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.
“Affectionate explorations of seldom performed pieces by mid-18th century composer and bass viol virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel. An attractive programme.”
2nd June 2012
“their commitment to their repertoire is evident in every phrase. Browne has a sophisticated palette of colours at her disposal, from ethereally limpid to icily edgy, and the single strings draw a gestural and tonal range from their instruments that puts far better-known string bands to shame...these players urge you to delve into their take on Abel. Warmly recommended.”
“Browne and Nordic Affect deliver a historically faithful, poised and altogether very attractive account of Carl Friedrich Abel's delightful chamber music for flute...Every work is defined by an overall mellifluous elegance”
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