Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
II. Pastorale. Andante
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Cédric Pescia, Piano
Would the real Ernest Bloch please stand up? To be sure, stylistic chameleons were never rare in the first half of the 20th century, with most prominent composers evolving from late-Romanticism to some form of Modernism (see Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartók et al.). Nor were the politics of the time any less changeable, leading to a steady flow of composers from the Old World to the New (see the above again). But even by the standards of the day, the career of Ernest Bloch was remarkable for its stylistic and geographical vicissitudes. Right from the outset he was something of a cosmopolitan.
He was born in French-speaking Geneva in 1880 into a German-speaking Jewish family originally from Lengnau in Canton Aargau (one of only two villages where Jews were allowed to live in Switzerland before their emancipation in 1866). In his late teens he went to study the violin with Eugène Ysaÿe in Brussels (then a largely Dutch-speaking city), and then took composition lessons in Frankfurt, Munich and Paris, one after the other. There is an early Symphony in C-sharp minor that is so Straussian it almost quotes from Don Juan, but is still self-assured and superbly scored (Romain Rolland loved it).
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Avec le soutien de le Fondation Heim
CD N°: 50-1705
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