ClassicsOnline Home » BLOCH, E.: Suite for Viola and Orchestra / Baal Shem / Suite hebraique (Hong-Mei Xiao, Budapest Symphony MAV, Smolij) > Review List



BLOCH, E.: Suite for Viola and Orchestra / Baal Shem / Suite hebraique (Hong-Mei Xiao, Budapest Symphony MAV, Smolij)

Composer(s):Bloch, Ernest
Artist(s) Smolij, Mariusz, Conductor • Budapest Symphony Orchestra MAVXiao, Hong-Mei, viola
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.570829
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
 
 
Download and Stream
8.570829
 


Although Ernest Bloch’s exploration of the ‘Jewish Soul’ focused on a cycle of seven works written between 1911 and 1916, he returned to Jewish themes throughout his life. Baal Shem explores Eastern European Hasidic traditions in all their expressive intensity in this version for viola and orchestra transcribed by soloist Hong-Mei Xiao. Bloch’s 1918 Coolidge Prize-winning Suite for Viola and Orchestra remains one of the twentieth century’s enduringly important works for the instrument, whilst the Suite hébraïque, written in his last decade, absorbs Jewish elements ever more fluently and subtly.


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Review By David Hurwitz,ClassicsToday.com,July 2013

Bloch’s Viola Suite, Chinese finale and all, is arguably the best work for viola and orchestra in the repertoire. It is melodically haunting, emotionally wide-ranging, thematically integrated—despite being called a “suite” it’s really a full-blown four-movement symphony—and gorgeously scored.

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