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
Muhly: Cello Concerto; Bloch / Zuill Bailey
Release Date: 01/13/2015   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: 30049   Number of Discs: 1
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Bloch: Complete Works For Viola & Piano / Raiskin, Smirnova
Release Date: 03/14/2006   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 807930   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 281 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Seascapes / Janice Weber
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: DSL-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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    Zeisl, Copland: Violin Sonatas
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1493 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Zeisl,  Aaron Copland,  Ernest Bloch,  Robert Dauber
    Performer:  Cameron Grant,  Zina Schiff
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  • 7.
    Joshua Bell: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002131702 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Samuel Sanders
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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  ... 
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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,  Stig Ove Ose  ... 
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  • 15.
    Music To Drive Away Loiterers / Gil Shaham
    Label: Canary Classics   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gabriel Fauré,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Gil Shaham,  Akira Eguchi,  Orli Shaham,  Adele Anthony
    Conductor:  Alejandro Posada,  Lan Shui,  Arvo Volmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  International Sejong Soloists
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Bloch: Schelomo; Voice In The Wilderness; Caplet: Epiphanie; Ravel: Kaddish
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5913 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  André Caplet,  Maurice Ravel,  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch
    Conductor:  Benjamin Wallfisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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  • 18.
    Play - Works For Cello And Piano / Moreau, Hodique
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 636958 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vittorio Monti,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Niccolň Paganini,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Hodique,  Edgar Moreau
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  • 19.
    Elegie - Short Pieces For Double-bass And Piano / Stefano Sciascia
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802214 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Gabriel Fauré,  Francis Poulenc,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  David Giovanni Leonardi,  Stefano Sciascia
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  • 20.
    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 T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Great Violin Sonatas
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5440152 Release Date: 03/25/2014   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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    Ernest Bloch: Suites Pour Violoncelle
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951810 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Emmanuelle Bertrand,  Pascal Amoyel
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Ernest Bloch


WORKS
1. Vidui (Contrition)
2. Nigun (Improvisation)
3. Simchas Torah (Rejoicing)
I. Prelude: Allegro energico e pesante
II. Dirge: Andante moderato
III. Pastorale and Rustic Dances
IV. Fugue
I. Moderato
II. L'istesso tempo
III. Allegro giocoso
IV. Adagio - Allegro deciso