Today in Music History
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Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
June 20
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Carl Friedrich Abel was born in Cöthen, Germany December 22, 1723.

Abel studied with his father, Christian Ferdinand Abel, a violinist and viola da gamba player.  When his father died in 1737, Carl Abel traveled to Leipzigwhere he probably joined Johann Sebastian Bach's Collegium Musicum.

1819 - Birth of Rhenish conductor, cellist and composer Jacques Offenbach in Köln, Germany 

1901 - Premiere of Sir Edward Elgar's Cockaigne Overture, In London Town at a London Philharmonic concert.

1937 - W2XBS (later WCBS-TV) televised the first TV operetta. The work was the Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan.

1975 - Daniel Ayala-Pérez, Mexican composer, died in Veracruz, Mexico.

- It's Still Rock & Roll to Me became Billy Joel's first #1 hit..

1980 - Death of Swedish composer Gustaf Allan Pettersson in Stockholm.

1981 - Katherine Toeniskoetter married Arthur Haule in Rolla, Missouri . . . putting the song in his heart.  Happy Anniversary Kath.

Carl Friedrich Abel
Abel was a member of the court orchestra in Dresden from 1743 through 1757.  Leaving Dresden, Abel settled in London where he gave his first concert in 1759. During this time Abel and Johann Christian Bach (Johann Sebastian's son) were serving as court musicians to Queen Charlotte.  In February, 1764, he gave a first joint concert with Johann Christian Bach.  It was so successful that  they established the Bach-Abel concerts, a series of ten to fifteen concerts given each year from 1765 to 1781.

These concerts were ultimately housed in a room built specifically for this purpose on Hanover Square, the works performed being principally those of Bach and Abel themselves. The performers included Abel himself on
viola da gamba, of which he was one of the last great proponents, In addition to performing his own works, Abel used the concerts to introduce performers from Germany and Paris (where he visited regularly).and numerous Continental musicians. Following a visit to the Continent from 1782, including a stay at the Potsdam court of the Crown Prince of Prussia, he returned to London and was prominent in "The Grand Professional Concerts" series beginning in 1785.

His works include two dozen symphonies as well as concertos, overtures, and other orchestral works, string quartets, string trios, sonatas, and other chamber music for various combination, as well as sonatas and other pieces for viola da gamba.

Interestingly, Abel was one link in a chiain of musicians. His grandfather Clamor Heinrich (1634-96) was a composer, organist and bass violist who worked at Celle, Hanover and Bremen. His father, Christian Ferdinand (1682-1737), also a bass violist, was a colleague of J.S. Bach at Cöthen, and his elder brother, Leopold August (1718-94), was a violinist at north German courts and composed several instrumental works. Johann Leopold (1795-1871), a grandson of Carl August, was a pianist and composer who taught music at German courts and later lived in London.
Violinist Szymon Goldberg plays Schubert
I Luv Violin Button
I Luv Violin
A great button to let folks know of your devotion to the king of string instruments.
Abel's Symphonies
No. 1 - 6
Can You Guess?
We read in today's biography about Johann Sebastian Bach and his son Johann Christian.
Can You Guess
how many children Johann Sebastian Bach had?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
Did You Guess?
Bach had
twenty children! Five were named Johann, two Johanna and four grew up to become famous composers.
Pirates of Penzance
Viola da Gamba Musict
A Very Good Album with Viola da Gamba works.  Sound clips at Amzon.