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A,erican Record Guide: (07-08/2016) 
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CPO 7779112

Code-barres / Barcode : 0761203791125


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Reviewer: David W. Moore


This curious program is called Composed to the Soul. It is a fine representation of early classical material played in early music style by fine musicians. What more can be said? Well, to begin with, Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-87) wrote six quartets for two violins, a tenor, and cello obligato, Op. 8, in 1768. A copyist of that time transposed the first violin part down an octave and wrote it out for viola da gamba, as it is played here. These are attractive three-movement pieces played with love and warmth. Abel also wrote six concertos for harpsichord, two violins, and basso continuo, Op. 11, in the same year. These are all in two movements; the one included here has a pair of Allegros. This also gives the effect of chamber music and is beautifully played with harpsichordist Michael Fuerst. The two arias included fit well in the game. Like all of the other pieces, they last about ten minutes apiece —
a substantial pair sung with remarkable beauty both stylistically and technically by Mields.

This program is very pleasant to these ears, particularly the arias, which are done with a lively and lovely personality. Texts are included in Italian, German, and English, as are informative liner notes by Eckert. CPO records this variety of balances with their customary care for natural and warm sound. I found this a fine program for enjoying relatively littleknown music. I only wish they had given us

more of it.

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