Author Topic: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)  (Read 31053 times)

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Offline André

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #180 on: April 29, 2020, 03:45:36 AM »
I played the Bloch Naxos 'Four Episodes' CD again yesterday or the day before, still with much pleasure. I like every work on it and 'Printemps' echoes the 'Israel Symphony' in places. Hope it arrives soon Lol. That Abravanel recording is excellent. Like with Ansermet, I invariably think highly of his recordings.

Very true, and there might be good reason for that: the Abravanels moved to Lausanne in 1909, where they shared a house with the Ansermets. Young Maurice was 6 when he first met Ernest, then 26. He met Milhaud and Stravinsky who were friends with Ansermet. At age 16 Maurice was a musical critic for the local newspaper. I didn’t find any direct info, but I suspect that  Ansermet was a musical mentor to Abravanel. Bloch was from Geneva, at the other end of the Lake. I don’t know if Abravanel or Ansermet ever met him.

Offline Irons

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #181 on: April 29, 2020, 06:24:15 AM »
I played the Bloch Naxos 'Four Episodes' CD again yesterday or the day before, still with much pleasure. I like every work on it and 'Printemps' echoes the 'Israel Symphony' in places. Hope it arrives soon Lol. That Abravanel recording is excellent. Like with Ansermet, I invariably think highly of his recordings.

So do I! Purchased from Switzerland to save a few bob which seemed a good idea at the time. I noticed you had a "Forgotten Records" CD. An interesting and unique operation, and like you Jeffrey I received a hand written note with a purchase. I sometimes trawl their catalogue, not because I intend to buy anything but to view all the rare and interesting recordings on offer. Love Ansermet, and in my view the CD set you posted recently of his mono recordings is him at the height of his powers. 
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Irons

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #182 on: April 29, 2020, 06:30:20 AM »
Very true, and there might be good reason for that: the Abravanels moved to Lausanne in 1909, where they shared a house with the Ansermets. Young Maurice was 6 when he first met Ernest, then 26. He met Milhaud and Stravinsky who were friends with Ansermet. At age 16 Maurice was a musical critic for the local newspaper. I didn’t find any direct info, but I suspect that  Ansermet was a musical mentor to Abravanel. Bloch was from Geneva, at the other end of the Lake. I don’t know if Abravanel or Ansermet ever met him.


Ansermet made a classic Frank Martin, also Swiss, recording for Decca but not aware of any Bloch? Wish he did.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline André

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #183 on: April 29, 2020, 07:19:28 AM »
Ansermet made a classic Frank Martin, also Swiss, recording for Decca but not aware of any Bloch? Wish he did.


Yes he did: Schelomo and Voice in the Wilderness. Hard to guess if he liked the music or was just hired as accompanist to the cellist Zara Nelsova. Probably both.


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #184 on: April 29, 2020, 02:19:15 PM »
Very true, and there might be good reason for that: the Abravanels moved to Lausanne in 1909, where they shared a house with the Ansermets. Young Maurice was 6 when he first met Ernest, then 26. He met Milhaud and Stravinsky who were friends with Ansermet. At age 16 Maurice was a musical critic for the local newspaper. I didn’t find any direct info, but I suspect that  Ansermet was a musical mentor to Abravanel. Bloch was from Geneva, at the other end of the Lake. I don’t know if Abravanel or Ansermet ever met him.
How very interesting André. I had no idea of the connection. I wonder if you know this fine CD which I'm having a late night listen to:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #185 on: April 29, 2020, 02:21:13 PM »

Yes he did: Schelomo and Voice in the Wilderness. Hard to guess if he liked the music or was just hired as accompanist to the cellist Zara Nelsova. Probably both.



Coincidentally I ordered that CD today.  ::)  I was particularly interested in the two works by composers I'd never heard of.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline André

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #186 on: April 29, 2020, 02:23:16 PM »
How very interesting André. I had no idea of the connection. I wonder if you know this fine CD which I'm having a late night listen to:


No, I don’t. Looks very tempting. I have only one of the works on it, so it would fill a gap actually. Thanks for the tip!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #187 on: April 29, 2020, 02:23:49 PM »
Ansermet made a classic Frank Martin, also Swiss, recording for Decca but not aware of any Bloch? Wish he did.

There's a fine 'In Terra Pax' (my favourite work by Frank Martin) which I had in my youth coupled on a double LP set with Honegger's 'King David' and it was recently released in a fine CD set featuring Ansermet's Honegger recordings:
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« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 02:25:40 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Irons

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #188 on: April 30, 2020, 06:02:37 AM »

Yes he did: Schelomo and Voice in the Wilderness. Hard to guess if he liked the music or was just hired as accompanist to the cellist Zara Nelsova. Probably both.



