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I have been recording piano works for my beginning music students as examples. Most recently, I have recorded the suite “Enfantines” by Ernest Bloch. In researching the work, I discovered a wonderful project to keep Bloch’s legacy alive by making free copies of “Enfantines” available to children.

The Enfantines Initiative is designed to preserve Bloch’s legacy by making copies of Enfantines available to children free of charge. Newport, Oregon, resident, Paul Brookhyser, long-time supporter of local efforts to preserve the legacy of Ernest Bloch, made the original contribution which inspired this initiative.

Individuals wishing to contribute ten dollars can arrange to have a copy of Enfantines donated to a music student.

Of the piano compositions from the Cleveland era, Enfantines, a set of cameos with pedagogical intent, reveals a side of Bloch not often encountered in the literature. At the lower intermediate level for the most part, the work contains Blochian features such as modality and bimodality, modal-tonal combinations, and meter and tempo fluctuations. Ternary form is the norm in these monothematic or bithematic miniatures. The titles are illustrated in the published score by the original drawings of the composer’s daughter Lucienne, then a teenager.

1. Lullaby (to Suzanne Bloch)

2. The Joyous Party (to Mrs. F. B. Kortheur)

3. With Mother (to Lucienne Bloch)

4. Elves (to Ruth Edwards)

5. Joyous March (to Beryl Rubinstein)

6. Melody (to Dorothy Price)

7. Pastorale (to Eleanor Foster)

8. Rainy Day (to Nathan Fryer)

9. Teasing (to M. Edith Martin)

10. Dream (to Anita Frank)

With the exceptions of Bloch’s daughters, those honored with a dedication taught piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music during his tenure there. Rubinstein, who achieved fame as a concert artist and who had served as a collaborative artist on concert tours with Ysaÿe, went on to become director of the institute for twenty years, 1932-1952.

From David Z. Kushner’s The Ernest Bloch Companion, New York: Greenwood Press, 2002, pp. 59-60

See also David Z. Kushner, “Ernest Bloch’s Enfantines,” College Music Symposium, vol. 23, no. 2 (Fall 1983), pp. 103-112. (This source includes a descriptive analysis of the individual pieces that make up Enfantines.)”


Preserving Ernest Bloch’s Legacy as a Composer, Humanist, & Philosopher Through Music

September 3, 2011 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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