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Franco Petracchi: “Study Is the Essence That Allows You to Work and Teach Successfully”


This scholarly interview delves into the life and career of Franco Petracchi, a renowned figure in the realm of double bass, widely acknowledged for his pivotal role in the instrument’s evolution. Petracchi provides insights into his early musical journey, tracing back to his childhood, where familial influences and unexpected turns led him to embrace the double bass against his initial inclinations.

The narrative unfolds through Petracchi’s reflections on his formative years under the tutelage of Guido Battistelli, emphasizing the scarcity of resources during the post-war period and the influence of maestros who prioritized “canto” and sound quality. Petracchi’s impact on the perception of the double bass as a solo instrument is discussed, particularly in the context of collaborations with notable composers such as Nino Rota.

The interview explores Petracchi’s enduring relationship with his Gaetano Rossi double basses from 1847, detailing their unique characteristics and the intimate connection forged over seven decades of shared musical exploration. His renowned pedagogical contribution, the “Simplified Higher Technique,” is scrutinized, tracing its origins to a commitment to accessibility for blind students.

Petracchi shares his wisdom on sound projection, attributing it to the symbiosis between a quality instrument and a thoughtful approach to the physicality of playing. The discussion shifts to his extensive discography, highlighting live recordings and his rationale for eschewing studio sessions. Petracchi reflects on specific performances, revealing nuances and the stories behind iconic recordings.

As a veteran juror in global double bass competitions, Petracchi candidly discusses the challenges of evaluating musicians and offers advice to aspiring competitors. The interview concludes with a glimpse into Petracchi’s personal pursuits, including his swimming regimen and a lighthearted aspiration to break a personal record. Overall, the interview encapsulates the multifaceted career of a maestro whose contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of double bass.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music