8th: Sokoloff presents Hiver-Printemps with success.
18th: Second New York recital of his Suite for Viola and Piano at the Ritz-Carlton by the marvellous viola player Louis Bailly and the pianist Harold Bauer.
He finishes the orchestration of the Suite for Viola and Orchestra.
He begins his first Violin and Piano Sonata: it is black and savage.
4th: He goes to Hartford to conduct his Hiver-Printemps and a Suite à l’Arlésienne of Bizet.
He has a magnificent success as composer and head of the orchestra.
11th: In Boston (Jordan Hall) Louis Bailly and Harold Bauer triumph with his Suite for Viola and Piano. he had to take a bow three times.
He finishes the two first movements of the first Sonata for violin and piano, very savage and barbarous.
He is contacted to create the Music Institute in Cleveland.
His mother arrives in New York for a few months. It is the last time that he will be able to kiss her.
Bernard Rogers, his friend and student, has just won the $1,500 Pulitzer scholarship.
He spends the summer in Peterboro where he teaches in the morning.
His first Quartet is produced in London.
His nomination as director of the Cleveland Music Institute is official the 11th of July.
Vacation at Peterboro. Since he is a member of the jury for the Coolidge prize this year, he is engulfed by 136 quartets, lamentable for the most part.
He signs his official contract in Cleveland. He was able to arrange his engagement so that it will be possible for him to return to New York every two weeks and to keep his most important pupils there. My family remains in New York.
Visit to Pittsfield, end of September, for the Coolidge prize which is awarded to the Quartet of Malipiero.
His mother leaves October 23: That’s life! You have to live separated from those you love…and struggle and exhaust yourself with sterile tasks…and years pass and death arrives unexpectedly.
4th, 5th, & 7th: They repeat Schelomo in San Francisco with great success. Alfred Hertz directs the orchestra and Horace Britt is soloist.
5th and 7th: Performance of the Suite for Viola and Orchestra in New York (Carnegie Hall) with Artur Bodanzky as the head of the National Symphony Orchestra and Louis Bailly on viola.
Bloch’s Suite produced a strange impression. La critic was terrible, violent, insulting!!! The public cold, mocking, hostile; some were more enthusaistic than ever. They discussed and insulted each other.
18th: performance in Switzerland (Geneva) of his first Quartet.
26: He finishes his first Violin and Piano Sonata.
Beginning of December: His first Quartet is performed in Germany (in Berlin).
10th: Official opening of the Music Institute of Cleveland. He gives a one hour long talk. He has never had a similar success before in America.
30th and January 1: In Cleveland, he directs his First Symphony. Superb concert, splendid orchestra, had wonderful ovations from the orchestra and from the public.
At the Cleveland Institute of Music, continuation until April of the series of lectures for amateurs on “Music Appreciation”.
There was a succession of concerts of his works:
Swiss performance of Schelomo in Geneva with Ansermet at the head of the Orchestre de la Suisse romande and André Hekking. The work is rather well received.
Les Trois Poèmes Juifs are performed at Amsterdam by the Concertgebouw directed by Cornelius Copper (replacing Karl Muck who ran off).
World première of his first Violin and Piano Sonata in New York (Aeolian Hall) by the violinist Paul Kochanski and the pianist Arthur Rubinstein. No matter how terribly violent and savage, the work was better understood than the Suite for Viola and Piano.
February 21 and 23
Mengelberg performs Schelomo in New York with the National Symphony Orchestra and the cellist Cornelius Van Vliet. It is a triumph. Mengelberg is admirable! He adores Mengelberg and the latter feels the same, Bloch believes. Bloch gave him the original manuscript of Schelomo. It was a moment of intense emotion.
Performance in Holland of Schelomo in Amsterdam with Mengelberg at the head of the Concertgebouw and the cellist Marix Lœvensohn.
Schelomo will be played again by Mengelberg in Amsterdam on April 24 and October 20, 1921.
April 29 and 30
In Boston Pierre Monteux performs with success the local premiere of Hiver-Printemps.
Annual meeting of the directing committee of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He gives a report full of hope for the future.
He publishes his first article in English in Musical America: “Ernest Bloch Surveys the Problem of Musical Education”. This article will have a big repercussion.
