BLOCH’S STUDIES IN BRUSSELS
January-September 1897: Composed little pieces for piano, for violin and piano and some melodies.
Fall 1897: Leaves Geneva to go to Brussels to study violin with Eugene Ysaÿe and Franz Schörg, while also studying composition with François Rasse.
Summer 1898: On vacation in Geneva, he composes songs, little chamber music pieces and starts a symphonic poem, the Orientale.
Fall 1898: Back in Brussels he finishes the Orientale in October 1898 as well as a Poem For Violin and Orchestra in December 1898. Plays a score for violin-piano of this work before Ysaÿe and Rasse.
Spring 1899: The more he studies, the more he persuades himself the future is the school of Franck, it’s the Young French School (of Indy, Debussy, Chausson).
March 1899: Changes the Poem for Violin to make it into a Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (unpublished) which he plays with Rasse in Rasse’s score for violin-piano.
Summer 1899: Takes advantage of his vacation to compose. In July 1899 he finishes his Dances-Populaires for Orchestra which will never be published but the “theme of the Gruyère” will be unconsciously incorporated into his first Concerto Grosso.
Fall 1899: Family and sentimental dramas. He cracks! For two months he takes a cure at Schoenbrunn bei Zug where they treat all nervous illnesses. Having regained his strength he decides on the advice of his teacher Jaques-Dalcroze to continue his studies at Frankfurt with the Professor Iwan Knorr.