CARL FRIEDRICH ABEL (1723 - 1787)
Born in Cöthen in 1723, the year in which his father’s friend Johann Sebastian Bach left to take up a new position in Leipzig, Carl Friedrich Abel, like his father and grandfather before him, was a viola da gamba player. After a period in the Dresden court orchestra he moved in 1758 to London. There he established himself as a performer and composer, and alongside the youngest of Bach’s sons, Johann Christian Bach, he organised concerts and served as chamber musician to Queen Charlotte.
Orchestral and Chamber Music
Abel wrote principally instrumental music. This included symphonies and concertos, varied sets of sonatas, trios and quartets, and a series of works for his own instrument, the viola da gamba.