Although Carl Friedrich Abel (1723–87) is known as one of the last and greatest virtuosos of the viola da gamba, his instrument declined in popularity towards the end of the 18th century, leading him to compose for other instruments; some of his most successful results can be heard in the music recorded on this disc.
Abel’s ability to compose particularly fine music for the flute can be traced back his time working at the Dresden court, which possessed one of the greatest orchestras of the era. Among the musicians working there were the flautists Buffardin and Quantz – the latter a prolific composer of flute concertos and sonatas for Frederick the Great, a notable patron of the arts. It is likely that Abel himself was a skilled flautist, and the instrument’s popularity at the time created a great demand for new compositions.
The works featured on this disc are less well known than Abel’s music for viola da gamba, and are performed less often. However, they provide an insight into 18th century music’s transition from Baroque complexity to the melody-driven Classical style, and are illuminated through performances by flute soloist Georgia Browne and the ensemble Nordic Affect, specialists in historical performance.
- Recording made in 2009
- Abel is a fascinating and important figure in the history of 18th century music. Listeners who enjoy Stamitz, Hoffmeister, Haydn, J.C. Bach and C.P.E. Bach will find this CD a welcome addition to their collection
- The works on this recording are written in the Viennese Classical Style, charming, melodious and full of sparkle and wit
- Georgia Browne, solo flutist of several famous Early Music orchestras, knows the style inside out, and delights in the music’s spirited and joyful character, expertly accompanied by Nordic Affect, a band playing authentic instruments
- Booklet notes included.