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Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Ernest Bloch, Berthold Goldschmidt

Julian Steckel

Cello Concertos

  • Type CD
  • Label CAvi
  • UPC 4260085532230
  • Catalog number AVI 8553223
  • Release date 13 April 2011
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About the album

These three cello concertos reflect the different destinies of three Jewish composers. Born in Brno, Erich Wolfgang Korngold achieved great success in Vienna, moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and had to remain in the U.S. when the Nazis invaded Austria in 1938. Geneva-born composer Ernest Bloch worked for several years in the U.S. starting in 1916, and in 1938 he made the State of Oregon his new home. Originally from Hamburg, Berthold Goldschmidt worked as composer and as conductor in Berlin: in 1935 he was obliged to pack his few meagre belongings in order to emigrate to London. Goldschmidt, a pupil of Franz Schreker, coined his own personal version of modernist style – however, after the Second World War, his music came to be labelled as “not progressive enough”. Goldschmidt was not rediscovered until the 1990’s. Ernest Bloch, on the other hand, envisioned a kind of “Hebrew music”. Although he barely knew Hebrew, he developed a new Jewish musical identity based on what he regarded as the Hebrew language’s deep structure. His music was grounded in his religion, and his archaically tinged scales and motifs seemed to come from an ‘imaginary folklore’. Each of these concertos clearly reflects the upheavals of the fractured 20th century. What they all have in common is the use of the modern, ‘emancipated’ cello’s full range of instrumental possibilities, requiring the radically enlarged range of playing techniques introduced by Julius Klengel and David Popper (truly ‘revolutionary’ virtuosos of their time). 

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