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
Berlioz: Harold in Italy; Bloch / Starker, Benyamini
Release Date: 04/08/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002005402   Number of Discs: 1
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Bloch: Concerti Grossi 1 & 2, Schelomo / Hanson
Release Date: 05/10/1991   Label: Mercury Living Presence  
Catalog: 432718   Number of Discs: 1
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Bloch: Symphony in C Sharp Minor / Atlas, London SO
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573241   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 232 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Berlioz: Harold in Italy; Bloch / Starker, Benyamini
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002005402 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Daniel Benyamini,  János Starker
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & More
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438882 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn,  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    1919: Viola Sonatas - Clarke, Hindemith, Bloch
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553304 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rebecca Clarke,  Paul Hindemith,  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Barbara Buntrock,  Daniel Heide
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  • 4.
    Chants Juifs & Vita / 	Sonia Wieder-Atherton
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 40034 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean-François Zygel,  Sonia Wieder-Atherton,  Maurice Ravel,  Ernest Bloch  ... 
    Performer:  Daria Hovora,  Sonia Wieder-Atherton,  Sarah Iancu,  Matthieu Lejeune
    Conductor:  Janos Fürst
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  • 5.
    The Sea In Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578269 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Frank Bridge,  Claude Debussy,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Connolly,  István Kassai,  François-Joël Thiollier
    Conductor:  David Lloyd-Jones,  James Judd,  Jun Märkl,  Simon Wright  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Lyon National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Icon: The Early Years - Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 928129 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Marius Casadesus,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  George Enescu,  Hephzibah Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen  ... 
    Conductor:  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 7.
    Between Worlds / Avi Avital
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001975802 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sulkhan Tsintsadze,  Béla Bartók,  Traditional,  Heitor Villa-Lobos  ... 
    Performer:  Klaus Stoll,  Avi Avital,  Itamar Doari,  Richard Galliano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Potsdam Chamber Academy
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  • 8.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Greatest Cello Concertos / Truls Mork [9-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 158102 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Iona Brown,  Mariss Jansons,  Paavo Järvi,  Eiji Oue  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Musical Gifts / Joshua Bell & Friends
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 374318 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Walter Kent,  Jule Styne,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Alison Krauss,  Chick Corea,  Frankie Moreno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Straight No Chaser,  Young People's Chorus of New York City
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  • 11.
    Licht und Shatten - Music for Flute and Harp / Sulser, Jahnke
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1377 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Froidevau,  Georges Bizet,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Nielsen  ... 
    Performer:  Fabienne Sulser,  Ruth Jahnke
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  • 12.
    Pieces Of The World / Marta Bagratuni
    Label: Blue Griffin   Catalog: 295 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Barričre,  Franz Schubert,  Gioachino Rossini,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Marta Bagratuni,  Suren Bagratuni,  Natalia Khoma,  Haobing Zhu  ... 
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  • 13.
    Bloch: Symphony in C Sharp Minor / Atlas, London SO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573241 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Conductor:  Dalia Atlas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Bloch: Suite For Viola And Orchestra,  Baal Shem, Suite Hebraique / Hong-mei Xiao
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570829 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Hong-Mei Xiao
    Conductor:  Mariusz Smolij
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton von Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
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  • 16.
    Poeme Mystique - Bloch, Part / Elsa Grether, Ferenc Vizi
    Label: Fuga Libera   Catalog: 711 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Elsa Grether,  Ferenc Vizi
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  • 17.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Great Violin Sonatas
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5440152 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Gabriel Fauré,  Johannes Brahms,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Brooks Smith,  Jascha Heifetz,  Emanuel Bay,  Lillian Steuber  ... 
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  • 18.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
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  • 19.
    In The Shadow Of War / Steven Isserlis
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1992 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Frank Bridge,  Stephen Hough
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Gábor Takács-Nagy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 20.
    Bloch: String Quartet No 1, Piano Quintet No 2 / Pro Arte
    Label: Laurel   Catalog: 820 Release Date: 02/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Howard Karp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Arte String Quartet
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  • 21.
    Bloch: String Quartets No 3 & 4, Etc / Pro Arte Quartet
    Label: Laurel   Catalog: LR-841CD Release Date: 02/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Arte String Quartet
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  • 22.
    Souvenir D'amerique / Friedemann Eichhorn, Andreas Frolich
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 861 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  William Kroll,  Stephen Foster,  Henri Vieuxtemps  ... 
    Performer:  Friedemann Eichhorn,  Andreas Frolich
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  • 23.
    Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1; Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy; Bloch: Suites / Von Arx, Benda, Prague Sinfonia
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5455422 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Fabrizio Von Arx
    Conductor:  Christian Benda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
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  • 24.
    Bloch: Voice In The Wilderness; Schlomo; From Jewish Life; Bruch: Kol Nidrei
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67910 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Natalie Clein
    Conductor:  Ilan Volkov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Bloch: America, Epic Rhapsody / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572743 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Patricia Michaelian
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Seattle Chorale
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