Tenor Viola da gamba
by Gasparo da Salò
(Brescia, c. 1560)

Comparison of the f-holes of our tenor viol with one from a certified viola by this Brescian master confirm beyond all doubt the authorship of Gasparo da Salò, thus indicating a date of origin of circa 1550-60. (Contrary to other cities, the labels in Brescian instruments rarely showed the date) The tenor viol will be analysed dendrochronologically as soon as it arrives from France, where it has just been purchased.

The acquisition of this highly important viola da gamba, a sensational event for the collection, was made possible only by the generous contributions of several friends and supporters of Orpheon: Jürg Merki, Angelika Thomas, Peter and Susanne Bosshard, Ruth Feller and others. Tenor viols are excedingly rare, almost never coming up for sale anywhere. It is for this reason that Orpheon wishes to expressly thank these patrons for their spontaneaous offer of financial assistance toward this purchase. Without their help, this instrument may never have been heard again on any concert stage; with their help, this instrument will remain in the hands of performers for a very long time to come.

Body length 610 mm
Upper width mm
Middle width mm
Lower width mm
Rib height mm
String length mm

updated 04.12.2006