He spends five delicious days at Peterboro where he has the joy of meeting Mrs. Joanne Johnson again. What a shame that destiny didn’t bring together two beings made for each other as she and he!
July – August 1921
Vacation in Canada at Percé, a small city in Quebec.
Reopening of the Cleveland Music Institute. He has hired as professors the Swiss violinist André de Ribaupierre, and former students Roger Sessions, Jean Binet, Bernard Rogers, and Hubbard Hutchinson.
They all get settled in Cleveland. For one year he was divided between Cleveland and New York where his family resided; 34 trips (a 14 hour train trip each time!)
A telegram announces the death of his poor mother. Her son will not be able to shut her eyes and give her the kiss of peace…alas…but he feels her really near him, as if the distance between them was wiped away.
Performance in Holland of his first Quartet by the Flonzaley Quartet.
His Suite for Viola and Piano is performed for the first time in Cleveland by Samuel Lifschey on viola and Beryl Rubinstein on piano.
November 4 and 5
Stokowski directs his Suite for Viola and Orchestra in Philadeplhia with Louis Bailly as soloist.
He wrote to Bloch: “It will amuse you to learn that the the public cordially hated it.”
French performance of Schelomo in Paris in the Théatre du Châtelet by Gabriel Pierné at the head of the Colonne Orchestra and the cellist André Hekking.
In Cleveland his first Quartet is performed for the first time by the Cleveland Quartet.
At the Institute, he begins a new series of lectures for amateurs: “Music explained by a musician”.
The Flonzaley Quartet plays the Pastorale from his first Quartet during their American tour.
Hiver-Printemps is performed in Berlin by Oskar Fried at the head of the Blüthner Orchestra.
The chorus of students and of professors that he organized makes its public debut at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
January – February 1922
He composes the first movement of a new work, a Quintet with piano which he sketched out in December 1921.
Numerous performances of his works in America and in Europe:
− the First Quartet is performed January 10 at Cleveland by the Flonzaley Quartet.
− Hiver-Printemps is played January 13 and 14 in St. Louis by Rudolph Ganz. It is also performed in Austria, in Vienna by Oskar Fried.
− La Suite pour alto et piano is played in Hungary, in Budapest January 18 by Zoltan Székely on viola and Béla Bartok on the piano.
− Les Trois Poèmes Juifs are performed in Germany, in Berlin by Heinz Unger.
− Les Psaumes 114 et 137 are performed in France, in Paris, January 24, by Vera Janacopoulos.
He composes the second movement of his first Quintet with piano.
He directs his Trois Poèmes Juifs in Cleveland with success the 2nd and 4th March.
Le Flonzaley Quartet interprets his first Quartet in New York March 7 and in Boston March 9.
− March 12: European creation of Psaume 22 in Amsterdam by Karl Muck and the contralto
Mme. Charles Cahier who will sing it in all of Europe.
− March 14: English public creation of the first Quartet in London.
First German performance of Psaume 22 in Wiesbaden by Carl Schuricht and Mme. Charles Cahier.
It is the fifth of his works performed in Germany: this season Berlin has already listened to the first Quartet, les Trois Poèmes Juifs, La Suite pour alto et piano, and Hiver-Printemps.
A big membership campaign and fund drive is launched at the Cleveland Institute of Music .
In France May 5 1922 his Suite pour alto et piano is performed in Paris by his friend Nadia Boulanger on the piano and Jean Lefranc on viola.
He gives five series of “Master Classes” during the summer session at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
He is composing without a break. With joy he writes some piano pieces: Poèmes de la Mer (poems of the ocean), Pièces de cirque (circus pieces) and Dans la nuit-Un Poème d’Amour (in the night-a love poem).
August 9 1922, two of his works are played at the Modern Chamber Music Festival in Salzbourg:
− Schelomo in cello and piano version with Barjansky on the cello.
− The First Sonata for violin and piano which gathers an enormous success thanks to the violinist Joseph Szigeti and to the pianist Carl Friedberg.
He begins the orchestration of the Poèmes de la Mer.
The Institute of Cleveland opens its doors October 2. Many students are new and additional professors are named.
