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Zara Nelsova, Utah SO, Maurice Abravanel - Ernest Bloch: Schelomo; "Israel" Symphony (1991)

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Zara Nelsova, Utah SO, Maurice Abravanel - Ernest Bloch: Schelomo; "Israel" Symphony (1991)

Ernest Bloch: Schelomo; "Israel" Symphony (1991)
Zara Nelsova, cello; Utah Symphony Orchestra; Maurice Abravanel, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 231 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 137 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Vanguard Classics | # 08 4047 71 | Time: 00:48:35

Schelomo receives its mead of barbarous splendour at the hands of Nelsova and Abravanel. The recording is a shade too warm but Nelsova (who recorded far too little) who studied the piece with the composer demonstrates her familiarity and sympathy with the piece. This is essential as Schelomo is one of those works that can easily seem nondescript if the artists involved are unengaged. In that sense it is rather like the Bax cello concerto (still awaiting its ideal exponent on disc). This is Nelsova's second, recording of the work. The feverish grip of the music is strongly asserted.

The Israel Symphony, like Schelomo, is a single movement although the work falls into sections each of which Vanguard have banded. It does not share the gaudy barbarity of Schelomo. I would place it in the company of the symphonies of Respighi (Drammatica) and Dohnanyi or indeed Bloch's epic C Minor Symphony. He uses five solo voices in the finale and provided words only to give the voices syllables to sing rather than the usual vocalisations. In fact the score directs that the singers are to be placed among the orchestra. The music is less self-consciously Semitic than in Schelomo. Sidney Finkelstein's notes claim the splendour and turbulence of Biblical times. I hear none of that but there is no mistaking the concise excitement and generalised splendour (almost Mahlerian) of the Allegro agitato. The Symphony is not otherwise available.

This decently recorded disc is certainly well worth seeking out.

Review by Rob Barnett, MusicWeb-International.com

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Zara Nelsova, one of the world's great cellists, was born in Canada of Russian parentage and educated in England. Now a citizen of the United States, she has toured internationally since her debut at the age of twelve. She performed Bloch's Schelomo under the direction of the composer himself, who was overwhelmed by the beauty, intensity and understanding of her interpretation.

For more than three decades, the names of Maurice Abravanel and the Utah Symphony were virtually synonymous. His tenure as Music Director lasted from 1947 until his retirement in 1979. Under Abravanel's leadership, the Utah Symphony grew into one of the finest and most respected orchestras in the country. He led the Utah Symphony on four triumphant international tours.

Born in Greece of Spanish and Portuguese parents, Abravanel was raised in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he first conducted at the age of 16. He studied in Berlin with Kurt Weill, enjoying a close collaboration with the composer that later led to conducting the premieres of all of Weill's American productions. After debuts in Europe at renowned houses, including the Berlin State Opera and Paris Opera, Abravanel was engaged in 1936 to conduct the Metropolitan Opera, then the youngest conductor ever to step to its podium.

Currently Abravanel is artist-in-residence at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he was director in 1982. He was the director of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, from 1956-1979.

Throughout his acclaimed career, he has received many prestigious awards, including several honorary doctorates, a Tony award for Regina (The Little Foxes), and Grammy nominations for his recordings of Honegger's King David (08 4031 71), Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, and Bloch's Sacred Service. On July 9, 1991, he was honored for his exceptional contribution to the cultural life of the U.S.A., receiving the President's National Medal of the Arts.

Zara Nelsova, Utah SO, Maurice Abravanel - Ernest Bloch: Schelomo; "Israel" Symphony (1991)



Zara Nelsova, Utah SO, Maurice Abravanel - Ernest Bloch: Schelomo; "Israel" Symphony (1991)



Zara Nelsova, Utah SO, Maurice Abravanel - Ernest Bloch: Schelomo; "Israel" Symphony (1991)



Zara Nelsova, cello (1)

Alto Vocals – Christina Politis, Diane Heder (2-4)
Bass Vocals – Don Watts (2-4)
Soprano Vocals – Blanche Christensen, Jean Basinger Fraenkel (2-4)
Utah Symphony Orchestra
Maurice Abravanel, conductor

Recording Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Originally recorded April, 1967

Tracklist:

1. Schelomo (19:19)
Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra

"Israel" Symphony
2. I. Adagio molto, "Prayer in the Desert" (4:30)
3. II. Allegro agitato, "Yom Kippur" (13:09)
4. III. Moderato, "Succoth" (11:29)


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 16. November 2016, 12:30

Bloch, Ernest / Schelomo, Israel Symphony - Utah Symphony Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel

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Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
1 | 0:00.33 | 19:25.52 | 33 | 87459
2 | 19:26.10 | 4:30.08 | 87460 | 107717
3 | 23:56.18 | 13:09.47 | 107718 | 166939
4 | 37:05.65 | 11:29.43 | 166940 | 218657


Track 1

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Track 2

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Track 3

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Track 4

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All tracks accurately ripped

No errors occurred

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–– CUETools DB Plugin V2.1.6

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2 | (2/2) Accurately ripped
3 | (2/2) Accurately ripped
4 | (2/2) Accurately ripped


==== Log checksum CD93D0EE6198271C9AD4898589733C28F3AF25ED9C3A010620AFFFEDF276AA70 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-10-04 21:06:52

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Bloch, Ernest / Schelomo • "Israel" Symphony - Utah Symphony Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR13 -1.25 dB -20.11 dB 19:26 01-Schelomo
DR12 -1.15 dB -18.65 dB 4:30 02-"Israel" Symphony - I. Adagio molto, "Prayer in the Desert"
DR12 -1.00 dB -17.65 dB 13:10 03-"Israel" Symphony - II. Allegro agitato, "Yom Kippur"
DR15 -1.49 dB -22.27 dB 11:30 04-"Israel" Symphony - III. Moderato, "Succoth"
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 4
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 551 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Zara Nelsova, Utah SO, Maurice Abravanel - Ernest Bloch: Schelomo; "Israel" Symphony (1991)

Zara Nelsova, Utah SO, Maurice Abravanel - Ernest Bloch: Schelomo; "Israel" Symphony (1991)