Music and Vision homepage All Risks Musical - an irreverent guide to the music profession by Alice McVeigh

CD Spotlight

Profound beauty

Ernest Bloch's music -
with ROBERT ANDERSON

'... a commendable account ...'

Bloch: Concerti Grossi Nos 1 and 2. (p) 2001 ASV Ltd

 

The more 'Jewish' Bloch's music, the more distinguished it is. The mystery, intensity, and indeed obsessiveness he gradually marshalled into his compositions made of such works as Schelomo, Baal Shem and Scenes from Jewish Life a very individual statement of profound beauty and originality.

It is a vein he tapped resourcefully throughout his creative life, nowhere more movingly than in the Sacred Service of 1933, that fateful year. The First String Quartet of 1916 draws inspiration from the same source, and is at once the most distinguished music on the disc. Whether it was a good idea to amplify it for the strings of the Atlas Camerata is quite another matter. There are perhaps occasions -- one thinks of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge -- when the relentless drive of the music can almost lay a string quartet flat; but even there, the four frantic players become an integral part of Beethoven's titanic struggle with his material. The Bloch case is different. The music is technically demanding enough in all conscience, but in quite another way from the Beethoven. When a string orchestra takes it up, textures thicken needlessly and the sheer acrobatics that a professional quartet can take in its stride have proved over-demanding for the team. Nevertheless, it is good to hear the opening of this quartet even in this version [listen -- track 9, 0:00-1:03]. It remains nonsensical, though, to give us only two movements and pretend they make a whole.

Continue >>

Copyright © 30 December 2001 Robert Anderson, London, UK

 

-------

CD INFORMATION - ASV CD DCA 1055

PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET

PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON

 

 << Music & Vision home      Recent reviews       Gillian Weir >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.