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Old 04-10-2013, 04:40 PM
Gautier Blondel Gautier Blondel is offline
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Default Bernardel Plumerel - ex David Walter

Dear all,
A few months ago, I bougth a french bass which was made for Achille Gouffé in 1841.
There is the signature of Bernardel on a rib, and there is inside the bass the signature of Plumerel.
It seems that this bass belonged to David Walter, who was teaching in Juilliard School.

This is not a Bernardel shape, it looks more italian.
The varnish is not original and I can't imagine why a luthier put a new varnish.

I imagine that many bass players in USA knew David Walter and I would be happy to learn about him and this bass, if someone knew this bass...
Thanks a lot
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2013, 11:45 AM
Adam Linz Adam Linz is offline
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Default Wow

Just beautiful. Shame about the varnish . Good thing they left that rib signature in tact! Can we see some more photos of that scroll ie frontal and on the bass side. David was a saint and one of the greats. I'm sure he would be happy to know that you have this one. Best, Adam
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:14 PM
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Eric Swanson Eric Swanson is offline
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Lovely instrument!

I met David Walter, briefly, during my single year at Manhattan School of Music, where he was on the double bass faculty. At that time, the MSM bass teachers were Homer Mensch, Orin O'Brien, Lew Norton (all NY Phil) and David Walter (Pittburgh Symphony, NBC Symphony, many others). I believe that all of them except for Lew Norton also taught at Juilliard.

He worked, with total love and infectious joy, to broaden the range of and cultivate enthusiasm for the bass.

Here is a nice bio:

http://www.liben.com/walter3.html

I will never forget him bringing Red Mitchell into MSM for a Master Class. At that time, MSM had very little jazz and certainly no dedicated jazz bass faculty (although several of the faculty had jazz experience). David Walter just did things like that.

He inspired many, many people, as a teacher. He seemed to be a real catalyst.

Notice how Tony Falanga, who continues to do great things, honors David Walter in his bio:

http://www.liben.com/falanga.html

Here is a nice collection of David Walter stuff, that gives some hint of the number of people he influenced:

http://www.liben.com/family3.html
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Last edited by Eric Swanson; 04-13-2013 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:16 AM
Daniel Levine Daniel Levine is offline
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Default Plumarel

Hi there, Gautier.

I know the bass very well, as I grew up hearing it! David Walter was my stepfather, and after his death the bass was sold to Shinji Eshima of the SF Ballet (a former student, also, of David's).

I was just googling a bit about David and came across this thread, and I didn't realize the bass had a new home. If you don't mind, I'm kind of curious to track its story. Did you buy it from Shinji?

Thanks so much!


Best,
Daniel Levine
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:21 PM
Gautier Blondel Gautier Blondel is offline
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Thanks all for those informations.
This is not the Shinji Eshima double bass, he bought another bass which belonged to Achille Gouffé (and David Walter!), there is a similar signature on the rib, but it is the name Plumerel on it. The shape is different and it is not a man head scroll.
He told his story here :
http://www.relentlessenergy.com/feat...uble-bass.html

I bought mine at a luthier shop in Tokyo. I believe that this luthier bought it at David Gage shop.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:23 PM
Gautier Blondel Gautier Blondel is offline
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Dear M. Levine
can I write you a private message ?
Thanks a lot
Gautier
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:31 PM
John Cubbage John Cubbage is offline
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The above bass is very similar to what I recall through interactions with David Walter years ago. I played it and 2 other of his basses in David's apartment in 1973. It had light varnish, man's head at top of the peg box, same size. It was a fine bass and played very well.

David loaned it for exhibition to the Lincoln Center Library around 1972-1973. It was featured in its own locked glass box.

David also loaned the bass to one of his students who competed in the Juilliard Double Bass Concerto Competition (featuring the Dragonetti) around 1973.

-Dr. C.

Last edited by John Cubbage; 05-03-2016 at 12:33 PM. Reason: More personalized
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:49 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Question well

Notice the angled Flat Back. That is not a French trait from what I have seen! The head varnish and the back varnish are completely different. The open peg box is also weak like that. Maybe, Bernardel did the head for him. Looking at that head, could it have been craved out of a regular scroll? Or is this a replaced neck graft with scroll grafted on for that bass with the head carved?

Could this be an English Bass?
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achille gouffé, bernardel, david walter


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