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BLOCH, ERNEST (1880-1959).

Composer. Son of a Geneva clockmaker, Ernest Bloch studied in his native Switzerland and in Germany. Macbeth, an opera performed in Paris in 1910, gained him immediate critical acclaim. In 1916, he came to the U.S. where he spent the rest of his life. A large part of Bloch’s work, distinguished by passionate intensity of feeling and free play of melody, has been devoted to compositions on Jewish themes. These included Israel, a symphony; the Baal Shem Suite; Schelomo; and Avodat Hakodesh (Sacred Service), an oratorio based on the Sabbath synagogue service. Even his works with non-Jewish themes

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