England is interested in his works. This month London can hear:
− The first English recital of Schelomo (orchestral version) October 11 by Sir Henry Wood directing the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra and the cellist May Mukle.
− The first English recital of the First Sonata for violin and piano by the violinist Jelly d’Aranyi October 17.
In Philadelphia Stokowski performs Schelomo October 27 and 28 with Hans Kindler.
November 4 the Institute moves to a building two times larger.
He attends the performance of Psaume 22 in Cincinnati by Fritz Reiner and Mme. Cahier November 10 and 11.
The English continue to play Bloch:
The first English recital of the Suite for alto and piano took place in London November 22, thanks to violist Lionel Tertis and to the pianist Harold Bauer.
December 8 and 9 he directs le Psaume 22 in Cleveland with the assistance of Mme. Charles Cahier. It is a great success.
December 9 they give a big reception at the Institute on the occasion of its second anniversary and for the opening of the new buildings. Mme. Charles Cahier is the guest of honor. He gives a speech and directs the Institute’s choir.
The Italian press celebrates his First Quartet which is played in the first Italian performance in Naples by the Budapest Quartet.
In the course of this month of December, he orchestrates Dans la nuit-Un poème d’amour.
January 5: Emergency meeting of the Steering Committee of the Cleveland Institute: he threatens to resign if he doesn’t obtain adequate funding.
This same day his first Sonata for violin and piano receives its first Italian recital, in Rome by the violinist Mario Corti.
First English performance of the Trois Poèmes Juifs, in London by Sir Henry Wood at the head of New Queen’s Hall Orchestra.
At the Institute he organizes a “Musical Laboratory for Apprentice Composers”.
His first Quartet receives its French production, in Paris, February 10 1923 by the Rosé Quartet.
The pianist Alfredo Casella, Bloch’s future friend, gives a concert in Cleveland: they were very pleased to have him there. He had an enormous and well-deserved success.
He finishes his first Quintet for piano started more than a year ago.
In Paris Julius Hartt publishes a magnificent study on Bloch’s work in La Revue Musicale.
In America Fritz Reiner presents le Psaume 22 in Indianapolis April 2 (Mme. Charles Cahier is going to lay it on all of Europe) and Pierre Monteux presents Schelomo in Boston April 13-14 with Jean Bedetti.
He finishes up Nirvana for piano.
His last lecture at the Institute is about Debussy. Bloch requests the Library of Congress to purchase the letters and manuscripts of the master from Lilly Debussy. They don’t even have the $1000 necessary for the original orchestral score of the Nocturnes!
French debut of the first Sonata for violin and piano, in Paris, by Joseph Szigeti who will play it in all of Europe (Paul Kochanski will repeat it in Paris June 9).
World premiere of Melody and of the first part of Baal Shem at the concert of the Cleveland Music Institute given by André de Ribaupierre.
French debut of Trois Poèmes Juifs in Paris, Salle Gaveau, with Lazare Saminsky at the head of the Colonne Orchestra. (Köln? Cologne, Germany ?)
English debut of the Suite for viola and orchestra in London by the orchestra head Eugène Goossens and the violist Lionel Tertis.
He gives five master classes in New York in the studios of Frank La Forge.
He finishes Cinq Esquisses en Sépia (Five Sketches in Sepia) and La Danse sacrée (Sacred Dance) (posthumous work).
August – September 1923
Family vacation in Peterboro (New Hampshire).
Reopening for the fourth season of the Cleveland Institute October 1.
He is going to begin rehearsals of the Cleveland Choral Society (Missa Brevis by Palestrina and Bach’s Chorals) at the end of the month.
An old dream is realized: Bloch’s friends from the Institute Quartet are going to debut a complete collection of the Beethoven Quarets at the Cleveland Museum of Art (admission is free!).
At the end of October, he finishes Baal Shem for violin and piano.
Dans la Nuit – Un poème d’amour is played by the pianist Harold Bauer October 28 in Chicago.
He finishes Les Enfantines and begins a series of ten lectures on the “Fugues of the Clavecin bien tempéré”.
November 2 and 4
Schelomo is given again in San Francisco by Alfred Hertz and Horace Britt.
