Magazine article Gramophone

Bloch * Caplet * Ravel: Bloch Schelomo

Magazine article Gramophone

Bloch * Caplet * Ravel: Bloch Schelomo

Article excerpt

Bloch * Caplet * Ravel

Bloch Schelomo. Voice in the Wilderness

Caplet Epiphanie Ravel Kaddisch

Raphael Wallfisch vc BBC National

Orchestra of Wales / Benjamin Wallfisch

Nimbus [F] NI5913 (75' * DDD)

There are few composers of such profound sincerity and absorbing interest as Ernest Bloch. He said that he had no desire to archive the music of the Jews but that the intention in his own music was to capture the Hebrew spirit in 'the complex, ardent, agitated soul that vibrates in the Bible'.

In Schelomo, the Hebrew word for Solomon, the cellist Raphael Wallfisch communicates the sombre message of the great king in the book of Ecclesiastes, that 'all is vanity'. Bloch's Schelomo is by turns devotional, majestic, introspective and dramatic, and the cellist captures all these facets in an astonishing portrait. The orchestra are in fine form under the soloist's son, who keeps a clear head in a complex score, ensuring that every detail is in focus, the climaxes awesome.

The symphonic poem Voice in the Wilderness has no biblical link though the title suggests a kinship; likewise the modal idiom of Middle Eastern music and the calling of the shofar (ram's horn) in the orchestration. …

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