Bloch, E. - "Prayer" from 'Jewish Life' - Quantum Bass Market
Bloch, E. - "Prayer" from 'Jewish Life' - Quantum Bass Market

Bloch, E. - "Prayer" from 'Jewish Life'

Regular price
$9.99
Sale price
$9.99
Shipping calculated at checkout.
Quantity must be 1 or more

As bass players, we often borrow, beg and steal from the collections of solos for other instruments. Very often, in fact. Bloch’s "Prayer" [from the suite "From Jewish Life"] is no exception, starting its life as a cello piece. It has become a very standard double bass solo as well and for good reason. With only a couple tweaks, the solo comes alive on double bass. Even some cellists are willing to concede (in private and not on the record) that it sounds more soulful and actually works better as a double bass solo. It is not on the PML list for UIL as a bass solo, unfortunately. However, because it is listed as a cello solo, it is allowable as a bass solo as well. It would be considered a category 1 solo under this rule. The piece itself is very lyrical and the approach to the piece varies greatly. Some play it mostly metered while others approach it with a great deal of rubato. The range is extensive (more so in the cello version) and there are modern touches including a quarter-tone glissando at the end. Note: This edition, by Stuart Sankey, in is f minor, and intended to be performed in solo tuning. The supplied piano accompiament in is g minor. Published by Carl Fisher - Product description by Andrew Sutton NOTES: "From Jewish Life" for cello and piano (1924) date from the period immediately following [Ernest Bloch's] Jewish cycle and when he was Director of the Cleveland Institute of Music. It was dedicated to Hans Kindler who premiered Schelomo at Carnegie Hall in 1917, and indeed, in contrast to the Concerto Grosso no 1 also composed in 1924, the work retrieves the mood of the Jewish cycle. Yet rather than express themes and topics related to a Biblical past, here the influence of the Hassidic life of the ‘shtetl’ and Eastern Europe is most evident, with a seriousness and fervour redolent of cantorial improvisatory rhapsodizing. The beauty of Bloch’s aesthetic in the From Jewish Life for cello and piano (1924) is largely result of both his use of modality and leitmotif technique. As Alex Knapp has discovered, Bloch makes use of the Jewish liturgical modes, notably the ‘Ahava Raba’ mode which features in the coda of the first piece, and which recurs in all three pieces. In each piece a motif is transformed through repetition, sequence and varied textures, to articulate a similar emotional journey, one of striving, of struggle and of resolution to a calm if not always certain, conclusion. ‘Prayer’ displays a masterly balance of formal symmetry, even simplicity and passionate emotional intensity. It is a type of variation form in which the initial theme recurs in two outer sections, each of which reaches a climax, and cadences on the tonic with a contrasting section featuring a new terse cello motif over a lighter airy piano texture, which then explodes into a new impassioned outpouring, a falling scale from the highest register that leads to a calm cadence. Finally the cello takes the theme up to the highest octave, with richly textured piano chords and counterpoints, transfigured from its earlier hushed nature into a forthright theme that is extended by a rhapsodizing coda, which comes finally to rest not on the fifth degree of the mode, effecting gentle, humble, even open-ended conclusion. credit: International Ernest Bloch Society