Author Topic: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)  (Read 16129 times)

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Offline Daverz

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #80 on: May 31, 2010, 10:26:06 PM »
As I say above - I think the solo cello suites are just gold, but I know some people who don't like em. There's a fantastic recording by Emmanuelle Bertrand.

And yet those Bloch Concerti Grossi recordings are still among the best ever recorded.  I can recommend the Jenny Lin recordings for those who find the Mercury sound a little too in your face.

EDIT: I swear I've replied to Scarpia's post twice and it's show up like this as a reply to Guido. 

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #81 on: May 31, 2010, 11:20:17 PM »
And yet those Bloch Concerti Grossi recordings are still among the best ever recorded.  I can recommend the Jenny Lin recordings for those who find the Mercury sound a little too in your face.

You're referring to Hanson?  I love Mercury sound, don't like Hanson's job of it.  Dalia Atlas is much more to my liking, and I have the Jenny Lin on order for the Concerto Symphonique.

Trying to decide with symphony to try first, probably c# minor.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #82 on: June 02, 2010, 12:54:13 PM »
You're referring to Hanson?  I love Mercury sound, don't like Hanson's job of it.  Dalia Atlas is much more to my liking, and I have the Jenny Lin on order for the Concerto Symphonique.

Trying to decide with symphony to try first, probably c# minor.

Yes, I'd start with the C minor Symphony - it has a wonderful redemptive ending. The best version is on BIS. I was really sorry to miss a performance of it in London a while back under Dalia Atlas.
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Offline listener

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #83 on: June 03, 2010, 12:38:37 AM »
Bloch's complete works for violin and piano, filler is the 2 suites for solo violin  came on the low-price Arte Nova label (now OOP?).  I'll have to hear it again,   shelved but not remembered.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #84 on: June 03, 2010, 02:16:54 AM »
I've managed to pick up both volumes of Hyperions recordings of these at rock bottom prices on the "Please buy me" offer; and very fine works they are.

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #85 on: June 20, 2010, 07:55:41 PM »
You're referring to Hanson?  I love Mercury sound, don't like Hanson's job of it.  Dalia Atlas is much more to my liking, and I have the Jenny Lin on order for the Concerto Symphonique.

Trying to decide with symphony to try first, probably c# minor.

Have to reverse myself here.  Dalia Atlas's recording on my started to grate on me, partly because of crudely done engineering from ASV (sounds like a primitive reverb effect has been added to the recordings).  I've gone back to the old Hansen recording on Mercury and I find it much better in every respect. 

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #86 on: June 21, 2010, 06:31:02 PM »
Bloch and Honegger are two of my favourite composers. "Liturgique Symphony" by Honegger is a great, powerfully visionary score.

Not so very common to choose these two composers as favs...

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #87 on: June 22, 2010, 05:34:17 AM »
Not so very common to choose these two composers as favs...

They're not the only ones - Vaughan Williams, Miaskovsky, Tubin, Holmboe, Diamond rank very high in my estimation too.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #88 on: June 28, 2010, 06:55:05 AM »
They're not the only ones - Vaughan Williams, Miaskovsky, Tubin, Holmboe, Diamond rank very high in my estimation too.

And what great composers they are. ;)
 
I have just ordered four recordings of Bloch's orchestral music. Now, I own the following Bloch recordings:
 
-Violin Concerto, Baal Shem, Suite Hebraique, Jose Serebrier, Royal Scottish National Orch., Naxos
-Four Episodes, Concertino, Suite Modale, Dalia Atlas, Slovak Radio Symphony, Atlas Camerata Orch., Naxos
-Three Jewish Poems, Last Poems, Evocations, James Sedares, New Zealand Symphony, Koch
-Sacred Service, Geoffrey Simon, London Symphony Orch., Chandos
-Israel Symphony, Suite for Viola and Orch., Dalia Atlas, Atlas Camerata Orch., ASV
 
This is a very small collection compared to some people on this thread, but I intend on exploring this composer's music, which means, of course, I will be getting more recordings after I digested my current collection.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #89 on: June 28, 2010, 08:06:34 AM »
And what great composers they are. ;)
 
I have just ordered four recordings of Bloch's orchestral music. Now, I own the following Bloch recordings:
 
-Violin Concerto, Baal Shem, Suite Hebraique, Jose Serebrier, Royal Scottish National Orch., Naxos
-Four Episodes, Concertino, Suite Modale, Dalia Atlas, Slovak Radio Symphony, Atlas Camerata Orch., Naxos
-Three Jewish Poems, Last Poems, Evocations, James Sedares, New Zealand Symphony, Koch
-Sacred Service, Geoffrey Simon, London Symphony Orch., Chandos
-Israel Symphony, Suite for Viola and Orch., Dalia Atlas, Atlas Camerata Orch., ASV
 
This is a very small collection compared to some people on this thread, but I intend on exploring this composer's music, which means, of course, I will be getting more recordings after I digested my current collection.

