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Posted by Tracie Price on May 26, 1999 at 04:25:10:

In Reply to: Schelomo history? posted by Dan on May 26, 1999 at 03:40:43:

Sorry for the outburst.

I've just been working on this Schelomo paper for many hours tonight, and I decided my brain was mush so I should stop for the night. Then I check the message board one last time and there is a question about Schelomo!


Anyway, Dan, I have tons of info on Schelomo, in fact I'm buried alive in it right at this moment. However I promised Tim I wouldn't post too much of it on the message board so he could just print the whole thing in a future newsletter. In the meantime, have an enormous quote by Guido M. Gatti (an Italian esssayist- from an article written in 1920):

"Bloch has reached the perfection of his music with the Hebrew rhapsody for solo violoncello with orchestra, which bears the name of the great king Schelomo (Solomon). In this, without taking thought for development and formal consistency, without the fetters of a text requiring interpretation, he has given free course to his fancy; the multiplex figure of the founder of the Great Temple lent itself, after setting it upon a loft throne and chiseling its lineaments, to the creation of a phantasmagorical entourage of persons and scenes in rapid and kaleidoscopic succession. The violoncello, with its ample breadth of phrasing, now melodic and with moments of superb lyricism, now declamatory and with robustly dramatic lights and shades, lends itself to a reincarnation of Solomon in all his glory, surrounded by his thousand wives and concubines, with his multitute of slaves and warriors behind him. His voice resounds in the devotional silence, and the sentences of his wisdom sink into the hearts as the seed into a fertile soil: ‘Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, all is vanity…." --The orchestra palpitates in all the colors of the rainbow; from the vigorous and transparent orchestration there emerge waves of sound that seem to soar upward in stupendous vortices and fall back in a shower of myriads of iridescent drops. At times the sonorous voice of the violoncello is heard predominant amid a breathless and fateful obscurity throbbing with persistent rhythms; again, it blends in a phantasmagorical paroxysm of polychromatic tones shot through with silvery clangors and frenzies of exultation. And anon one finds oneself in the heart of a dream-world, in an Orient of fancy, where men and women of every race and tongue are holding argument or hurling maledictions; and now and again we hear the mournful accents of the prophetic seer, under the influence of which all bow down and listen reverently…. The violoncello part is of so remarkably convincing and emotional power that it may be set down as a veritable masterpiece; not one passage, not a single beat, is inexpressive; the entire discourse of the soloist, vocal rather than instrumental, seems like musical expression intimately conjoined with the Talmudic prose. The pauses, the repetitions of entire passages, the leaps of a double octave, the chromatic progressions, all find their analogues in the Book of Genesis—in the versicles, in the fairly epigraphic reiteration of the admonitions (‘and all is vanity and vexation of spirit’), in the unexpected shifts from one thought to another, in certain crescendi of emotion that end in explosions of anger or grief uncontrolled."

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