World premiere of his first quintet with piano in New York at the Klaw Theater by Harold Bauer and the Lenox Quartet. The reactions are very diverse.
Schelomo is played in Chicago for the first time by Frederick Stock and Alfred Wallenstein on cello.
In four days he composes some little quartet pieces: Night and Paysages which he means for his friends of Flonzaley Quartet.
[Information to be considered for later!]
Bloch began tenure as instructor at Cleveland Institute of Music; he was the institute’s first director. During the Cleveland years Bloch composed some of his most notable chamber music, including the Piano Quintet No. 1, called by one critic “the greatest work in its form since the piano quintets of Brahms and Cesar Frank. He also honed his skills as a teacher, developing his teaching philosophy and speaking to groups ranging from music students to civic organizations. His daughter Suzanne played in the student orchestra there for a time.
According to Sita Milchev, Ernest Bloch’s grand daughter, Ernest Bloch asked his good friend, Dr. Guilio Silva, who was teaching at St. Cecelia’s Academy of Music in Rome, Italy, to come to Cleveland. Dr. Silva did just that. After teaching voice (he was a master of voice teaching) there, he also followed Bloch to the Conservatory in San Francisco. Bloch’s granddaughter happened to be fortunate to take singing lessons from Dr. Silva before she was a student at the Conservatory, as well as when she was attending the Conservatory back in the very early 60’s. “Dr. Silva taught many students as well as teaching an incredible class on Gregorian Chant.” S. Milchev
The first quintet for piano is given again in New York with more success than before with Harold Bauer and the Lenox Quartet.
The first Sonata for violin and piano is played in Boston then in Cleveland the 19th and 24th of January.
Barjansky performs Schelomo in Frankfurt.
This month has been nicknamed the Bloch month by the American press because there is a succession of concerts of his works in America in a rhythm which wouldn’t be equaled until the simultaneous production of the symphony America in the largest American cities in 1928.
February 4 in New York the first Quintet for piano is performed at the Bohemian Club by its usual interpreters.
February 5 in New York Schelomo is played by Stokowski at the head of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Hans Kindler on the cello.
February 6 in Cleveland, world premiere of Baal Shem by André de Ribaupierre.
February 9 in Washington: Suite for viola and piano by Lionel Tertis and Haold Bauer.
February 10 in New York: At the head of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra he performs two orchestra works: Poèmes de la Mer and Dans la nuit-Un Poème d’Amour and regives the Prélude and les Psaumes 137 et 114 with Vera Janacopoulos.
Coming back from this week in New York, intrigues awaited him in Cleveland. It was so dirty, so ugly, so full of despair that, seeing all of his effort for seven years being compromised, by the self-same ones for whom he had done it, he became disgusted; he resigned; and to sleep, he swallowed some Veronal; too much or too little! But this resignation is refused and the suicide attempt fails.
February 22 and 23 in Los Angeles the Trois Poèmes Juifs are directed by Walter Rothwell.
February 24 in Cleveland the first Sonata for violin and piano is played by André de Ribaupierre and Beryl Rubinstein.
In February the Flonzaley Quartet creates Paysages and Night for quartet during its tour of Florida. It will repeat these works in all of the large American cities (notably March 4 in New York and March 6 in Boston) and then in its European tour (notably in London May 3 and May 8 in Venice).
He rehearses the Danses Polovtsiennes from Prince Igor with the Institute Orchestra augmented by a female choir and he continues his lectures on the “Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier”.
In New York there is a succession of concerts of his works:
March 17 the first Sonata for violin and piano is interpreted in Town Hall by Rudolph Polk.
March 21 is the culminating point of his season because on the same evening he is entitled to two different productions: in Carnegie Hall New York production of Baal Shem by Bronislaw Huberman; in the Aeolian Hall, world premiere of the Trois Nocturnes by the New York Trio.
In Cleveland on March 28, his Suite for viola and piano is performed in a local premiere by Quincy Porter as alto and Eleanor Foster on piano.
Finally Schelomo is performed in Italy in Turin March 27 by Giuseppe Baroni and the cellist Onorina Semino.
May 17: second French recital of the Psaumes 114 and 137 by Marya Freund in Paris (Théâtre du Vieux Colombier).
