CARL FRIEDRICH ABEL The Drexel Manuscript
Paolo Pandolfo, viola da gamba
Total playing time 79:28 Recorded at Église de Franc-Waret, Belgium, in February 2008 Engineered and produced by Manuel Mohino Executive producer: Carlos Céster Design: Valentín Iglesias Booklet essay: Paolo Pandolfo English - Français - Deutsch - Español
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CARL FRIEDRICH ABEL (1723-1787)
The Drexel Manuscript
01-10 I. Suite in D major (Prélude) – Allegro – Vivace – Andante (Allegro) – Adagio – (Tempo di Minuetto) (Aria) – Tempo di Minuet – (Minuetto) 11-16 II. Suite in D minor (Arpeggiata) – (Minuetto) – Allegro – Adagio (Allegro) – Tempo di Menuet (D major) 17-26 III. Suite in D major (Prélude) – Allegro – (Allegro) – (Aria con Variazioni) – Fuga – Adagio – Tempo di Minuet (Petit Prélude) – Tempo di Menuet – (Minuetto) 27-28 IV. Two pieces in A major Allegretto – Allegro
About this CD
The fame that he enjoyed in his lifetime clearly hasn't served Carl Friedrich Abel well in the two centuries since his death. He was fêted all over Europe both for his supreme skills as a performer of the viola da gamba as well as for the quality of his compositions, and was responsible (along with JC Bach) for setting up arguably the first series of subscription concerts in the history of Western music, the "Bach Abel-Concerts". Even the prodigy that was Mozart benefited from Abel's teachings (and was claimed as the composer of one Abel's own symphonies).
All this was known by keen minds of the time such as Charles Burney, JF Reichardt and Goethe and fortunately also, in the 21st century, by Paolo Pandolfo, who delivers here a scintillating rendition of Abel's ever-inventive music which ranges across Preludes, Adagios and sundry dance forms. Where to place this "late" music for the viola da gamba? Not Baroque and definitely heading in the direction of the classicism of Mozart, Haydn and even Beethoven. Or as Paolo Pandolfo - who adds dabs of his own highly-advanced improvisatory skills here and there - says, "Simply put, it is Music!"
It seemed that the music of Carl Friedrich Abel was proving singularly impervious to modern performance initiatives. More is known about the life and times of this Köthen-born composer than about his actual music (he can be placed as a pupil of JS Bach and as someone who died in the year of the 17 year-old Beethoven’s first visit to Vienna). Yet it was as a virtuosic improviser on the by then (surely?) outdated instrument of the viola da gamba that Abel was equally known for by his contemporaries. So, the most suitable candidate in the 21st century for bringing back Abel’s music to its rightful place needs to be not only a supreme interpreter on the viola da gamba and steeped in its repertory but one capable of understanding the almost lost art of improvisation. [read more...]
Widely admired as a virtuoso exponent of the viola da gamba through his concert performances and recordings of key composers from Germany, France, Spain, England and his native Italy, Paolo Pandolfo has in recent years been concentrating on his instincts and skills for improvising and composing (not to mention continuing with his teaching). An artist who can bring out the expressive vitality and poetry in the viol music of composers such as Sainte-Colombe, Marin Marais or J.S. Bach is plainly also relishing the challenges of other musical explorations that have included, on disc, an unaccompanied tour de force in A Solo and a travelogue (from this artist who is a modern, high-tech nomad himself) in Travel Notes. [read more...]