Next live concert Elinor Frey – Bach on three different cellos will be on 18 April 2021 at 14h30

At the heart of the repertoire of nearly all cellists, Bach’s cello suites are among the most appreciated works of music lovers around the world. The suites highlight how Bach is particularly adept at mixing particular characteristics of the cello. For example, because of its unique range, from the low bass to the soprano, the cello is able to create the illusion of multiple voices, a polyphony inspired by the use of Bach’s harmony and melody, wonderful techniques that intrigue the ear at every moment. The suites were probably composed around 1720 when Bach lived in Cöthen in the service of Prince Leopold, when he composed much secular and instrumental music, including works for solo violin and the famous Brandenburg concertos. For this concert, the main source is the manuscript copy of Anna Magdalena Bach, as no Bach autographs survive. The sixth suite requires an entirely different cello, as Bach specified a five-string instrument in the manuscript. The fifth string, a higher string tuned to ‘e’, allows the cello to extend the scope of the music in a joyful and captivating higher register. Having explored different cello sizes and tunings since she commissioned her five-string cello in 2012 from Montréal-based luthier Francis Beaulieu, Elinor will also perform the first violin Partita by Bach on a smaller member of the cello family, the “tenor” cello. This four-stringed instrument is tuned G-d-a-e’, one octave below the violin, and has the body size of today’s “standard” 3/4 size cello.

Live from Église de la Visitation, Montréal (QC)
April 18th, 2.30 p.m. EST – Available for two weeks after live performance

Concert program

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Suite no. 1 in G major for violoncello solo [BWV 1007]
Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Minuets I & II
Gigue

Partita no. 1 in B minor for violin solo (played on tenor cello) [BWV 1002] (excerpts)
Allemanda
Double
Tempo di borea
Double

Suite no. 6 in D major for 5-string violoncello solo [BWV 1012]
Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Gavottes I & II
Gigue

Elinor Frey, cello, 5-string cello, tenor cello

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Elinor Frey – Bach on three different cellos

18 April 2021 at 14h30

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