May 26: encounter with George Gershwin and Paul Whiteman who came to give a concert in Cleveland.
June – July 1924
In Prague the Psaume 22 is performed under the direction of Fritz Reiner on June 2.
On June 19 he arrives in San Francisco: it’s another country. The most surprising, it is…himself. He thought he was finished, used up, tired, old, blasé…and then he finds himself refreshed and transformed with a youth and a wish to live and to travel which he thought was buried.
He gives 25 “Master Classes” at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from June 23 to July 25.
He is celebrated on several occasions:
June 28 at the Musicians’ Club la Suite for viola and piano is performed (Nathan Firestone and Ada Clement), the Psaume 137 (Lawrence Strauss) and Psaume 22 (Reuben Rinder) are sung.
July 23 at the home of Rosalie Housman the same interpreters reperform the Suite for viola and piano and the Psaume 22. Then Nirvana is played by Benjamin Moore and the first Sonata for violin and piano is played by Lajos Fenster and Ada Clement.
July 25 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to celebrate the end of the courses, he plays the world premiere of the Enfantines. Edouard Deru performs Baal Shem, Lawrence Strauss sings Bloch’s melodies. The Nocturnes is performed as well.
July 29: he directs his Trois Poèmes Juifs in the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
August – September 1924
He rediscovers his beloved mountains while visiting the Canadian Rockies alone during the first two weeks of August. Then the whole family leaves to fish and canoe at the Lake Timagani (Ontario, Canada) for a month.
The Cleveland Institute opens its doors on October 1 for its fifth season.
Mischa Elman adds le Nigun to his repertory and plays it all over America.
In Berlin the Psaume 22 is sung October 2 by Madame Charles Cahier, accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin directed by Heinz Unger.
In Paris the Suite for viola and orchestra is performed in the French premiere October 25, by the violist Jean Lefranc accompanied by the Colonne Orchestra directed by Gabriel Pierné.
November – December 1924
Some of his works are performed in America:
November 29: the Poèmes de la Mer for piano by Harold Bauer in New York (Aeolian Hall)
November 30: Schelomo in Minneapolis by Henri Verbrugghen and the cellist Horace Britt.
December 10: the first Quintet with piano in San Francisco.
They play Bloch abroad as well:
December 20 in Geneva: Swiss premiere of the Psaumes 114 and 137 with Ernest Ansermet at the head of the Orchestra of the Swiss Romande and Vera Janacopoulos.
End of December in Vienna: Alexander Barjansky performs his transcription for cello of Bloch’s Suite for viola and piano.
As for Bloch, he leaves for Santa Fe (New Mexico) from November 11 to December 29, 1924 to rest and compose.
In summary, he can be delighted! In six weeks he dashed off:
1. Le Poème mystique for violin and piano
2. In the mountains (two pieces for quartet)
3. Nuit exotique, poem for violin and piano
4. Méditation hébraïque for cello and piano
5. Three Jewish pieces for cello and piano (From Jewish Life)
6. Almost finished the “Suite” (his future Concerto grosso).
Bloch became a U. S. citizen.
ENFANTINES – Ten Pieces for Children for Piano
With Original Drawings by Lucienne Bloch [Besides Bloch’s children, other names refer to pianists at the Cleveland Institute.]
1. LULLABY to Suzanne Bloch
2. THE JOYOUS PARTY to Mrs. F. B. Kortheuer
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
All Copyright MCMXXIV by Carl Fischer Inc., New York
LITTLE CHRONICLE OF THE YEAR 1925
− the First Quintet is played three times in Cleveland (the local première took place January 4)
− The Poème Mystique is created on January 24 in New York at the home of Mr. And Mrs. Rossin by André de Ribaupierre and Beryl Rubinstein.
In Cleveland Nadia Boulanger gives a splendid organ concert: Bloch has never heard Bach played on this instrument so lucidly and so transparently.
In Rochester he gives five weeks of “Master classes” at the Eastman School of Music. During this visit he directs Hiver-Printemps on February 26.
Several of his works are played in America:
-Trois Poèmes Juifs February 6 and 8 in San Francisco by Alfred Hertz.
-The First Quintet February 20 in Washington by Harold Bauer and the Lenox Quartet.
