Personalities | Carl Friedrich Abel | Classical Era | Classical

(Kärl Fre’-drikh A’-bel) 1723–87
German composer

Abel was born at Cöthen, where his father played in J. S. Bach’s group. In 1759 he travelled to London, where he eventually settled, becoming a chamber musician to King George III’s wife Charlotte. It was also in London, in 1764, that Abel, together with J. C. Bach, established a concert series that brought new continental music to English audiences. He wrote sonatas, quartets and other chamber works, as well as concertos and symphonies (one of which was long thought to be a youthful work of Mozart’s), in a graceful, genial, galant style. In addition to his composing abilities, Abel was the last great viola da gamba player; and there is a fine Gainsborough portrait of him with his instrument.

Recommended Recording:
Overtures and Sinfonias, Il Fondamento (dir) Paul Dombrecht (Passacaille)

Introduction | Classical Era | Classical
Personalities | Thomas Augustine Arne | Classical Era | Classical


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