"What We're Listening To" - Ernest Bloch - Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hébraïque for Violoncello and Orchestra
On July 24th, we will celebrate the 136th birthday of Swiss composer Ernest Bloch! Bloch was a violinist from the age of nine, studying in Brussels with teachers such as Eugène Ysaÿe. Soon after, he began his composition studies and published his first work, Historiettes au Crépuscule for mezzo-soprano voice and piano, in 1903. However, he soon found that his Jewish roots distinctively resonated within him in his musical endeavors. Bloch composed a number of works that have come to be known as his “Jewish Cycle”. These pieces now constitute some of his most well-known works since these compositions contain tremendous forces of expression and personal significance. Bloch admitted, at one point, that he could not distinguish within his music where his Jewish influences ended and where his self began.