BLOCH, Ernest: Violin Concerto / Suite Hebraque / Baal Shem / Abodah (Jose Serebrier/ Royal Scottish National Orchestra/ Tim Oldham/ Zina Schiff) (Naxos: 8.557757)
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A precocious violin talent, Bloch left home at the age of seventeen to study with the illustrious Belgian violinist and composer, Eug?¿ne Ysa??e, who recognised his pupil's extraordinary creative potential and persuaded him to pursue composition. Bloch's Violin Concerto, an underrated rarity, is one of his most important works of the 1930s. Although Bloch attributed the major themes in the Concerto to American Indian songs heard on a visit to New Mexico, he also described the work as portraying 'the complex, glowing, agitated soul that I feel vibrating through the Bible'. The 'Suite h?¿bra?»que', which draws on traditional melodies to evoke a sense of nostalgia, and the exotic tryptich 'Baal Shem' (Three Pictures of Chassidic Life), are indelibly associated with Bloch's 'Jewish works'.