Juantita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
  • 525 S. John Q. Hammons Pkwy

  • Springfield, MO 65806

  • Box Office 417-836-7678

THE SEASON 2016 – 2017

PRESIDENT'S CONCERT: Ernest Bloch's Avodath HaKodesh (Sacred Service)

  • April 30, 2017, Sunday, 4 p.m.

No ticket required

Dr. Jonathan Stinson, solo baritone/cantor
Rabbi Barbara Block, solo narration
Missouri State University Symphony Orchestra & Grand Chorus
Dr. Christopher Kelts, conductor
Chorus prepared by Dr. Cameron LaBarr

Avodath Hakodesh: Sacred Service, had its beginning in the mid-1920s as a commission from the congregation of a prestigious San Francisco Reform synagogue to compose a complete Sabbath morning service for baritone cantor, chorus, and full symphony orchestra. Swiss-American composer Ernest Bloch completed the piece in Europe (1930–1933) during his temporary return there – and it became one of his most celebrated and enduring works, not only from Jewish and liturgical perspectives, but also as a universal and transcendent artistic statement.

In its use of a Jewish worship service and the liturgy as the basis for a sophisticated, full-length, almost oratorio-like work that could speak to non-Jewish and Jewish audiences alike – and  would find equally appropriate expression in concert performance and in the context of classical Reform worship – Avodath Hakodesh was a watershed undertaking, a major contribution both to Jewish liturgical expression and to the genre of sacred music per se.

The legacy of Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) strides the twin worlds of cultivated Jewish art or concert music and that of the modern extension of the Western classical tradition in general. A singular and in many ways sui generis force in the course of Western music of the first half of the 20th century, Bloch is usually viewed – notwithstanding his important works that predate his American immigration – as an American composer. He is also remembered for his profound influence as a teacher, especially with regard to composition.

……from the Milken Archive of Jewish Music

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PRESIDENT'S CONCERT: Ernest Bloch's Avodath HaKodesh (Sacred Service)