America, America

America, America

Ensemble Variances and Noa Frenkel, contralto
Works by Michael Ellison,Thierry Pécou, Georgina Derbez, Paul Desenne, John Cage



Working on a new project with new compositions is always exciting for me. Collaborating with Thierry Pécou is even more so. Thierry's hauntingly beautiful music has a vast imaginative quality to it, a richness, full and flowing, and a true understanding of vocal possibilities which is a joy to work with as a singer.

Noa Frenkel

"The earth’s whole amplitude and Nature’s multiform power consigned for once to colors" - Walt Whitman.

The Americas is the absolute leitmotiv of this programme. The native cultures and traditions as a source of inspiration, the ‘New World’ where brand new cultures and traditions have been developing, or even the ‘American dream’ making anything new possible.

What better theme for a programme including one new work by composer Michael Ellison and works by composers inspired on old American cultures and traditions can be found?

American composer Michael Ellison will work from experience with his own culture and will entwine past and present from a different perspective. His work Chant of the Soul, commissioned by Radio France, is based on the Vision of Black Elk, the famous Sioux medicine man. Just like Michael Ellison, Thierry Pécou gets his inspiration from traditional music. The oral traditions of the native south-Americans are the source for Manoa, the old myths by the Aztecs for Soleil-Tigre. We will also hear a work by Georgina Derbez recognized as one of the raising Mexican composers of her generation.

Contralto Noa Frenkel’s vocal range and experience with different styles of music make her the ideal addition to the ensemble in order to interpret Michael Ellison’s new work and John Cage’s Aria for solo voice.

Every listener sucked in an astonished breath at the powerful vibrancy, depth, richness and sweet edges of Frenkel’s voice, not to mention the artistry of her interpretation.

The Cronical Herald, Canada, april2010

Georgina Derbez, Paul Desenne, Thierry Pécou, John Cage, Michael Ellison
Noa Frenkel


Georgina Derbez (*1968/ Mexico)

Sus une fontayne for flute, clarinet and piano

Paul Desenne (Venezuela/USA, *1959)

Jaguar songs for solo cello: Gavotte

Thierry Pécou (*1965)

Danzon for solo flute

Paul Desenne

Jaguar songs for solo cello: Birimbao – Jaguar

Thierry Pécou

Soleil-Tigre for cello and piano

John Cage (1912-1992)

Aria for solo voice

Thierry Pécou

Manoa for bass flute, bass clarinet and cello

Michael Ellison (USA/Turquie)

The Vision of Black Elk, for contralto, flutes, clarinet, saxophone, cello and double bass

Number of people

Guest artist

Noa Frenkel (Israel, Netherlands) contralto

Ensemble Variances

Anne Cartel flute
Carjez Gerretsen clarinet
Nicolas Prost sax
David Louwerse cello
Laurene Durantel double bass
Thierry Pécou piano


Commission  Radio France
In partnership with Cité de la Voix de Vézelay

The Ensemble Variances receive support from Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Drac Normandie, Région Normandie, Spedidam, Sacem, Ville de Rouen, Odia Normandie, Onda. The Ensemble Variances is member of Fevis, Futurs Composés, Bureau Export and Profedim. It is member of Groupement d'Employeurs Solstice, supported by Région Normandie. Caisse des Dépôts, main sponsor of Ensemble Variances.