We’re proud to announce the latest addition to our outstanding array of instruments, an extremely rare and historically significant double bass.
Made by Gasparo da Salò in Brescia, Italy, in the late-16th century, this unusually large instrument features beautiful ornamentation and a rich, robust voice.
Gasparo da Salò (real name Gasparo di Bertolotti) was one of the first —if not the first luthier to make double basses. To this day his instruments are regarded by many as the Stradivari of basses.
This particular Gasparo da Salò double bass, was built c.1590, when Francis Drake had just circumnavigated the earth, William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, and Europeans had just had their first taste of chocolate.
This bass is thought to have had only three owners in its long life. The earliest was Neustift Abbey in South Tyrol, Northern Italy until it was sold in 1970. In 2012 it was bought by anonymous Australian benefactors who have generously made it available to our Principal Double Bassist Maxime Bibeau to play.
Now the oldest instrument in the ACO family, this bass is 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.
Maxime Bibeau has spent the past few months getting to know the da Salò and says it is an impressive instrument with immense power, wonderful depth and richness of sound.
“You can really hear and feel the maturity of the instrument,” Max says. “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.”
The da Salò bass will be officially unveiled during our Barefoot Fiddler tour with Patricia Kopatchinskaja in July. Event details and ticket bookings here.