Carl Friedrich Abel painted by Gainsborough
WRITERS, ARTISTS AND ARISTOCRATS
What did Thomas Gainsborough, Laurence Sterne, and the Countess of Pembroke all have in common? The obvious answer is an intricate web of social connections but, less predictably, they all played the viola da gamba.
This programme creates a glimpse into the private musical life of the wealthy amateur musician in Georgian England, enhanced by anecdotes and readings from the period.
Included are trios for flute, viol and harpsichord, solo sonatas and unaccompanied pieces by Tommaso Giordani, J.C. Bach, Handel and the London-based German viol player Carl Friedrich Abel who ties this elite circle together and who inspired the late flowering of an instrument which enjoyed its heyday in the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods.