Sacconi Strings Quartet Review

Today let’s have a look at a 5-year project, finally realized and repackaged as originally intended…the Sacconi Strings Quartet by Spitfire Audio. It is the definitive tool for the creation of strings quartet music recorded with a white-hot London Quartet in the most sought-after chamber music locations.

Overview

The individual instruments, such as the Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, and Cello, can all be used in two different modes: choose between ‘traditional’ key switches that change articulation type via inaudible notes being hit on a controller keyboard, or the “playable” patches for each instrument, all based around a tool that automatically analyzes the way that the patch is being played and interprets the style of performance required, by selecting from several spiccatos, various longs, and a selection of True Legato transitions for maximum effectiveness.

The library contains 6 different microphone perspectives, including the main stereo position which gives you the classic sound of the hall. Other positions include two close mics, Decca tree, outriggers, and ambients. 15 different articulations are included with the library from tight spiccatos to longs with complete vibrato control and a whole host of others in between.

If you want to see it in action you could also pop over to their website, where they created a very cool “in action” video for just that occasion. I’ll wait here for you.

Sacconi Strings Quartet

Background

When you convince, cajole, and caress the proprietors of one of the most favored chamber music venues in the world to open their doors to a sampling project and they say “yes you can have it for one day in August” what do you do? You wait. You wait for that day to come and you plan and you put together a crack team of engineers and you prepare your band and you get as much as you can. And then you wait, you wait until that day comes around the next August, you repeat the operation…. and then you wait, you wait until the next August!

Sacconi Strings Quartet

“Sacconi Strings” is a four-year-long project to create a definitive set of writing-for-quartet tools, a game-changing set of solo strings recorded at Wigmore Hall and performed by one of the most talked-about young quartets to be formed in London for many years.

When writing for quartets composers naturally have to settle with using solo strings VIs to mockup their intentions. The difficulty here is they tend to be very ‘neck up’ soloistic and when combined into a foursome can be jarringly expressive and difficult to sell to clients.

Spitfire’s Christian Henson has worked with Sacconi for many years and thanks to them for helping him understand what works for a quartet and what makes a quartet gel. Christian took this relationship alongside the searing talents and understanding of virtuality of Andy Blaney into the Wigmore to commit a very different approach to sample to the digital sphere. Combining modern techniques and exploratory approaches to vibrato alongside stunning traditional articulations blooming this extraordinary acoustic Sacconi has been everyone’s pet project at Spitfire.

As with all Spitfire libraries, the musicians earn royalty from every copy we sell. This royalty is also extended to The Wigmore Hall in the hope that it helps them continue the great work they do for music, education, and for the community.

Sacconi Strings Quartet

Stats

  • Price £399 GBP
  • 46768 Samples
  • 106.6 GB Uncompressed .WAV
  • 70.7 GB disk space required
  • 141.4 GB disk space required during install
  • Kontakt Full Required
  • Dynamic user manual

Conclusion

Calling this the ultimate Quartet scoring tool is not one bit exaggerated. Yes it is expensive, yes there are others, but nothing I’ve heard can get even close to the sound of this Library. Playing it you can really feel the passion behind this project and let’s face it. Spitfire has been making libraries of the top range for a while. It might not be something for everyone, but if you do write a lot for Quartet this is a must-have and it is easily worth twice what it costs.

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