Ciresa is one of the most renowned producers of wood for lutherie. Its products are used by the best International luthiers and piano producers, but in recent times they have been trying to go further, with their Opere Sonore and then with the Resonance Piano (you will be able to try it at Cremona Musica 2019). They also launched a crowdfunding to save the wood they use, the Fiemme Spruce, the same one as used by the greatest luthiers in history, since Amati and Stradivari. To know more about what Ciresa is doing, we interviewed its General Manager Fabio Ognibeni.
Mr Ognibeni, the name of your company is strongly linked with a specific wood: the Fiemme spruce. Why is this wood so special to you?
The Fiemme spruce is a special wood for the luthiers and musicians of all the world, also because it was the favorite wood of the great names of the Cremonese tradition: Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari. For us, it is very special because through the years we have scientifically demonstrated the particular acoustic features given by the low density and the very high modulus of elasticity. Since we only get our wood from these forests in the Fiemme Valley, we can always guarantee the same features for our customers.
Recently you also launched the crowdfunding, “Let’s save the Stradivari’s wood”. How is it going and how did you conceive it?
This initiative is going really well, more than we thought. We realized that the sensibility for this natural resource that turns into music, and so into culture, was growing strong and wide. But the outcome makes us say that our work is seen as something precious. Curiously, the response was stronger from common people than from luthiers and instrument-makers. This result gives us more energy to go forward along this path. It looks like we have sown the right seeds.
Besides the wood, what are your secrets?
The raw material is excellent, but we have also become excellent in selecting, seasoning, and working it, with reliable and expert workers, and putting human know-how before machines and time. We could define ourselves a “slow-processing” company since every step demands the commitment of a single worker, who knows he is working with a precious wood that will turn into art.
Ciresa is now a world-renowned brand. Which are your main markets, besides Italy?
In Europe Germany is the main one, because of its renowned producers of pianos, that we supply. The luthiers are all around the world, also very far from here, from South Africa to Taiwan, from Canada to Argentina, from Paraguay to Mexico. Clearly, we have many clients in Italy and in particular in Cremona, including the most excellent names of international lutherie, that give more value to their instruments using our wood, usually with our exclusive “certificate of origin” in four languages.
Ciresa has started producing its innovative “Resonance Piano”. What is it, and how was it welcomed?
It is a bridge between the worlds of acoustic and digital pianos. Resonance Piano fills the empty space just below the acoustic piano (that is still the highest expression of craftsmanship) but it enhances the real “voice” of high-quality digital sampling. Moreover, it gives the pianist the sensation of a natural sound, more like the acoustic sound and very far from the expected digital model. Musicians, Conservatory teachers, and pianists that have tried it gave good feedbacks, they were really surprised by the outcome. This is an important premise to develop this innovative product, entirely “Made in Val di Fiemme”.
What is the importance of Cremona Musica in your business and what are you expecting from the upcoming edition?
This fair-event is an international showcase that rewards those who invest every year to be there, building loyalty with both clients and visitors. Many foreign luthiers wait for this event and came looking for us, every year, to be sure to find the perfect wood for their instruments. In 2019 we are looking forward to having another proof of the goodness of the project Resonance Piano: for the first time, everyone will be able to see it and try it, evaluating our real skills in soundboards, which are the true core of the sound of the best acoustic pianos, as they are for our Resonance Piano.