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Ernst Bloch: America; Concerto Grosso No. 1 / Patricia Michaelian, piano

Album Summary

>Bloch, Ernest : America
>Bloch, Ernest : Concerto Grosso no 1, for string orchestra & piano
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Swiss-born Bloch, a pupil of Eugène Ysaÿe, emigrated to the United States in 1916. Written in 1926, two years after Bloch had become an American citizen, America: An Epic Rhapsody, is the composer's tribute to his adopted country. This romantic and patriotic score vividly surveys the history of the US from the native American melodies of pre-colonial days to the modern era of 1920s jazz and beyond. The Concerto Grosso No. 1 is a bold statement which unites the eighteenth-century concerto grosso form with a modern tonal language.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
To my ears, the Concerto Grosso, recorded 18 months earlier, is a sonic joy. The string lines are clear, and a wonderful bass presence reinforces the ripe piano part. It's easy to hear how harmonies, accents, and textures function in the work. Schwarz's rhythms are rather spongy, and in III the many tempo and meter changes just don't relate in a flowing manner. His grasp of form and propulsion is weaker than Hanson's, who offers more snap in I, II, and IV and more effective tenderness and contrasts in III, if you can put up with the fleshless piano and grainy strings of the Eastman- Rochester Orchestra.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA.


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Works Details

>Bloch, Ernest : America :: an Epic Rhapsody, for chorus & orchestra (or piano or organ)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Chorale
  • Notes: Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA (06/01/1993-06/02/1993)
  • Running Time: 39 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1926

>Bloch, Ernest : Concerto Grosso no 1, for string orchestra & piano
  • Performer: Patricia Michaelian (Piano)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Notes: Composition written: 1924-25.
  • Running Time: 21 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1924-1925