Since 1908 the n.1 source of all things Italian featuring Italian news, culture, business and travel

Issue link: https://italoamericanodigital.uberflip.com/i/453712

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 27

THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 2015 www.italoamericano.com L'Italo-Americano 2 what he loved most – play his instrument. People were amazed by his way of playing it, and he was asked to stop and perform in different courtyards , w hich helped him make money for food and a bed at night while on the road. It was in Stradella, a little town in the Pavia area, where the double miracle happened: during his stop in Lombardy, what he considered his travel buddy hap- pened to leak air and to break. Nobody could help the young boy in fixing his organetto, leav- ing Mariano with no choice other than to repair it himself. He man- aged to do it so well, that the sound was better than before. Repairing the organetto was only the firs t s tep tow ards a major change in Mariano's life. In love with music, he came up with the idea of building a new instrument able to produce a bet- ter sound than the one featured by the old Harmonika. In 1876 he started a one-man business to build the new instrument, but it soon turned into a 300 employee company. Th e "F abbrica Armoniche Mariano Dallapé e Figlio" became the symbol of "la fisarmonica italiana" worldwide. In 1890, the introduction of the famous instrument called "tipo Stradella" was such a success that the company could open 38 innovative production laborato- ries, employing 1,200 people. Dallapé was the only owner of the factory, and his son and suc- cessor Onorato Amleto passed away the same year as his father, in 1928. Thanks to his brother's son, Giuseppe, the factory con- tinued to operate, and gradually expanded its prestige. In 1969, the family business was taken up by Giuseppe's sons: Mariano, Amleto and Fabio. The factory would undergo a slowdown after World War II, which worsened in the '60s as different mus ical trends and broader economic difficulties provoked a crisis in the manufac- ture of accordions and led to a shut down of most factories. Nowadays, only five factories remain in operation. As time passed, in the new century, the Dallapè faced a new challenge: to stop - in 2010 - the production of the special instru- ment, although its popularity was again growing. When everything seemed to come to an end, histo- ry changed again: a well-known company, Roland electronic musical instrument manufactur- ing, offered to sign an agree- ment, through which it would become the owner of the histori- cal Dallapé trademark. The inno- vative and advanced digital tech- nology from Roland came together with the heritage of the Dallapé instruments to keep the fisarmonica tradition alive. This also allowed accordion- ists all over the world to get acces s to the full range of Dallapé accordion sounds, like the legendary "Liturgica" model from 1871, which has incorporat- ed the voices of a real pipe organ that Giuseppe Dallapé donated to Pope Pio XII in 1942. The Fabbriche Dallapé's mir- acle, starting with Mariano's amazing story, is still alive in the way the fisarmonica tradition, begun almost by chance in a small Lombardy town, is still considered the key of the new digital sound. "In Italy the most important person who, thanks to his genial intuition, managed to change the archaic organetto into the more powerful and complex accordion instrument, the fisarmonica, is Mariano Dallapè". This is how, in a few words, the Italian Music Encyclopaedia tells the story of the man w ho invented, from s cratch, the fis armonica, an instrument that has become a symbol of Italian music all over the world. Mariano's story is indeed more interesting and fas- cinating than what these few lines are able to say. Born in the S outh Tyrol region, which belonged - at that time - to Austria, at the age of 20, Mariano decided to leave his hometown and move to Italy. He made his way to Genoa, where his life changed forever. As he started working as stoker miner, he got injured by a mine explo- sion and had to quit the job. With no money left, he decided to make his way back home, a jour- ney that turned to be not just long in time but also very special. He carried with him an old Austrian diatonic accordion, called "organetto", that he had learned to play with ability and passion when he was very young. Along the way home, he decided to do Bianca Maria Dallapé, Alfredo Maroni (Roland Europe President) and Amleto Dallapé during the signing of the historic agreement Mariano Dallapé and the fascinating jour ney of his fisar monica SERENA PERFETTO

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of L'Italo-Americano - italoamericano-digital-1-29-2015