Bloch: Suite for Viola and Orchestra; Baal Shem; Suite hébraique / Hong-Mei Xiao, viola

> Baal Shem (arr. Hong-Mei Xiao for viola and orchestra) - No. 1. Vidui (Contrition)
> Baal Shem (arr. Hong-Mei Xiao for viola and orchestra) - No. 2. Nigun (Improvisation)
> Baal Shem (arr. Hong-Mei Xiao for viola and orchestra) - No. 3. Simchas Torah (Rejoicing in the Holy Scriptures)
> Suite for Viola and Orchestra - I. Lento - Allegro - Moderato
> Suite for Viola and Orchestra - II. Allegro ironico
> Suite for Viola and Orchestra - III. Lento
> Suite for Viola and Orchestra - IV. Molto vivo
> Suite hebraique* - I. Rapsodie
> Suite hebraique* - II. Processional: Andante con moto
> Suite hebraique* - III. Affirmation: Maestoso

Album Summary

>Bloch, Ernest : Baal Shem
>Bloch, Ernest : Suite for viola & orchestra (orchestration of Suite for viola & piano)
>Bloch, Ernest : Suite hebraique, for viola (or violin) & orchestra (or piano)
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Although Ernest Bloch's exploration of the 'Jewish Soul' focused on a cycle of seven works written between 1911 and 1916, he returned to Jewish themes throughout his life. Baal Shem explores Eastern European Hasidic traditions in all their expressive intensity in this version for viola and orchestra transcribed by soloist Hong-Mei Xiao. Bloch's 1918 Coolidge Prize-winning Suite for Viola and Orchestra remains one of the twentieth century's enduringly important works for the instrument, whilst the Suite hébraïque, written in his last decade, absorbs Jewish elements ever more fluently and subtly.

The Guardian, 13th June 2013
Xiao, sweet-toned and intense, but avoiding overt histrionics, is persuasive in both. There's intricate, detailed playing, too from the Budapest Symphony under Mariusz Smolij.

American Record Guide, November/December 2013
Still tremendously satisfying. The solo playing is spectacular on all counts. Hong-Mei Xiao, who won the 1987 Geneva Competition and now teaches at the University of Arizona, is a remarkable violist.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Studio 22, Hungarian Radio, Budapest.



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Works Details

>Bloch, Ernest : Baal Shem :: 3 pictures of Hassidic life, for violin & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performer: Hong-Mei Xiao (Viola)
  • Conductor: Mariusz Smolij
  • Ensemble: Budapest Symphony Orchestra MAV
  • Notes: Studio 22, Hungarian Radio, Budapest (09/17/2010-09/18/2010)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1923

>Bloch, Ernest : Suite for viola & orchestra (orchestration of Suite for viola & piano)
  • Performer: Hong-Mei Xiao (Viola)
  • Conductor: Mariusz Smolij
  • Notes: Studio 22, Hungarian Radio, Budapest (11/22/2011-11/23/2011)
  • Running Time: 33 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1919

>Bloch, Ernest : Suite hébraïque, for viola (or violin) & orchestra (or piano)
  • Performer: Hong-Mei Xiao (Viola)
  • Conductor: Mariusz Smolij
  • Notes: Studio 22, Hungarian Radio, Budapest (09/17/2010-09/18/2010)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1951