Bloch, Schelomo

Born in Geneva on July 24, 1880, Ernest Bloch left his native Switzerland
in 1917 and emigrated to the United States. He left an impressive amount of
high-quality works. Among his many symphonic pieces, however, only the
cello rhapsody Schelomo (1915/16) has acquired a permanent place in the
concert repertoire. He had apparently been inspired to write it when he saw
a statue of King Solomon made by the wife of a fellow cellist in
Switzerland. He wrote that "it is the Jewish soul that interests me, the
complex, glowing, agitated soul that I feel vibrating throughout the Bible;
the freshness and naiveté of the Patriarchs; the violence that is evident
in the prophetic books; the Jew's savage love of justice; the despair of
the preacher of Jerusalem; the sorrow and the immensity of the Book of Job;
the sensuality of the Song of Songs." Although Bloch did not use any
authentic Hebrew material in his "Hebrew Rhapsody", the listener is
immediately ushered into an exotic, archaic world in which the ancient
prophets, the Scriptures and the construction of the Temple are virtually
palpable. There is a sense of timelessness that is the expression of
true art.
The recording of Bloch's Schelomo features the great Mstislav Rostropovich
as the soloist, with the Orchestre National de France led by
Leonard Bernstein.

Composer: Ernest Bloch
Title: Bloch, Schelomo
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Soloist: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra: Orchestre National de France
Video Director: Humphrey Burton, Yves-André Hubert
Genre: Concert
Length: 27 minutes
Cat.No.: A05501080
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