Ernest Bloch

Biography

Born: 1880   Died: 1959   Country: Switzerland   Period: 20th Century
A highly individual composer, Ernest Bloch did not pioneer any new style in music but spoke with a distinctive voice into which he could assimilate folk influences, 12-tone technique, and even coloristic quarter tones. In a stylistically atomized century his interests were universal, and his music was both beloved by the public and inspirational for a younger and more academically oriented generation.

His father was the quintessential
Read more Swiss, a well-off manufacturer of watches and clocks, including cuckoo clocks. Ernest had a diverse musical training that included advanced violin training, study of eurhythmics with Émile Jacques-Dalcroze; he traveled from Switzerland to Belgium, Munich, and Paris in due course. Bloch wrote prolifically in his student years but did not publish any of his works. He is not related to his contemporary Ernest Bloch (1885-1977), a German philosopher interested in musical issues.

Bloch married Margarethe Schneider in 1904; one of their children, Suzanne, became a well-known lute player. His music began to attract interest, and in 1910 his opera Macbeth was staged in Paris to a mostly uncomprehending audience. About this time he began writing music with specifically Jewish aspects in subject matter, reflected by orientalisms in the melodies -- often derived from Jewish worship chants and folk music. Some of the best known compositions of this series are the violin work Baal-Shem, an Israel Symphony, and Schelomo, a tone poem that also is one of the great cello concertos.

In 1916 he traveled to the U.S. as conductor for the Maud Allan dance company. The outfit went broke, stranding him in Ohio. The composer was thus forced to remain in America, but he soon found success as a composer, conductor, and music school administrator and teacher. In 1924 he took American citizenship. He became director of the San Francisco Conservatory in 1925 and in 1927 won first prize in a contest sponsored by Musical America with his composition America, an Epic Rhapsody.

He returned to Switzerland in 1930, and mostly lived there for the next decade. He composed and traveled widely in Europe to conduct his works. The rise of Nazism in Germany and a desire to retain his U.S. citizenship prompted a return to that country before World War II broke out. He settled at scenic Agate Beach, OR, and was appointed a professor at the University of California in Berkeley, teaching summer courses until he retired in 1952.

During both of his American teaching careers he shaped the early careers of an enviable list of successful students, including Antheil, Kirchner, and Sessions. Bloch died of cancer in 1959. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 242 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Dance! / Huijnen & Grotenhuis
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72683 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Antonín Dvorák,  Zoltán Kodály,  Ernest Bloch  ... 
    Performer:  Cecile Huijnen,  Marieke Grotenhuis
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  • 2.
    Franck: Violin Sonata; Bloch: Poeme Mystique; Krein: Berceuse
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1508 Release Date: 12/08/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Ernest Bloch,  Julien Krein
    Performer:  Zina Schiff,  Cameron Grant
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  • 3.
    Itzhak Perlman: Live In Russia
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552414 Release Date: 11/20/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Fritz Kreisler,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Janet Goodman Guggenheim
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 4.
    Yo-Yo Ma: The Classical Cello Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 513074 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Ton Koopman,  Emanuel Ax,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  Claudio Abbado,  Kurt Masur,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $287.49
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  • 6.
    Maestro Vladimir Spivakov: Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002300 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Rodion Shchedrin,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Spivakov,  Marina Gusak-Grin,  Larisa [Mezzo-Soprano Vocal] Pyatigorskaya,  Jorge [Tenor Vocal] Anton  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Vladimir Spivakov
    CD: $54.49
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  • 7.
    Cantique: Max Reger, Ernest Bloch, Andreas Pfluger
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 11510 Release Date: 08/21/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Reger,  Ernest Bloch,  Andreas Pflüger
    Performer:  Estelle Revaz
    Conductor:  Facundo Agudin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Music Of Lumičres Orchestra
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  • 8.
    The Sound Of The 20s
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38179 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Maurice Ravel,  Jacques-Alphonse de zeegant,  Jacques-Alphonse de Zeegant  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Tarara,  Lora Vakova-Tarara
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  • 9.
    Jascha Heifetz: Favorite Recital Pieces & Encores
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875051042 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Howard Ferguson,  Karen Khachaturian,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Brooks Smith
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  • 10.
    Romantic Metamorphoses
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 37215 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Evgeni Zemtsov,  Ernest Bloch,  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  Cathelijne Noorland,  Dana Zemtsov
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  • 11.
    Juon, Muller, Bloch, Honegger
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38177 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Juon,  Fabian Müller,  Ernest Bloch,  Arthur Honegger
    Performer:  Kamilla Schatz,  Pi-Chin Chien
    Conductor:  Ruben Gazarian
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  • 12.
    Camilla Wicks: Five Decades Of Treasured Performances
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1282 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Maria Theresia Paradis,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Camilla Wicks,  Robert Levin,  Horace Martinez,  Martin Katz  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Busch,  Ari Rasilainen,  William Steinberg,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
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  • 13.
    Seascapes / Janice Weber
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92188 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Sergei Bortkiewicz,  Eugene Guillaume,  Alec Rowley  ... 
    Performer:  Janice Weber
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  • 14.
    Decca Sound - Mono Years 1944-1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormičre,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 15.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 3
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 002275902 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Lehár,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Druian,  Georges Miquelle,  Eugene List,  Alfred Mouledous  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Frederick Fennell,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
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  • 16.
    Bloch: Music for Violin and Piano / Maristella and Mario Patuzzi
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95015 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Maristella Patuzzi,  Mario Patuzzi
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  • 17.
    Muhly: Cello Concerto; Bloch / Zuill Bailey
    Label: Steinway & Sons   Catalog: 30049 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Nico Muhly
    Performer:  Zuill Bailey
    Conductor:  Jun Märkl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Zeisl, Copland: Violin Sonatas
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1493 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eric Zeisl,  Aaron Copland,  Ernest Bloch,  Robert Dauber
    Performer:  Cameron Grant,  Zina Schiff
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  • 19.
    Songs Without Words - From Bach To Bachianas / Eliot Fisk, Yehuda Hanani
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1510 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  César Cui,  Gabriel Fauré,  Ernesto Lecuona  ... 
    Performer:  Yehuda Hanani,  Eliot Fisk
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  • 20.
    Sound In Search Of A Past / Albek Duo
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1415 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Bedrich Smetana,  Leos Janácek,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Ambra Albek,  Fiona Albek
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  • 21.
    Bloch: Israel Symphony, Suite for Viola & Orchestra / Atlas
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 573283 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Terezia Bajakova,  Adriana Kohútková,  Katrina Kramolisova,  Denisa Hamarova  ... 
    Conductor:  Dalia Atlas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Atlas Camerata
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  • 22.
    Bloch: Symphony in E Flat Major / Atlas, RPO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 573290 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Conductor:  Dalia Atlas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $96.99
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  • 24.
    Reinecke: Cello Concerto
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3446 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Reinecke,  John Tavener,  Robert Schumann,  Ernest Bloch  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Samis,  James Button,  Eric Willie
    Conductor:  Gregory Wolynec
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  • 25.
    Excursion
    Label: Lawo Classics   Catalog: 1052 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Eccles,  Mikhail Glinka,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Anton Hoffmeister  ... 
    Performer:  Erling Sunnarvik,  Nils Lundstrom,  Annika Skoglund,  Aslak Juva  ... 
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