Hyperion Records

Carl Friedrich Abel

born: 22 December 1723
died: 20 June 1787
country: Germany

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Carl Friedrich Abel was born in Köthen in Saxony-Anhalt on 22 December 1723. He was the son and grandson of viola da gamba players: his grandfather Clamor Heinrich Abel had worked in Celle, Hanover and Bremen, and had published gamba music, while his father Christian Ferdinand worked at the Köthen court as a violinist, cellist and gamba player between 1714 and 1737. Christian Ferdinand must have been the person for whom Johann Sebastian Bach (who worked at Köthen between 1717 and 1723) wrote some of his viola da gamba works, including the sixth Brandenburg Concerto. Carl Friedrich presumably initially studied music with his father, and seems to have learned the flute and the harpsichord as well as the violoncello and the gamba. He studied in Leipzig with JS Bach, where he would doubtless have got to know Bach’s youngest son, Johann Christian (1735–1782), who was to be his partner in promoting concerts in London. In 1745 Abel moved to Dresden, where he was employed as the court viola da gamba player. Charles Burney wrote (presumably on the basis on first-hand information) that Abel left Dresden in 1758 because of the turmoil produced by the Seven Years’ War, but in fact he seems to have left in 1755 or 1756, and there is some evidence that it was because of a disagreement with the Dresden court Kapellmeister, Johann Adolf Hasse, rather than the war. Whatever the truth, Abel arrived in London in the winter of 1758–9 and worked there for the rest of his life, with the exception of two years spent in Germany between 1782 and 1784. He died in London on 20 June 1787.

from notes by Peter Holman © 2007

Albums
'Abel: Mr Abel's Fine Airs' (CDA67628)
Abel: Mr Abel's Fine Airs
'The String Quartet in Eighteenth-Century England' (CDA66780)
The String Quartet in Eighteenth-Century England
Complete works available for download
[Adagio], WKO187 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
[Allegro], WKO192 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
[Allegro], WKO195 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
[Andante], WKO199 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
[Arpeggio], WKO194 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
[Arpeggio], WKO205 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
[Moderato], WKO208 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
[Tempo di menuet con variazioni], WKO203 WKO204 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Adagio, WKO189 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Adagio, WKO209 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Allegretto, WKO211 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Allegro, WKO198 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Allegro, WKO207 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Allegro, WKO212 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Andante, WKO191 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Fuga, WKO196 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Sonata in G major Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
String Quartet in A major, Op 8 No 5 Salomon Quartet
Tempo di menuet, WKO188 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Tempo di menuet, WKO202 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Tempo minuetto, WKO154 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Vivace, WKO190 Susanne Heinrich (viola da gamba)
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
[Adagio], WKO187 (Abel)
[Allegro], WKO192 (Abel)
[Allegro], WKO195 (Abel)
[Andante], WKO199 (Abel)
[Arpeggio], WKO194 (Abel)
[Arpeggio], WKO205 (Abel)
[Moderato], WKO208 (Abel)
[Tempo di menuet con variazioni], WKO203 WKO204 (Abel)
Adagio, WKO155 No 1  Movement 1 of Sonata in G major (Abel)
Adagio, WKO189 (Abel)
Adagio, WKO209 (Abel)
Allegretto, WKO211 (Abel)
Allegro, WKO155 No 2  Movement 2 of Sonata in G major (Abel)
Allegro, WKO198 (Abel)
Allegro, WKO207 (Abel)
Allegro, WKO212 (Abel)
Andante, WKO191 (Abel)
Fuga, WKO196 (Abel)
Sonata in G major (Abel)
String Quartet in A major, Op 8 No 5 (Abel)
Tempo di menuet, WKO153  Movement 3 of Sonata in G major (Abel)
Tempo di menuet, WKO188 (Abel)
Tempo di menuet, WKO202 (Abel)
Tempo minuetto, WKO154 (Abel)
Vivace, WKO190 (Abel)
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