1760 JB Gabrielli

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Stev187, Jan 9, 2022.


  1. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lansing, MI
    TB Pals:

    I have been off TB for a while; I hope everyone is doing well. I’m back with a question (and I did some searches first to see if it’s been covered).

    Does anyone know who currently owns this bass from p. 94 in the Elgar book (Introduction to the Double Bass). I know that Edgar Meyer plays a later instrument from the same maker. Elgar notes that in 1960 this instrument was owned by the same person who owned the Bottesini Testore, whom he described as “one of London’s leading professional players” (p. 114).

    I’m curious because my 1920 Czech bass has a nearly identical shape, though it’s a little larger.


    4D662E82-B878-423B-9E16-2E1ECFCE8CAE.jpeg

    Really curious if that bass is being played.

    Steve

    P.S. In one of Elgar's other books (Looking at the Double Bass), he lists the following information about the maker: "GABRIELLI, Giovanni Battista. At Florence from about 1739 to 1770. These basses are usually small, belly length being 40 inches. Very fine workmanship and magnificent tone. Violin model with swelled back. Varnish usually of a dark brown shade and not always completely successful."
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
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  2. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lansing, MI
    Here's a look at just how similar my factory bass is shaped to this one. Note that I have a typo on this page (it says 1790 instead of 1760).

    4FE39D7D-26F8-4EF4-8C29-B78ACCA41A78.jpeg
     
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  3. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lansing, MI
  4. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lansing, MI
  5. CaseyVancouver

    CaseyVancouver

    Nov 4, 2012
    Nick Lloyd has made a copy of Meyer’s bass
    Played by Paul Kowert it sounds fantastic

    E7430879-6A76-489F-94C7-08738FBBEA07.jpeg 7CD75A73-BFCE-45BB-8689-423B39BCE14B.jpeg
     
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  6. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Gotta observe, that statement impresses me as not providing much terribly useful info. Trying to imagine what sort of bass Kowert could NOT make sound fantastic! :D
     
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  7. Ryan in PDX

    Ryan in PDX

    Jan 14, 2020
    Can confirm.

    I was very fortunate to see him with Punch Brothers last night. He was mostly using this bass (edit: the Lloyd copy). Their arrangements are pretty dense, but there were some sections where his sound had a chance to shine.

    I got to see Edgar Meyer (with Goat Rodeo) over the summer, so I've seen both the original and the copy within the last six months. The venues, sound reinforcement, bassists, ensembles, and music were all drastically different, of course... But they are clearly both fantastic basses being played very well by amazing players.
     
  8. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lansing, MI
    Thank you to everyone for weighing in on the "Gabrielli" thread. Here's what fascinates me: we know these instruments primarily by the musicians who play them. And as several smart TB folks have said in various thread, we are temporary stewards of these instruments who live much longer than we do. I find that really, really interesting.

    It's very old information, but the 1760 instrument that appears in Elgar was apparently owned by the same person who owned the famous "Bottesini Testore." There's a thread or two here on TB about that bass, and the whole story is here:

    https://disrupt.asu.edu/article/bottesinis-bass/

    But back to the non-Edgar Meyer Gabrielli that's in the Elgar books... it appears that it was the inspiration for a pair of 2011 articles and a set of plans:

    https://luth.org/instrument-plans/bowed-instruments-and-bass-viol/#Plan64

    The luthier is Géza Burghardt, and there are some lovely photos of his build here:

    https://www.gezaburghardt.com/gallery/double_bass/

    I'm so curious about this bass that I may just purchase the plans, even though I don't have the skills or abilities to make one. If I learn more about the instrument, I'll report back here. I still am mighty curious about where it is now. That Elgar detail of it being small with a big sound has me very intrugued.

    Thanks everyone.

    Steve
     
  9. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lansing, MI
    And just another quick rejoinder about the Elgar books. I have such fond memories of reading them in college. I have checked them out of the library again, and his prose style just tickles me in some way. For example:

    "The reader will be interested in and possibly surprised to know that it has a very large volume of tone, much greater than many of the other master instruments illustrated, which once again proves that large dimensions are not necessary for large tone."

    So I think it might be Elgar's description as much the bass' similar shape to mine that has me intrigued.

    Fun!

    Steve
     
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  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jan 16, 2022

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