Many thanks. I am a big fan of both Ansermet and Nelsova but had no idea......
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline André

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #189 on: April 30, 2020, 11:10:48 AM »
Nelsova championed Schelomo throughout her career. She made three recordings of it. A very sensitive, even emotional artist, her playing commanded a very vocal character. She studied the work under Bloch, who conducted in her first recording of the work. Bloch also wrote the cello suites for her. With such credentials, one could say this is Bloch from the horse’s mouth...

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #190 on: April 30, 2020, 11:13:46 AM »
Nelsova championed Schelomo throughout her career. She made three recordings of it. A very sensitive, even emotional artist, her playing commanded a very vocal character. She studied the work under Bloch, who conducted in her first recording of the work. Bloch also wrote the cello suites for her. With such credentials, one could say this is Bloch from the horse’s mouth...
Indeed - her performance with Ansermet is very special as is 'Voice in the Wilderness'.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Irons

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #191 on: May 04, 2020, 10:22:41 PM »
Enjoyed this Bloch CD very much, a good cross-section of the composer's style. Only based on a single hearing "Four Episodes" is the standout on the disc, a fascinating work and highly entertaining. I think it has been already mentioned that "Two Poems", an early work, has echoes of Debussy, a view with which I agree - I 'm glad Bloch was to find his own distinctive voice. Loved the original sound-world of flute and viola in Concertino, I cannot recall a another work with both instruments used in such a way. Both the Concertino and Suite Modale are neoclassical. I will investigate the other Bloch issues in the Naxos series.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #192 on: May 04, 2020, 10:51:04 PM »
Enjoyed this Bloch CD very much, a good cross-section of the composer's style. Only based on a single hearing "Four Episodes" is the standout on the disc, a fascinating work and highly entertaining. I think it has been already mentioned that "Two Poems", an early work, has echoes of Debussy, a view with which I agree - I 'm glad Bloch was to find his own distinctive voice. Loved the original sound-world of flute and viola in Concertino, I cannot recall a another work with both instruments used in such a way. Both the Concertino and Suite Modale are neoclassical. I will investigate the other Bloch issues in the Naxos series.
Ah, so it finally turned up! Glad you enjoyed in Lol. These are two of my favourites from the Naxos series along with the Israel Symphony conducted by Dalia Atlas:
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"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Irons

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #193 on: May 05, 2020, 06:43:13 AM »
I have the violin sonatas on vinyl, Jeffrey. I believe Rafael Druian was first violin of the Cleveland Orchestra at the time of Szell's tenure.

I also have Isaac Stern's recording of No.1 R/S Three Pictures of Chassidic Life. Avoid this! The sound is akin to when the captain draws his finger nails across the blackboard in "Jaws".

You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #194 on: May 05, 2020, 01:30:46 PM »
I have the violin sonatas on vinyl, Jeffrey. I believe Rafael Druian was first violin of the Cleveland Orchestra at the time of Szell's tenure.

I also have Isaac Stern's recording of No.1 R/S Three Pictures of Chassidic Life. Avoid this! The sound is akin to when the captain draws his finger nails across the blackboard in "Jaws".
I like your description of it Lol!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #195 on: May 05, 2020, 03:40:48 PM »
This CD is exceptionally good:



I was listening to Four Episodes the other day by following the comments here. Don't recall if I had heard it before. Anyway, this was something else. Bloch at his most colourful and lyric. I liked it a lot.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #196 on: May 05, 2020, 03:51:19 PM »
I’m not a huge Bloch fan but a few of my favorite works of his are Evocations, Hiver-Printemps, Baal Shem, Poems of the Sea, Piano Quintet No. 1 and the Sacred Service.
"Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art." - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #197 on: May 05, 2020, 10:02:44 PM »
I’m not a huge Bloch fan but a few of my favorite works of his are Evocations, Hiver-Printemps, Baal Shem, Poems of the Sea, Piano Quintet No. 1 and the Sacred Service.

Those are amongst my favourites too John. Do you know the epic First SQ? It really is quite something. My other favourite is the early Symphony in C and 'Voice in the Wilderness' which I tend to play more often than the more famous 'Schelomo', good as that is. Oh, and I mustn't forget the 'Israel Symphony' which alerted me to Bloch in the first place.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #198 on: May 05, 2020, 10:03:25 PM »
This CD is exceptionally good:



I was listening to Four Episodes the other day by following the comments here. Don't recall if I had heard it before. Anyway, this was something else. Bloch at his most colourful and lyric. I liked it a lot.
Definitely on my wish list Cesar. Good to know that you think highly of it.
Glad you liked 'Four Episodes' as well.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Irons

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Re: Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
« Reply #199 on: May 05, 2020, 10:08:32 PM »
This CD is exceptionally good:



I was listening to Four Episodes the other day by following the comments here. Don't recall if I had heard it before. Anyway, this was something else. Bloch at his most colourful and lyric. I liked it a lot.

An excellent lineup. Along with the violin concerto my favourite pieces by Bloch.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 10:11:28 PM by Irons »
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.