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BLOCH: Violin Concerto / Baal Shem / Suite Hebraique

Composer(s):Bloch, Ernest
Artist(s) Serebrier, José, Conductor • Royal Scottish National OrchestraSchiff, Zina, violin
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.557757
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

A precocious violin talent, Bloch left home at the age of seventeen to study with the illustrious Belgian violinist and composer Eugène Ysaÿe, who regognised his pupil's extraordinary creative potential and persuaded him to pursue composition. Bloch's Violin Cocnerto, an underrated rarity, is one of his most important works of the 1930s. Although Bloch attributed the major themes in the Concerto to American Indian songs heard on a visit to New Mexico, he also described the work as portraying 'the complex, glowing, agitated soul that I feel vibrating through the Bible'. The Suite hébraïque, which draws on traditional melodies to evoke a sense of nostalgia, and the exotic tryptich Baal Shem (Three Pictures of Chassidic Life), are indelibly


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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

The Bloch Concerto is a work of strong personality and its neglect is surprising. Szigeti’s pioneering record with Charles Munch from 1939 is once again available on Naxos, but it was almost 30 years before Menuhin put it on disc. The American violinist Zina Schiff is a protégé of Heifetz and is very much inside the Bloch idiom, both in the Concerto and in the shorter pieces on this disc. Recommended…

Review By David Denton, Naxos,October 2007

I discovered Ernest Bloch’s Violin Concerto back in the early days of LP’s when it was an extreme rarity, and felt deeply aggrieved that the musical world was so ignorant of such a impressive rhapsodic score. It was on the Supraphon label with Hyman Bress as soloist, and since then I have heard each of the few recordings that have appeared and none have been able to replace that early love of his performance. Completed in his native Switzerland in 1937 external influences surely came from Szymanowski’s concertos, his assertion that there are American Indian Songs is more in Bloch’s mind than in the actual hearing. The soloist sings as a free bird in the opening movement flying high above the luxurious undergrowth of orchestral accompaniment, at times vigorous



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