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This album represents my second tribute to Carl Frederich Abel following my 2008 recording of the Drexel Manuscript.
To begin this Sentimental Journey I imagined capturing Abel in a moment of intimacy, improvising, composing on the viol. I evoked this scene through using the beautiful theme of the Andantino in a version for solo viol as in the Drexel Manuscript.
The following scene immediately transports us into an almost “symphonic” dimension with the incredible rhythmic momentum of the first movement of the A2:50 sonata. The volcanic imagination, the remarkable virtuosity and the mastery of the art of composing, admired and emulated by the young Mozart, are clearly evident.
Through these sonatas we’ll follow Carl Friedrich as if on an inner journey, firstly in his search of success, then of his own roots, but, above all, in the quest for a meaning of life which he must have felt gradually eluding him. Which probably led him to excesses, extravagances and deep personal anguish resulting in his known addiction to alcohol… I believe that the immense success of his Adagios among his contemporaries can be explained by the profound scope of the message they contain, personal and universal, in which pain and suffering are transformed into pure beauty that calms the soul, even the most tormented. (“… He was the Sterne of music, the one wrote, the other composed for the Soul …”).
I have no reservation in defining this music, in which Art and Life are intertwined in a paradigm, as pre-romantic but a pre-romanticism whose roots are deeply interwoven with what we could define the Holy Grail of baroque music : the Bach family, with whom he was so intimately linked, to the point of inserting the four notes B-A-C-H , as a coded message, at the centre of the A minor Sonata A2: 57 Adagio, an act of perpetual homage, and of symbolic, indissoluble bond …