In Geneva the First Quintet receives its first Swiss recital by the Pro Arte Quartet and
Mme. René Hentsch February 2.
In Paris Szigeti gives the first French recital of Baal Schem on Feburary 21. He will repeat it
Stokowski at the head of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Hans Kindler on the cello play Schelomo in Washington then in Baltimore on March 3 and 4.
In Paris there are several French performancesof his works:
-March 6: Poèmes de la Mer and Dans la Nuit by the pianist Maurice Servais.
-March 19: Psaume 22 by Madeleine Grey.
He finishes the first Concerto Grosso.
Numerous concerts of his works in Cleveland:
-April 3: Enfantines by the students of the Institute.
-April 1 and 7: Baal Shem by the professors.
April 14: Nocturnes by the New York Trio.
April 24: Bloch festival at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
-May 12: What Bloch predicted for a long time happened. The sly scheming, jealousies, shady politics triumphed-and in the lowest possible way, the most dishonorable. Bloch is asked to resign after having engaged him in January 1925 for the 1925-1926 season (but without a written contract!).
One bright spot, however. The same day when this affair occurred, Bloch received a letter from Robert Godet, thanking him for sending his first Symphony which had just been published and for the dedication to Godet which Bloch loyally preserved.
-May 15: The complete series of the Quartets of Beethoven is achieved by the Institute Quartet (free concerts at the Cleveland Museum of Art). It was a project which was dear to his heart.
-May 29: Bloch performs his first Concerto Grosso with the Institute String Orchestra and Walter Scott on the piano in the course of a public concert of the students at the Cleveland Institute.
-May 30: He has there more than 30 large packages, manuscripts, letters, documents, all his life which are going to leave for Washington. Bloch is giving them to the Library of Congress which requested them so that they may be brought together in one spot if ever a wierdo biographer has the quirky idea to unravel them. (Which will happen!)
English performances in London:
-June 8: Nirvana is interpreted by Beryl Rubinstein.
-June 20: Baal Shem is played by Joseph Szigeti.
The family moves. His wife leaves with his two daughters for Paris where they are going to pursue their studies. His son Ivan is in New York. Bloch leaves alone for California.
He directs two of his works at the Hollywood Bowl with the Orchestra of Los Angeles.
-August 7: Hiver-Printemps
-August 15: First Concerto Grosso (with Claire Mellonino on the piano)
His success is enormous.
In San Francisco, they make him shimmer with hope to be named director of the Conservatory. While waiting for them to get the necessary funds…he talks, talks, talks…receptions in his honor rain down.
He has an apartment with a superb view. He makes his bed, his dinner, washes dishes and dish towels and toilets! This is what Ernest Bloch is reduced to after ten years of effort in America.
Székeley and Bartok interpret the Nigun during their tour in Holland: October 5 in Arnhem, October 6 in Utrecht.
On November 26 Bloch’s contract for three years is finally signed: he is going to direct the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Orchestra conductor fight over his first Concerto grosso which is played in the large American towns:
-in Chicago November 27 and 28 by Frederick Stock.
-in Philadeplhia December 4 and 5 by Leopold Stokowski.
-in San Francisco December 4 and 6 by the composer (Ada Clement is on the piano)
-in Boston December 24 and 26 by Serge Koussevitzky.
Koussevitzky performed Bloch’s Suite pour alto et orchestre December 11 and 12 in Boston with the violist Jean Lefranc
The grreatest violinists choose his Baal Shem for their concerts before the New York public:
-December 5: Carl Flesch.
-December 18: Joseph Szigeti.
-1st and 2nd January
He directs his first Concerto Grosso and Les Trois Poèmes Juifs in Los Angeles with a very big success despite his state (he borders on pneumonia).
The New York première of the first Concerto Grosso is performed by Koussevitzky at the head of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
First Italian performance of the first Concerto Grosso in Turin under the baton of Vittorio Gui.
-In Geneva (February 13) the Swiss première of the first Concerto Grosso by Ernest Ansermet at the head of the Orchestra of the Swiss Romande.
-In New York (Town Hall), Pablo Casals plays la Méditation hébraïque which is dedicated to him on February 22.
