A sublime string quartet serenades Venice’s canals with Vivaldi, on a boat shaped like a violin

23 September 2021, 16:55

Watch a sublime string quartet serenade Venetians with Vivaldi on a boat shaped like a violin
Watch a sublime string quartet serenade Venetians with Vivaldi on a boat shaped like a violin. Picture: Alamy

By Rosie Pentreath

Watch these talented virtuosos balance and bow on a 12-metre floating violin winding its way around the picturesque Italian city.

Earlier this month, a 12-metre boat, in the exact shape of a violin, set sail on its maiden voyage through the canals of Venice.

Venetian artist and sculptor Livio De Marchi has for decades created floating works for the famous waterways, and his giant ‘Noah’s Violin’ boat, launched on 18 September, is a magnificent tribute to music.

And now, as if the boat itself wasn’t treat enough, a string quartet has been spotted bravely balancing on its curved deck, performing some virtuosic Vivaldi.

Read more: A giant 12-metre violin boat just sailed through the canals of Venice

The steadfast quartet sailed along Venice’s Grand Canal performing an arrangement of Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ from The Four Seasons, and other pieces, standing up and barefooted for balance. They were steered by a be-hatted captain, and watched by boats of appreciative passers-by.

Curved gondolas carrying grateful audiences can be seen following along behind, their passengers enjoying the soothing sounds of the beautiful Baroque piece floating across the water.

The violin boat is a tribute to the post-pandemic recovery of Venice, which is rebuilding itself after the arts, crafts and tourism industries it’s so well-known for took a devastating hit amidst COVID-19 restrictions. The artist also aims to honour those who have lost their life to the ongoing pandemic.

We think concerts cruising along on giant musical instrument boats should very much be the new normal.