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Bach & Abel - CD

By Diana Weston, Shaun Ng

Regular price $25.00 Sale

Music for square piano, viola da gamba and  harpsichord

by John Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich Abel
and featuring an original piano forte by Broadwood

Shaun Ng and Diana Weston explore the music of John Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich Abel composed during a period of transition – the latter part of the eighteenth century.  Abel was recognised as a virtuoso of the viola da gamba, and wrote sympathetically for it, even as the instrument showed signs of becoming obsolete. The young Bach saw the possibilities of the new technology – the so-called Piano Forte – and took to it with zest. This recording re-introduces that sound to the present. At the same time, it is contrasted pointedly with that of the harpsichord, the two linked by the viola da gamba.

During the course of the partnership forged between John Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich Abel over the eighteen-year period of their London Concert Series (1764-1782) considerable changes in styles of music came about, not least because of the development of the piano forte. Seemingly, Christian fully appreciated the new keyboard, his own style being intrinsically suited to its tonal qualities. He was the first to publicly showcase the new (Zumpe) piano forte in 1768. His collection of four sonatas for harpsichord and piano forte with viola da gamba contains two for harpsichord and two for piano forte. In these he demonstrates the compositional styles suited to the different instruments. Of note is his adoption of a distinctive expressive cantabile style in those for the piano forte.

Recorded at St Johns College

Wirr 104

Download samples

[1-2] J C Bach Sonata in F major for Piano e forte and Viola da Gamba Warb B 6b 
Allegro
Rondeaux
[3-5] C F Abel Sonata in G major for Viola da Gamba and Basso A2:52 
Adagio
Allegro
Vivace
[6 - 7]  J C Bach Sonata in G major for Harpsichord and Viola da Gamba Warb B 4b
Allegro
Allegretto
[8 - 10] C F Abel Sonata in A major for Viola da Gamba and Basso A2:53
Adagio
Allegro assai
Vivace
[11 - 12] J C Bach Sonata in F major for Piano e forte and Viola da Gamba) Warb B 15b
Allegretto
Allegretto
[13 - 14]  C F Abel Sonata in B flat major for Viola da Gamba and Basso A2:54 CF
Adagio
Allegro
Allegro