"What interests me," wrote Bloch, "is the Jewish soul, the enigmatic, ardent, turbulent soul that I feel vibrating throughout the Bible...it is all this that I endeavor to hear in myself and to transcribe into my music; the venerable emotion of the race that slumbers way down in our souls." Bloch's Baal Shem is made up of I. "Vidui" (Contrition) -- Un poco lento; II. "Nigun" (Improvisation) -- Adagio non troppo; III. "Simchas Torah" (Rejoicing) -- Allegro giocoso. Nigun is the most extrovert composition. Bloch attempts to recreate the feeling of ecstatic religious chanting through a highly charged and ornate melodic line that rises to a fever pitch of spiritual intensity before dying away to a gentle close.
Carl Fischer Publishing