Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Donald Macleod discusses JC Bach's friendship in 18th-century London with composer Carl Friedrich Abel and painter Thomas Gainsborough.

Donald Macleod introduces music and stories from the life of Johann Christian Bach - today, his friendships with the German composer Carl Abel, and the painter Thomas Gainsborough.

They must have made quite a threesome - two German composers, Johann Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich Abel, and the English painter Thomas Gainsborough. Bach and Abel were housemates, and business partners, collaborating on a series of subscription concerts in Soho for twenty years. Gainsborough, famously boozy and passionate about music, was the third side of the triangle, risking their ridicule by performing for them, and swapping his paintings for his friends' instruments. Donald Macleod discovers what they got up to in 18th-century London.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Carl Friedrich Abel

    Sonata in G major K.149 for viola da gamba and continuo

    Performer: Susanne Heinrich.
    • HYPERION : cda-672682.
    • HYPERION.
    • 12.
  • Johann Christian Bach

    Sinfonia concertante in G major C 45; T 286/4

    Orchestra: Pratum Integrum.
    • CARO MITIS : CM-0022006.
    • CARO MITIS.
    • 1.
  • Carl Friedrich Abel

    27 Pieces K.186-212 for viola da gamba solo extract

    Performer: Wieland Kuijken.
    • DENON : CO-75659.
    • DENON.
    • 5.
  • Johann Christian Bach

    Quartet in C major Op.19`1 for 2 flutes, viola and cello

    Ensemble: Camerata Köln.
    • CPO : 999-579-2.
    • CPO.
    • 1.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.