Marcello Mencarini has placed his unique and extensive classical music photographs (almost all in colour) with Lebrecht Music & Arts. We are, of course, more than delighted to represent this essential and specialist collection. These thousands of photographs are the jewel in the crown of the Mencarini archive, starting in 1979 and continuing through to the early 2000s. This covers the period of the great conductors, musicians and singers of the last part of the 20th century, when record companies were still booming and the classical music industry was thriving. Lebrecht is proud to have this association with the Mencarini archive.
The classical music coverage began as a result of Marcello Mencarini working for L’Espresso magazine where he photographed music personalities, and also in 1983 when he was working for Fare Musica. After that there was no looking back and his name was closely identified with the specialist world of music.
Naturally the strongest contingent of musicians are Italian and the archive includes virtually every Italian musician who was active during this time. Performers range from Italian soprano Mirella Freni, photographed in 1980 and 1990, legendary singer Mario del Monaco and composer Franco Donatoni, to Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly rehearsing with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam in 1991, Italian composer Luciano Berio in 1982 and 1988 with his scores and also conducting, Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini rehearsing in Rome in 1989 – and hundreds more. And, of course, he photographed famous concert halls in Milan, Naples, Rome, Turin, Vienna, Bratislava where all these musicians performed.
Other artists he captured in the prime of their careers include opera singer Nicolai Ghiaurov in his dressing room at Scala, Milan, Myung-Whun Chung conducting in Rome in 1998, Valery Gergiev early on in his meteoric career, Hungarian conductor Ivan Fischer, Hungarian composer György Kurtàg and his wife Marta playing piano in 1991, informal and conducting photos of Leonard Bernstein in 1983 and 1989, Christa Ludwig the German mezzo-soprano in 1983, American opera singer Shirley Verret, conductor Peter Maag in 1989, Lorin Maazel in 1992, the young Mischa Maisky in 1992, Hungarian soprano Eva Marton, Carlos Kleiber conducting in 1987, Argentinian composer Mauricio Kagel in 1982, Hans Werner Henze conducting in 1991, Philip Glass in 1989 and 1998, and on to Greek composer Iannis Xenakis with his scores in 1982.
This classical music archive fills in all those gaps that you can never usually track down.
The classcial music archive also includes some of the major choreographers and dancers of this period: American choreographer Meredith Monk in 1979, Italian ballet dancer Roberto Bolle, choreographer Maurice Béjart, Lindsay Kemp in 1993, haunting photos of Rudolph Nureyev in 1985, Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, American choreographer Bob Fosse, American dancer and choreographer Louis Falco, Merce Cunningham in 1995, Spanish flamenco dancer Joaquìn Cortés at the Teatro Olimpico in 1995, and of course, the ubiquitous Pina Bausch, the German choreographer.