1585 Da Salò Bass

Maker: Gasparo da Salò

Origin: Brescia, Italy

Made: 1585

Current Player: Maxime Bibeau

Sound Notes: Incredibly resonant and uplifting



Owner: Anonymous

Date Acquired: 2012

Date Loaned to ACO: 2013

About the Instrument

Made in around 1580, it is one of around a dozen surviving basses by the Gasparo da Salò.

It is believed that the decorated bass may have had only three owners: its earliest known provenance is the Augustinian abbey of Neustift in northern Italy where it resided for possibly hundreds of years. The abbey was bombed during World War II but miraculously the instrument survived. It was sold to German bass player Günter Klaus in 1970 and then in 2012 it was purchased by an anonymous benefactor joining ACO’s family of instruments as the oldest instrument at over 430 years of age. The wood used for the front of it came from a 250 year old tree, making parts of this beautiful double bass around 700 years old.

“You can really hear and feel the maturity of the instrument. As well as having an incredibly beautiful and robust tone, it has a large sub-woofer-like quality that lifts the sound of the orchestra to another level.” - Maxime Bibeau


About the Maker

Gasparo Bertolotti was born in Salo in 1539 or 1540, a small town to the north east of Brescia in northern Italy. Known as ‘da Salo’ he died, reportedly almost blind in 1609. Da Salo is believed to have been a musician and played the violone. He might also have played his own instruments, which would have refined his knowledge of making and his concept of sound, helping him to develop into the luthier he became.

Luthier Giovanni Paolo Maggini, who made the ACO's 1610 viola, was said to have been an apprentice in his workshop.

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