Johann Christian Bach Opus 8 (Quartets for Carl Friedrich Abel)
Since 1764, J. C. Bach and his friend the great viol player Carl Friedrich Abel had been living in London, among a society of very collegiate English (and German expatriate) musicians working for Queen Charlotte (wife of King George III), the grand patroness of the arts.
Among the music Bach published were an unusual set of quartets for violin, flute or oboe, viola, and continuo (many editions, starting in 1772). Recent research has revealed that the original (manuscript) scoring was for viola da gamba in place of viola, and the later, published version featured a viola part only because of the scarcity of competent viola da gamba players at the time.
The viola da gamba (viol) player who played the part originally for the queens musicians was, of course, Bachs great friend Carl Friedrich Abel, who was (together with Ludwig Christian Hesse) the last of the great virtuosi of that instrument. The manuscript viol parts are idiosyncratic and demanding, published viola parts were dumbed down for publication. Tonights performance features David Morris playing the part of C. F. Abel, and Katherine Heater as Queen Charlotte, who often sat in as the harpsichordist of the group. The original violin, flute, and oboe players are uncertain.
Hillside Swedenborgian Church (View)
1422 Navellier Street
El Cerrito, CA 94530
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|