) and he was highly acclaimed for his decorated instruments. After Rocca’s death in 1915, Candi took over his role as curator of Paganini’s ‘Il Cannone’ Guarneri ‘del Gesù’, still housed in Genoa’s town hall. Candi’s apprentices included Paolo De Barbieri and Giuseppe Lecchi. He died in Genoa on 29 September 1947…

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