Carl Friedrich Abel

Carl Friedrich Abel

Birth
Köthen, Landkreis Anhalt-Bitterfeld, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
Death 20 Jun 1787 (aged 63)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial St Pancras, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 22313794 · View Source
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Composer. He was considered the last great virtuoso of the viola de gamba, an instrument that dated back to the Renaissance, and was slightly smaller than a cello. Born in Cothen, Germany, into a family of musicians, most of his career was spent in England. Equally gifted at viols and keyboards, he was a member of the Dresden Court Orchestra from 1748 to 1759, when he settled in London as a private musician to Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III. Along with composer Johann Christian Bach he organized the famous "Bach-Abel Concerts" in 1765, the first regular concert series that was consistently popular with the English public. Much of Abel's music, including 24 symphonies, six piano concertos, and 12 viol sonatas, was composed for its programs. His style was characterized as elegant and graceful, and strongly influenced by the Classical Mannheim School. He wrote no concertos for the viola de gamba, his signature instrument, and provided different arrangements for his string sonatas, a concession that the violin family was overtaking the viol in standard performance. The "Bach-Abel Concerts" were discontinued after Bach's death in 1782, but Abel continued as a sought-after musician in England and Germany. His viola de gamba was allegedly buried in the grave beside him.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 19 Oct 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22313794
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Carl Friedrich Abel (22 Dec 1723–20 Jun 1787), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22313794, citing St. Pancras Old Churchyard, St Pancras, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .