Latica Honda-Rosenberg

Ernest Bloch: Complete Works for Violin and Piano

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Ernest Bloch was a composer who, it seems, was on a constant search for his own musical voice. His long career encompassed four distinct style periods, all the while being heavily influenced by the voices of composers past. The most distinctive of these periods was the second, so-called "Jewish Period," which produced the famous, often-played "Schelomo" Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. Also from this period came the popular Baal-Shem -- Three Pictures of Chassidic Life, as well as two less well-known sonatas for violin and piano. The two sonatas focus less overtly on the Jewish folk idiom than their contemporaries, but retain the same intensity and passion. Bloch turned again to the violin for some of the final works he was to complete: the Two Suites for Solo Violin and the Suite Hébraïque. The Two Suites, in particular, are prime examples of Bloch's fourth, most modernistic period. Performing these complete works for the Oehms Classics label is violinist Latica Honda-Rosenberg and pianist Avner Arad. Honda-Rosenberg possesses many of the attributes necessary for the successful performance of Bloch's violin works: extreme intensity; a broad tone color palate; a throaty, guttural sound on the lower strings; and a natural, fluid sense of pacing and rubato. The most gratifying moments in the two-disc set come during the quieter, less busy passages. It is here where Honda-Rosenberg truly draws the listener in with her hushed dynamics and keen musical insights. Less successful are some of the louder, more technically demanding passages. Here, Honda-Rosenberg's intensity sometimes gets the better of her, producing a forced sound and technical missteps that make the listener focus more on the difficulty of the music than on what the composer is trying to convey.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Suite No. 1 for solo violin
1 02:52 Amazon
2 02:17 Amazon
3 01:39 Amazon
4 00:59 Amazon
5 02:44 Amazon
Suite No. 2 for solo violin
6 02:51 Amazon
7 02:32 Amazon
8 02:11 Amazon
9 03:03 Amazon
10 02:42 Amazon
Baal Shem: 3 pictures of Hassidic life, for violin & piano (or orchestra)
11 03:15 Amazon
12 06:52 Amazon
13 04:41 Amazon
14 06:38 Amazon
15 09:51 Amazon
Suite hébraïque, for viola (or violin) & orchestra (or piano)
16 05:39 Amazon
17 02:09 Amazon
18 03:26 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick