Johann Christian Bach
Six Quartettos for Carl Friedrich Abel Op. 8
for Oboe (Flute, Violin), Violin, Viola da Gamba (Viola), and Basso
Editor: Thomas Fritzsch and Günter von Zadow, publication date: 2017-06, source: D-LEb Kulukundis an print Den Haag ca 1772
Johann Christian Bach’s Quartets op. 8 are presented here in a complete edition that is based on a manuscript source from the Kulukundis Collection. The scoring in this source is for oboe, violin, viola da gamba and violoncello and/or keyboard instrument. Printed sources of the time additionally specify flute and violin for the first part, and viola for the third. Our edition is suitable for all these instrumentations; it contains an individual part for viola da gamba as well as for viola.
This music enjoyed great popularity in the late eighteenth century not only in London, as one can deduce from the fact that five editions were published in 1772 alone (in Paris, The Hague, Amsterdam, Mannheim, and London). All the quartets are in two movements. The first is usually a fast movement in sonata form that is followed by a dance movement, a variation movement, or a rondo. While well worked-out motifs, which are frequently repeated, alternate with imitative entries in the three upper parts, the bass supports the flow of the colorful and cheerful music that is reminiscent of Haydn and Mozart.