Piano Music - Ernest Bloch

Ernest Bloch

1880 - 1959
Ernest Bloch was a Swiss-born American Jewish composer.

📖 “Real music goes beyond the intentions of its author for it nourishes itself from a much deeper and more mysterious source than mere intellect.  It represents a synthesis of all the vital forces, of all the hidden instincts of an individual...
The experiences of my life… my vision of the world, my personal reactions, my struggles, my aspirations, my overall philosophy, a little of all of that and a little more than all of that, undoubtedly, transformed into music and organized in a tangible form by the laws of musical language.  But it’s certainly not a question of a ‘pure music’ in the sense of a play of sonorities, rhythms, and colors.  That’s never suited me, and in truth it doesn’t interest me.  I have a horror of gratuitous virtuosity, which leads nowhere and diverts us from the ultimate goal.”  
A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

📖 "I do not propose or desire to attempt a reconstruction of the music of the Jews … or to base my work on melodies more or less authentic. I am not an archeologist. I believe that the most important thing is to write good and sincere music – my music. It is rather the Hebrew spirit that interests me, the complex, ardent, agitated soul that vibrates for me in the Bible. The vigor and ingeniousness of the patriarchs, the violence that finds expression in the books of the Prophets, the burning love of justice, the desperation of the teachers of Jerusalem, the sorrow and the grandeur of the Book of Job, the sensuality of the Song of Songs. All this is in us, all this is in me, and it is the better part of me. This is which I seek to feel within me and to translate in my music, the sacred race emotion that lies dormant in our souls."

📖 "In those of my works that are described as Jewish I did not approach the problem from the outside by using more or less authentic melodies or oriental formulas, rhythms or intervals! No! I listened only to an inner voice, deep, secret, insistent, burning, the voice of instinct far more than cold, dry reason, and the result was music. -- To what extent it is Jewish, to what extent it is only Ernest Bloch I cannot say: only the future can decide."

Quotes by Ernest Bloch

List of Piano Works by Ernest Bloch

Ex-voto, 1914

4 Circus Pieces, 1922

In the Night, 1922

Poems of the Sea, 1922, orchd; Danse sacrée, 1923

Enfantines, 1923

Nirvana, 1923

Sonata, 1935

Visions and Prophecies, 1936

Some Recordings of Bloch's Music

Vidui and Nigun (Baal Shem)
Isaac Stern, violin
Alexander Zakin, piano

Baal Shem: No. 2 - Nigun (recorded in 1975, remastered)
Jascha Heifetz, violin
Brooks Smith, piano

Suite Hébraïque, for viola and orchestra
Gérard Caussé, viola
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Lior Shambadal, conductor

Sacred Service
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
Robert Merrill, cantor
New York Philharmonic

Violin Sonata no. 1
Isaac Stern, violin
Alexander Zakin, piano

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