-The Suite pour alto et piano is performed in America several times at the beginning of 1926 (February in Los Angeles by Émile Ferir, March in Philadelphia by Louis Bailly, April in Cleveland by Quincy Porter).
-The first Quintette avec piano is performed in London on March 4 by a female quintet some of whom are loyal Bloch interpreters the cellist May Mukle and the violist Rebecca Clarke.
-Joseph Szigeti continues to play Bloch’s Baal Shem (big success in New York on March 2).
-At the head of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Koussevitzky gives five performances of the Trois Poèmes Juifs: March 9 at Holyoke (Mass.), March 10 in New Haven (Conn.), March 11 in New York (Carnegie Hall), April 16 and 17 in Boston. He establishes a record in playing in one season three different works of Bloch (la Suite pour alto et orchestre, le premier Concerto grosso and Trois Poèmes Juifs)
-At the head of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Frederick Stock gives the third world performance of Israël in Chicago on March 12 and 13 but the critics are divided.
-Schelomo is performed in Paris on March 18 by Walther Straram and the cellist Maurice Maréchal.
The first Concerto grosso is given in Cincinnati as a local première by Fritz Reiner on April 16 and 17.
In London, the first Concerto grosso is given in its first English performance April 26 by Anthony Bernard at the head of the London Chamber Orchestra.
Bloch’s Prélude pour quatuor is given May 7 at the Temple of San Francisco by the Quartet of the Chamber Music Society.
Bloch finishes the symphonic poem Quatre Episodes for chamber orchestra which he is going to present at the Beebe contest.
The first Concerto grosso is given in the first French performance June 12 in Paris at the Théâtre de l’Opéra by Koussevitzky.
The Suite pour alto et piano is given in Paris June 13 in the setting of the Coolidge Concerts by Émile Ferir on viola and Alfredo Casella on the piano.
Camping for three weeks in the Sierras. But the altitude did him in and when he returned he cracked: a terrible depression.
He also had a heart problem and his friends took him to rest in the country in Mill Valley in a little cabin, the “shack” which belongs to his co-directors (female) of the San Francisco Conservatory.
He has experienced hell. The eczema on his foot has gotten worse and worse. He is exhausted by the rehearsals for the concert anticipated for October and by his poor physical condition (five doctors consulted in vain in six months for his hives and his insomnia).
He directs the opening concert of the Coolidge festival at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
The program consists of: the third Brandenburg Concerto of Bach, la Sérénade nocturne of Mozart, les Ricercari of Malipiero for its American première and his own first Concerto grosso.
-October 24 and 30
The symphony Israël is given for the French première in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet with Gabriel Pierné directing the Colonne Orchestra. It is the first European performance of a work written in 1916 and performed in 1917 in New York!
-October 28, 29, and 30
The Symphony Israël is given in New York (Carnegie Hall) by Willem Mengelberg at the head of the New York Philharmonic with great success.
Schelomo is given in America by two different orchestras:
-The Orchestra of San Francisco, directed by Alfred Hertz with Michel Penha as soloist plays it November 9 in Oakland (CA), November 12 and 14 in San Francisco.
-The Orchestra of Philadelphia directed by Leopold Stokowski with Hans Kindler as soloist interprets this work November 23 in Washington, December 6 in Philadelphia and December 14 in New York (Artur Rodzinski replaces an ailing Stokowski for the N.Y. Concert).
In San Francisco, in bed inasmuch as his eczema of the feet made him suffer, he copies literally the three movements of the score of America.
-4th and 6th: Alfred Hertz gives the first San Francisco performance of his First Symphony. He kisses the bald head of his friend Hertz while the audience clapped. Hertz will repeat it on December 2 and 4, 1927 in San Francisco.
-19th the first Concerto Grosso is presented in its second English performance in London (Queen’s Hall) by Sir Henry Wood at the head of the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra. Myra Hess is on the piano.
22nd: in San Francisco he finishes up his Rhapsody America which he sends to the contest of the Musical America magazine.
His Quatre Episodes (Four Episodes) for chamber orchestra wins the Beebe Prize of $1000.
-March 20th: World première of the Quatre Episodes in New York (Plaza Hotel) by the New York Chamber Music Society created and directed by the pianist Carolyn Beebe.
