(1957) Suite Modale for Flute and Strings

Instrumentation: for flute and string orchestra; flute and piano (1956)


Date of Composition: 1957

Place of Composition: Agate Beach

Publisher: Broude Brothers

Duration Minutes: 12.0

From ERNEST BLOCH: Creative Spirit, A Program Source Book, Prepared by Suzanne Bloch. In Collaboration with Irene Heskes, Director, Jewish Music Council (1976) (Out of print.) Original Published by JEWISH MUSIC COUNCIL of the NATIONAL JEWISH WELFARE BOARD, 15 East 26th Street, New York

(Also Orchestrated for Strings)

This short work, lasting twelve minutes, is one of Bloch's last works. It was dedicated to the flutist, Elaine Schaffer, whose playing Bloch admired greatly though he only knew her from her recordings. He sensed her youth, sensibilities and freshmess, which he expressed in this music with its graceful modal lyricism. This is not the Bloch of the special "Jewish works" but that of a "young man" of seventy-six.

The four movements are closely linked and can be played with almost no break between them. The first, Moderato, is almost improvisatory with flowing passages for the flute echoed by the accompaniment. The second, Listesso Tempo is serenely thoughtful continuing in a gigue-like Allegro Giocoso. The last movement begins with a very short dirge-like Adagio, soon changing into an Allegro Deciso, rhythmical and gay, returning to the Adagio for a few measures. Again the Allegro takes over, slowing down to a Moderato, bringing back fragments of earlier themes.

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