|▼||Cantata of the Bitter Herbs||39:33|
|Introduction and Psalm 114||06:12|
|The Ten Plagues||01:59|
|And it was at Midnight||02:25|
|He Saved my Soul from Death||01:59|
|God of Right, God of Might||08:25|
|▼||Jephta, Rhapsodic Poem||25:28|
|Jephta, Rhapsodic Poem||25:28|
"Fetters fell, the captive rose. Old is the memory of Israel's escape from Egypt. Told and retold for thousands of years, the story has given strength to the weary, hope to the disheartened." Thus begins Ernst Toch's Cantata of the Bitter Herbs, a unique musical-dramatic work begun during the great German-Jewish composer's forced exile to the United States, and premiered in Los Angeles in the midst of World War Two. Toch's retelling of the Passover story is cast as an appeal for universal justice and liberation from oppression. The composer's ultimately triumphant vision is set to luminous late Romantic music and includes a solo quartet that recalls the beauty of the famous trio from Der Rosenkavalier.
Reviews and Recognitions:
"...a superbly dramatic piece, harmonically complex yet thoroughly accessible. Its continuing hold on the listener is undeniable." —James H. North, Fanfare
"Schwarz directs with emotion, and the Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonic Choir are stellar, Theodore Bikel's narration is polished story-telling." —Roger Hecht, American Record Guide
"[Symphony No. 5] This is intense and uncompromising music.... harmonically ambiguous and texturally adventuresome....." —Absolute Sound
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