Try String Quartet No 1 too - like a symphony - terrific work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #90 on: July 01, 2010, 07:42:51 PM »
Just listened to this recording:



This was really an amazing recording. The music is by turns impressionistic, Stravinskian, and just so lyrically moving. I was going to listen to Geoffrey Simon/LSO's recording of "Sacred Service," but right now I'm listening to a disc of world premieres on Koch with James Sedares and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Listening to "Three Jewish Poems" right now and this is a sizzling performance! What a great work!
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #91 on: July 02, 2010, 12:21:41 AM »
Just listened to this recording:



This was really an amazing recording. The music is by turns impressionistic, Stravinskian, and just so lyrically moving. I was going to listen to Geoffrey Simon/LSO's recording of "Sacred Service," but right now I'm listening to a disc of world premieres on Koch with James Sedares and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Listening to "Three Jewish Poems" right now and this is a sizzling performance! What a great work!

Yes, the Seadres CD on Koch is one of my favourites too (I told you that we have similar tastes  :D).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #92 on: July 02, 2010, 06:51:35 PM »
Yes, the Seadres CD on Koch is one of my favourites too (I told you that we have similar tastes  :D ).


We probably do have some similar tastes, but I'm heavily into Latin American classical music, so I'm not sure how much of this vast musical plain you've explored, but I listen to these composers more than any others right now, although Bloch and currently Piston are in heavy rotation as well.


By the way, just listened to Geoffrey Simon's "Sacred Service" recording on Chandos. OUTSTANDING!!!! I love it! I'm listening to Atlas's performance of "Israel Symphony" right now and so far it's really good.


And yes, the Sedares recording is amazing. I'm probably going to revisit it again tonight. This weekend is going to be Bloch Weekend.  :P


« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 06:54:59 PM by Mirror Image »
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #93 on: July 04, 2010, 12:50:14 AM »

We probably do have some similar tastes, but I'm heavily into Latin American classical music, so I'm not sure how much of this vast musical plain you've explored, but I listen to these composers more than any others right now, although Bloch and currently Piston are in heavy rotation as well.


By the way, just listened to Geoffrey Simon's "Sacred Service" recording on Chandos. OUTSTANDING!!!! I love it! I'm listening to Atlas's performance of "Israel Symphony" right now and so far it's really good.


And yes, the Sedares recording is amazing. I'm probably going to revisit it again tonight. This weekend is going to be Bloch Weekend.  :P

Well, I like the music of Carlos Chavez very much, especially the Sinfonia de Antigona, which has a Havergal Brian type cragginess to it, which appeals to me. Geoffrey Simon's 'Sacred Service' is indeed the best and I have about 6 recordings of that work. It is usually compared adversely with Bernstein, but I prefer it. The other great performance of the Sacred Servis is by Bloch himself (Pearl and Jewish Music Archive). I had some email correspondence with Dalia Atlas (whom I don't know) about Bloch's Symphony in C., which is one of my favourite works by him. Her 'Israel Symphony' is indeed the best recorded performance, although I like the old Abravanel.

On the subject of Abravanel, this new release (of old material) is an excellent introduction to Bloch and includes Abravanel's deeply moving performance of the 'Sacred Service' which I didn't know he had ever recorded. I'm listening to Chavez Symphony 1 at the moment and a section toards the end reminded me very much of Bloch, which brings me back to where I started  ;D
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 12:58:42 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #94 on: July 04, 2010, 01:38:55 AM »
Well, I like the music of Carlos Chavez very much, especially the Sinfonia de Antigona, which has a Havergal Brian type cragginess to it, which appeals to me. Geoffrey Simon's 'Sacred Service' is indeed the best and I have about 6 recordings of that work. It is usually compared adversely with Bernstein, but I prefer it. The other great performance of the Sacred Servis is by Bloch himself (Pearl and Jewish Music Archive). I had some email correspondence with Dalia Atlas (whom I don't know) about Bloch's Symphony in C., which is one of my favourite works by him. Her 'Israel Symphony' is indeed the best recorded performance, although I like the old Abravanel.

On the subject of Abravanel, this new release (of old material) is an excellent introduction to Bloch and includes Abravanel's deeply moving performance of the 'Sacred Service' which I didn't know he had ever recorded. I'm listening to Chavez Symphony 1 at the moment and a section toards the end reminded me very much of Bloch, which brings me back to where I started  ;D

Chavez is quite good. The first work I heard by him was "Sinfonia India (Symphony No. 2)" with Eduardo Mata at the podium. Remarkable performance and this led me to explore more of his music. One thing that attracted me to "Sinfonia India" was it's use of shifting tempi. I also love the use of percussion in this piece. Very interesting and nothing cliche about it.
 
Getting back to Bloch, I ordered a recording with Sakari Oramo/Malmo Symphony Orch. on BIS performing "Violin Concerto," "Poems of the Sea," and "Suite Symphonique." This recording is out-of-print, but I look forward to hearing it. Right now, I'm just becoming more familiar with Bloch's music and I already own a very impressive collection, but in time I will expand it and start looking for comparitive recordings and so on.
 
