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Bloch: Violin Concerto / Schiff, Serebrier, Et Al


Release Date: 10/30/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557757   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ernest Bloch
Performer:  Zina Schiff
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This is a wonderful disc. Zina Schiff plays this music with exceptional passion and commitment, which is really what Bloch is all about. Her tempos in the outer movements of the concerto are a touch more relaxed than the competition, particularly the classic Szigeti/Mengelberg, but the performance has greater excitement than the (limited) modern recorded versions, not just because of the fine sound, but because Schiff really digs into the music and phrases with both spontaneity and unusual communicative depth. When the melodies have such strong character even the long first movement, which admittedly has a tendency to sprawl in less committed hands, sounds amazingly cogent. It's clear that Schiff
Read more really knows the music and has no inhibitions when it comes to delivering the emotional goods. This is such a lovely work--it's amazing that it gets played so infrequently.

In the shorter pieces Schiff is just as splendid. The final movement ("Rejoicing") of Baal Shem lives up to its title as in few other performances, while the Suite Hebraïque's opening Rapsodie is hypnotically intense. José Serebrier and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra provide ideally balanced, colorful accompaniments, and the engineering, as usual from this source, is terrific. If you're looking for an inexpensive single disc containing all of Bloch's major works for violin and orchestra, let this release be your choice. I wonder if Schiff also plays the viola? I'd love to hear these forces in Bloch's spectacular Viola Suite.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Violin by Ernest Bloch
Performer:  Zina Schiff (Violin)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937-1938; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 03/2006 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 38 Minutes 21 Secs. 
2. Baal shem by Ernest Bloch
Performer:  Zina Schiff (Violin)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/2006 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 14 Minutes 34 Secs. 
3. Suite hébraïque by Ernest Bloch
Performer:  Zina Schiff (Violin)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/2006 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 13 Minutes 6 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto: I. Allegro deciso
Violin Concerto: II. Andante
Violin Concerto: III. Deciso
Baal Shem (version for violin and orchestra): No. 1. Vidui (Contrition)
Baal Shem (version for violin and orchestra): No. 2. Nigun (Improvisation)
Baal Shem (version for violin and orchestra): No. 3. Simchat torah (Rejoicing)
Suite hebraique: I. Rapsodie
Suite hebraique: II. Processional
Suite hebraique: III. Affirmation

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