The recording was made in February 1994 and first released by the Dutch Vanguard label. It is an enjoyable disc, that will offer much pleasure to listeners of 18th Century music from Bach and Handel to Mozart and Haydn. In fact Abel's style is closer to Haydn and the Bach sons than to Handel (but with a boisterousness in the fast movements that links them to the latter). No surprise: Abel is exactly from that generation. His father Christian Ferdinand played the violin and viola da gamba in the famous orchestra of Cöthen (where his son was born) when Johann Sebastian was its Kapellmeister, and Karl himself played in the Dresden court orchestra under the famous Hasse, where he made the acquaintance of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (Bach's second child and eldest son), who was organist in Dresden at the time. In 1758 he established in London, where he founded (in 1762) the famous Bach-Abel concerts with Johann Christian Bach's, Bach's 11th and youngest son. He remained in London to the end of his life.
II Fondamento under Paul Dombrecht, a period-instrument ensemble (21 members), turn out what sound like spirited performances, maybe a little laid-back in some of the fast movements, with the slightly acid tone so typical of such period-ensembles. This will not replace your favorite Haydn and Mozart, but will offer a fine complement for those interested in placing the great masters in historical context. TT 60:33, excellent notes in the original Vanguard release.—Amazon