ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Israel Symphony (Adriana Kohutková, Katarína Kramolisová [sopranos], Terezia Bajaková [mezzo], Denisa Hamarová [alto], Michal Macuha [baritone], Slovak Radio Orchestra), Suite for Viola and Orchestra (Yuri Gandelsman [viola], Atlas Camerata Orchestra).
Catalogue Number: 08Q006
Format: CD reissue
Description: The least well-known of the works making up the "Jewish Cycle", the Israel Symphony (1912-16) is, in fact, only the first of were was intended to be three parts of a massive work which would cover all of Jewish history. In three sections, it uses elements derived from cantillation, brass, shofar-like fanfares, motives associated with cantorial chant and some themes borrowed from Bloch's unfinished opera Jézabel to paint a musical picture of the holidays of Yom Kippur and Sukkot (the vocal soloists appear only in the last section, singing short, fragmentary texts). The suite (1917-19) has also been recorded in its piano form (and as transcribed for cello); rather more exotic-sounding than its disc-mate, it was inspired by the music and culture of Java, Sumatra and Borneo. Dalia Atlas (conductor). Original 2004 ASV release (02F001).