Bloch: Israel Symphony, Concerto Symphonique / Abravanel, Golschmann, Mitchell

Release Date: 6/17/2010
Label: Vanguard
Catalog Number: VAN72031
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

Works on This Recording
1. Israel by Ernest Bloch
Performer: Blanche Christensen (Soprano), Jean Basinger Fraenkel (Soprano), Diane Heder (Alto), Christina Politis (Alto), Don Watts (Bass)
Conductor: Maurice Abravanel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Utah Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1912-1916 ; Geneva, Switzerland
2. Concerto for Piano "Symphonique" by Ernest Bloch
Performer: Marjorie Mitchell (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1947-1948 ; USA
Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Israel Symphony, like Schelomo, is a single movement although the work falls into sections each of which Vanguard have banded. It does not share the gaudy barbarity of Schelomo. I would place it in the company of the symphonies of Respighi (Drammatica) and Dohnanyi (1 and 2) or indeed Bloch's epic C Minor Symphony. He uses five solo voices in the finale and provided words only to give the voices syllables to sing rather than the usual vocalisations. In fact the score directs that the singers are to be placed among the orchestra. The music is less self-consciously Semitic than in Schelomo. Sidney Finkelstein's notes claim the splendour and turbulence of Biblical times. I hear none of that but there is no mistaking the concise excitement and generalised splendour (almost Mahlerian) of the Allegro agitato... This decently recorded disc is certainly well worth seeking out.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International [reviewing the Israel Symphony, Vanguard 111]
Customer Reviews