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There is a radio present the fourth in a series of 15 programs. Ernest Bloch the man and his music the commentator for these programs is the composer's daughter. Suzanne block this block is a well-known authority on early music a lecture and a member of the faculty at The Juilliard School. In this series she provides illuminating details about her father's life and work and gives intriguing insights into the background of his compositions. Today's program will be devoted in its entirety to a performance of America and the epic Rhapsody in three parts for orchestra and a concert choir. Here to introduce our program is the composer's daughter Suzanne block when blood came to America for the first time in 1960. As you approach New York and watching Caroline he began to conceive the idea of reading a work on American face on it in 1936 and he profiled this idea after having seen much of this country not to write a
composition about America could not be a lie to him personally. There was too much history involves too much drama left in the plains the rocks in the desert 15. But because it it's has very vivid imagination. He saw it all as a gigantic epic upon which he would describe in music telling the story from America from the very first. As he mulled over this he felt he needed some unifying material and he decided on the use of an anthem that should be part of the armature of the work whose every phrase would have a specific meaning. I think it's important to sing the fragments of the theme that are so much used in the symphony. The first is the opening of the anthem on their words. America America. That name is in my heart and it goes this way. Men in America that I name it is in my heart. Then the other section which is very important is on the words Our Father The bill
did the nation to give us justice and peace. Bloch had a great deal of trouble with this the bill did he wasn't sure it was good English. And after inquiry with many experts with torches All right so there it goes. And the theme is this week fathers have been good earning and to good jobs to send P.. Now you will hear this has an ascending phrase which goes up. This is very important in the work because every time there is after some conflict and some despair the progress they're working ahead forging ahead he uses this fragment in different manners. And so you must listen for it right through the three movements of America. After a composer's work he found out about the magazine musical America had a competition for an orchestra worth about an American composer and an American subject. Another work was practic completed. He sent it in and won the
first prize for you before he had taken his citizenship you could qualify as an American. The judges of this contest were opposed to KOSKY Serge Koussevitzky Rotterdam rush and Frederick stock. During the third week of December 19th twenty eight American was performed by each of these conductors in the major cities of the United States and their reaction was mixed. First a more modern work was expected. And then this was too problematic too far from the expected block style. Many people would not accept the fact that a blog deliberately wanted to write something so simple and tuneful there began rumors that block was slipping. Actually his reaction his reaction was to read another work in the same vein about Switzerland. Also with an anthem. And late in his life he reasserted is feeling that this work I'm married to was good and in due time would be accepted for what it was. I shall tell you about each movement separately.
The first is entitled 16 20. The soil the engines England than a flower the lending of the pilgrims. The whole work is dedicated to the memory of Walt Whitman and Abraham Lincoln in the very opening to a hazy tremolo when he is the first three notes of the Ensign deep in the basses as if to express his deep foundations in its soil. It's a picture of pram of a nature in which the theme of America seems to float over the immense wilderness intermingled with engin music of all sorts. We then go on the Mayflower which is just pictured in its troubles and hardships with the second section of the anthem and they are sending fragments to the words our fathers builded a nation is huge and old Irish melody expresses a salt air and the skies and then suddenly one hears a cry a leaden site with a glow only orchestrated theme of America heard now in joy and hope that when they find
the sorrow the opening section of the movement and its band coloring the engine's memories are brought back with faint echoes of the match and the Irish Chante blended with the theme of struggle of building a nation. And this rises to a great comics in which all the themes come together and above that floats mightily. The kora own hundreds that's the movement and nothing great noise that quietly to a faint Indian motif in fading notes of the chorus and Bloch wrote at the bottom of the score faint hopes in the future. You are not going to hear the first movement of Ernest Bloch. America conducted by a little pasta KOSKY with this symphony of the air.
Yeah. Yeah.
I am. I am I am. I am I am. I am I am.
I am the owner now as I am. I am. I am. I am I am I am. I am. I am. I am. I am I an. Hour and an hour and
and. I am. I am. I am. I am. I and. I and. I am.
I am.
The second movement in America is entitled joy. I was a thorough 1861. Through 1865. U.S. Opens of the Old South. The whole opening his accuracy of the peaceful warm climates with a tinge of sorrow underlying the peace. Little by little it livens up with the use of various tunes and a group folk song and a lush harmonization of old folks at home which infuriated his critics by sentimentality. Then there's of the doña Rita which she picked out with characteristic rhythm and not other than Pop Goes the Weasel. This is the last chopper blocks people that probably thought back and then Lety had said in. The midst of all this a vulgar jealousy comes the cry of America America heralding the terrible struggle of the civil war in which black youths battle cues and songs of back time all super imposed and jumbled. And then the battle abate. There's a sudden cry till one hears again the opening
Ernest Bloch: The man and his music
Episode Number
Episode 4 of 15
Producing Organization
WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Riverside Church (New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3659. This prog.: America, An Epic Rhapsody in Three Parts
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Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: Riverside Church (New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-39-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:26:56
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Chicago: “Ernest Bloch: The man and his music; Episode 4 of 15,” 1968-09-30, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 5, 2021,
MLA: “Ernest Bloch: The man and his music; Episode 4 of 15.” 1968-09-30. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 5, 2021. <>.
APA: Ernest Bloch: The man and his music; Episode 4 of 15. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from