Anyway, thanks for your recommendation. I have seen that 2-CD set on Amazon for a good price. I might pick it up at some point.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #95 on: July 04, 2010, 02:27:19 AM »
The BIS CD is very atmospheric - I'm sure you will enjoy it.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #96 on: July 04, 2010, 05:42:52 PM »
The BIS CD is very atmospheric - I'm sure you will enjoy it.

I'm sure I will. I haven't been let down by a BIS recording yet, but then again, I always knew how to pick great recordings. :)
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline snyprrr

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Bloch/Griller Disappointment
« Reply #97 on: November 17, 2010, 02:43:49 PM »
Yes, I eagerly awaited the Griller's 2cd Decca ReMastering, and I couldn't wait. After all, I've been fantasizing about the sound, not to mention the performance (which I heard a clip of, and was summarily blown away).

Well, well, well,... I started with No.2, since that was the one I wasn't familiar with (I have Portland 4&5, Portland No.1, and VoxBox No.3). Well, the performance sure is something, but,... puh-leeze??,... are you guys really raving about the sound here? I gotta be honest, I haven't experienced such lack of listening pleasure in quite a while. There seems to be a treble fierceness that really, almost immediately, gave me ear fatigue,... especially when you consider some of the music's innate hysterics. Each jab was just so brutal to listen to loud. Ouch. Talk about crystal clear.

No one can back me up on this?

So, I'm comparing with the Portland, and the Vox. As far as the opening of No.3, wow, the Vox and Griller are coming from two totally different places. I never liked No.3, and now I see it's because that Vox group (New World Quartet) just wasn't digging in from the first trill. The Griller surely have the measure of this music.

Comparing with the Portland in No.4 isn't quite as bad, though the 3rd mvmt Presto shows up the Portland's lack of brutal bite. Ultimately, though, the listening pleasure of the Griller's recording makes me want to listen to the, admittedly, inferior Portland (though, they're really ok).

I'm listening to the Griller No.1 now, and, though the performance is really biting here in the Finale, the  fatigue of listening to such intense music in such an upfront, trebly recording, really is making me just want to scrap the whole Bloch/SQ thing. Seriously. Maybe the FineArts will record for Naxos?



As far as the music itself goes, I can sure seem to figure out where Shosty came from, haha. However, Bloch's "desert declamation/wisdom/suffering" music leaves me in a middle ground. The same Oriental spirit that I like in it is the same thing that I can sometimes get a little too much of. The hectoring tone, especially brought out in the Griller set, gets a bit much with me. It's like listening to a half hour of Shosty 8's most brutal moments. Thanks Be that Bloch wasn't a minimalist!

ok, enough,... just keep in mind, this comes from a fan, so, I'm sincerely confused here. :'(

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Offline Daverz

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #98 on: November 17, 2010, 03:12:00 PM »
Decca sound of that period could be pretty fierce.

I haven't heard them, but least one reviewer I've read has found the Portland Quartet out of their depth.   I can highly recommend the Pro Arte Quartet's survey, though.  Easiest way to get them is directly from the Laurel Records site.

EDIT: From the Fanfare review of the Griller set:

"the Portland Quartet’s recordings on Arabesque are hopelessly inadequate and should be avoided"

"Although Laurel’s releases of Quartets 1 and 2 boast superior sound quality, their recordings of Quartets 3 and 4—from the early digital era—do not sound all that great. In fact, they suffer from much the same shrillness and stridency that characterizes Decca’s Griller recordings. Furthermore, while the Pro Arte performances may be more precise technically, the Griller performances often seem to “go for broke,” at times sacrificing technical precision for sheer emotional intensity. Their performances generally seem to display a fuller, more whole-hearted understanding of the expressive content of these two later works."
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 03:24:13 PM by Daverz »

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #99 on: November 17, 2010, 05:13:58 PM »
Decca sound of that period could be pretty fierce.

I haven't heard them, but least one reviewer I've read has found the Portland Quartet out of their depth.   I can highly recommend the Pro Arte Quartet's survey, though.  Easiest way to get them is directly from the Laurel Records site.

EDIT: From the Fanfare review of the Griller set:

"the Portland Quartet’s recordings on Arabesque are hopelessly inadequate and should be avoided"

"Although Laurel’s releases of Quartets 1 and 2 boast superior sound quality, their recordings of Quartets 3 and 4—from the early digital era—do not sound all that great. In fact, they suffer from much the same shrillness and stridency that characterizes Decca’s Griller recordings. Furthermore, while the Pro Arte performances may be more precise technically, the Griller performances often seem to “go for broke,” at times sacrificing technical precision for sheer emotional intensity. Their performances generally seem to display a fuller, more whole-hearted understanding of the expressive content of these two later works."

Well, that answered my next two questions, haha!

I'M WAITING FOR NAXOS! ;)

You need perfect sound/room + go-for-broke performance in this music particularly,... the whole enchilada! However, dem der Griller are fee-row-shus! I think they're saying to the world, "See? He's just as good as Bartok!" ;) 8)

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