October 25, 2009


(Ernest Bloch - big believer in writing good and sincere music)

Back to the early 20th century this week. Swiss composer who settled in the U.S. early on, Ernest Bloch was prolific, though possibly less known today than many of his contemporaries. Much of his work was based on religious themes, with Schelomo for Cello and Orchestra the most well known.

The Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra and piano began life while he was living in Santa Fe New Mexico between December 1924 and April 1925. It was premiered at the Cleveland Institute of Music in June 1925 and recorded shortly after by the Philadelphia String Orchestra for Victor. This recording, made in 1931 also for Victor, is a revised version and features the Curtis Institute Chamber Ensemble led by Louis Bailly. Both are firsts and I don't think either have been reissued in any form.

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