Composed in 1924, Ernest Bloch’s Méditation Hébraϊque is a spiritually reflective expression for cello and piano in three sections—Moderato, Allegro deciso, and Moderato—for a unified, uninterrupted work rather than one divided into movements.
The soulful, sometimes wailing melodic line in the cello that opens the piece is peppered with occasional hints at cantorial ornamentation and sighs. It builds gradually in intensity and progresses to higher registers, eventually engaging with the piano in a fierce and sometimes contrapuntal dialogue. The two share alternating motivic components that include hemiola rhythms and a memorable descending pattern. The concluding Moderato section is not so much a return in mood to the opening section as a stately, deliberate resolution of the meditation that, having become anguished, is now once again proudly but gently contemplative.
Performers: David Geringas, Cello; Jascha Nemtsov, Piano
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