Abel: The Late Symphonies
Catalog: ACC 24394
Format: COMPACT DISC
Stephens, Katie; Regel, Susanne; Jopp, Martin; Main Baroque Orchestra, Frankfurt
Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787) has his place in music history above all as the last great virtuoso of the time-honoured viola da gamba and as the organiser of the so-called Bach-Abel concerts in London; which marked the beginning of modern public subscription concerts. What is less well known is that Abel not only performed there as a soloist; but also enriched the concerts with a large number of his own orchestral works. A total of 46 symphonies by him have survived; 40 of which appeared in print during his lifetime. Six - five "real" symphonies and one Sinfonia Concertante for oboe; violin and violoncello - were not printed during his lifetime; they have been preserved in manuscript in the Royal Court Library in Berlin. Abel had them in his luggage on his last visit to Germany in 1782 and apparently presented them in Berlin to the Prussian heir to the throne; Friedrich Wilhelm. On the occasion of Abel's 300th birthday; the Main Baroque Orchestra; conducted by Martin Jopp; presents four of these symphonies (WKO 37; 38; 39; 41) as world premiere recordings as well as the Sinfonia Concertante on this recording.