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Carl Friedrich Abel

German Classical composer Carl Friedrich Abel was born in Cöthen on 22 December 1723. His father Christian Ferdinand Abel played viola da gamba and cello in the court orchestra under J S Bach, but became the orchestra's director in the year that Carl Friedrich was born, when Bach moved to Leipzig. Carl Friedrich Abel was sent to Leipzig to study with Bach.

For fifteen years from 1743, Carl Friedrich played in the court orchestra at Dresden, then he moved to England to work for Queen Charlotte, followed by Bach's son Johann Christian Bach, leading to England's first subscription concerts, the Bach-Abel concerts, between these two friends, which continued until J C Bach died in 1782.

Carl Friedrich Abel died in London on 20 June 1787.

The last of Abel's Six Symphonies, Op 7, became famous for the wrong reason. Mozart, on a 1764 visit to London, had copied out Abel's work, and this copy was misattributed in the nineteenth century, published in the first complete edition of Mozart's works.

A selection of M&V articles about Carl Friedrich Abel

CD Spotlight. A Fine Achievement - Symphonies by Carl Friedrich Abel delight Roderic Dunnett. '... Schneider manages to bring out the character of each of these individual pieces without overstating at any point.'


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