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 MusicRelated Links: