The Sanctuary, Vancouver Unitarian Church
Artist: Elinor Frey, cello
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 fifth suite requires a non-standard tuning, C-G-d-g, common in Bologna in the mid-seventeenth century, which gives the suite a deep, warm, and resonate tone for it’s highly-French stylized movements in heartfelt c minor key. The third suite’s key of C Major allows the cello to express its bright and joyful charm.
This concert is generously sponsored by the RPC Family Foundation