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Elinor Frey

Agent (Canada, USA)

Berlin Sonatas

Chamber music: Elinor Frey, five-string cello, Lorenzo Ghielmi, fortepiano or harpsichord

Territory represented: Canada, USA

The royal courts of mid-eighteenth century Berlin were lively crossroads for some of the greatest musicians of the time. Court musicians and visitors were famous virtuosos performing music full of expressivity and fantasy. In Berlin Sonatas, the sonatas of J.C.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, C.F. Abel, Johann Kirnberger, and C.H. Graun each demonstrate the language of Sensibility (Empfindsamkeit): an expression of sadness, anger, wrath, joy, love, and praise. In their music, emotions are fleeting and instantaneous and, above all, the beauty of melody is emphasized. In Berlin in particular (where several court musicians were students of J.S. Bach), sonatas for cello seem liberated, natural, and comprehensible when played on a instrument fit with a fifth string. The five-string cello also allows for the performance of violin caprices by Franz Benda. The works of Berlin Sonatas achieve a great quality of expression of the kind that helped make Berlin composers famous, especially for their rapturous Adagios and tuneful Allegros, each leaving ample space for the performer’s creativity.


Agent (Canada, USA)

Fiorè

Chamber music: Suzie Leblanc, soprano, Elinor Frey, violoncello, Esteban La Rotta, theorbo, guest harpsichordist

Territory represented: Canada, USA

Fiorè centers on a unique, anonymous collection of music featuring the cello, held in a small archive in Como, Italy. This manuscript may contain music that ranks among the first works that feature the cello. The sonatas, brilliant and lyrical, are likely written by the Milanese cellist A.M. Fiorè while the anonymous arias weave expressive cello lines with beautiful sung texts, each musing on longing, torment, sorrow, and idealized love. The program draws upon the passion for research and commitment to exploration of the musicians, Suzie Leblanc, Elinor Frey, and Esteban La Rotta.


Agent (Canada, USA)

Guided By Voices

Solo: Elinor Frey, 5-string Baroque cello

Territory represented: Canada, USA

Today, the five-string cello is treated as an exotic and rarely-played cousin of the standard cello. However, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was simply one of the many instruments used in the family of bass violins, and was particularly important for virtuosic sonatas and solos. The program centres around the five-string cello’s most enduring work, Bach’s Sixth Solo Suite (BWV 1012). Each movement reveals the instrument’s incredible versatility and remarkable colors. Elinor Frey explores these qualities further through her own transcriptions from the violin repertoire and a newly commissioned work by composer Scott Godin based on “O Vis Aeternitatis” of Hildegard Von Bingen and a forthcoming work by Isaiah Ceccarelli.


Agent (Canada, USA)

Project with orchestra

Territory represented: Canada, USA

Elinor Frey, who masters the baroque cello as well as the modern instrument, proposes orchestral programs to early music orchestras, chamber and symphonic orchestras. Her repertoire includes works such as Tartini, Elgar and Schumann concertos, as well as Bernstein’s Three Meditations from Mass to name but a few.


Agent (Canada, USA)

La Voce Del Violoncello

Solo: Elinor Frey, Baroque cello

Territory represented: Canada, USA

La Voce del Violoncello offers a journey though the curious inventions of the first great cellist-composers of Italy. In the Baroque era, Italian cellist-composers contributed some of the most original and celebrated Baroque works for the instrument. Dall’Abaco, Supriani, Vitali, Gabrielli, Ruvo, Colombi, and Galli have each written cello music that is charming, sumptuous, and captivating. La Voce del Violoncello, uniquely reveals the breadth of solo cello works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is an important contribution to understanding the origins of unaccompanied cello music from before and during the time of Bach when Italians also wrote remarkable solo cello works. This program is the result of research and performances that have grown out of the support of grants from the US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship Program, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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