March 31 and April 1: Israël is presented in Cleveland (local première) by Sokoloff at the head of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. Sokoloff will reperform Israël June 12 in San Francisco (Hillsborough) at the head of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
-May 11: He leaves for Europe.
-June 7: Nadia Boulanger organizes an Ernest Bloch festival in Paris (Salle Pleyel). The program is comprised of:
-First Sonata for violin and piano with Feri Roth on the violin and Ilona Kabos on the piano.
-Psaumes 114 and 137 sung by Marya Freund accompanied on the piano by the composer.
-Schelomo played by the cellist Maurice Maréchal accompanied by two pianos played by Nadia Boulanger and Aaron Copland.
-First Quartet interpreted by the Roth Quartet.
Everything went well and they gave him a charming welcome.
Family vacation in Switzerland, first in Kandersteg then in Griesalp.
A distant cousin, the Dr. Bloch of Zurich, greatly improves Bloch’s fungal eczema.
September 27: He leaves to return to America. This trip transformed him: Europe reconquered his heart.
Two works are given in New York:
-the First Quintet with piano the 6th of October by the Malkin Trio
-the First Symphony the 20th, 21st and 22nd of October by Mengelberg at the head of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
His friend the composer Roger Sessions publishes a glowing study of Bloch’s work in Modern Music.
-The First Symphony is played November 11 in Pittsburgh by Mengelberg at the head of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
-Les Trois Poèmes Juifs are performed November 18 and 19 in Boston by Koussevitzky directing the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
-Israël is reperformed by Sokoloff at the head of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra December 1 and 2 in Cleveland and December 6 in New York.
-La Suite pour alto et orchestre (Suite for viola and orchestra) is performed December 16 and 17 in Chicago by Frederick Stock directing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the cellist Joseph Vieland.
-Les Quatre Episodes are performed twice this month:
• December 18 in New York by New York Chamber Music Society of Carolyn Beebe
• December 29 and 30 in Boston by Serge Koussevitzky at the head of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
For three months in San Francisco he has lived a physical and moral hell.
Malipiero sends Bloch his so beautiful edition of Monteverdi, which is going to illuminate Bloch’s nights and make him forget his sufferings.
In London on January 20 the Budapest Trio performs Bloch’s Nocturnes for its first English performance.
In Berlin on January 27 HermannScherchen performs in the first German performance the Psaumes 114 and 137 with the Philharmonic of Berlin.
In New York on February 2 Serge Koussevitzky performs the Quatre Episodes with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In Geneva Ernest Ansermet at the head of the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande plays:
–the Suite for viola and orchestra with the cellist Henry Sougné on February 2 for the first Swiss performance.
–Schelomo with the cellist Maurice Maréchal on February 18
On February 23 and March 3 in San Francisco his friends the professors of the Music Conservatory give two concerts devoted to his chamber music works.
In Amsterdam, Mengelberg performs the Dutch première of Israël February 23 at the head of the Concertgebouw.
March 8 and 9 Schelomo is performed in Cleveland (local première) by Sokoloff.
The first Concerto Grosso is played in New York by Artur Bodanzky on March 25.
In Basel Paul Sacher performs the first Concerto Grosso March 10 (local première).
Israël is performed in London in the first English performance on April 20 by Sir Henry Wood at the head of the National Symphony Orchestra (a BBC concert). It is a success.
In New York May 4, 5 and 6th Irène Lewisohn directs Israël in the form of an “orchestral drama” at the Manhattan Opera House. The criticism was hostile but the public is conquered.
In Paris second French performance of the Suite pour alto et orchestre on May 10 at the Walther Straram concerts with the cellist Maurice Vieux. The work is much better received than the first time.
In Vienna first Austrian performance of the first Concerto Grosso on May 21 by Karl Krueger.
On June 6 Bloch learns that America received with unanimity with 92 works in competition the prize of $3000 in the contest organized by Musical America.
At the end of June Bloch embarks on an Italian cargo ship for Marseille. He goes via Panama…it will take 38 days! He provides himself with innumerable notebooks to continue his studies of counterpoint on which he has been working like a madman for three months.
On the ship they organize a true party for his birthday. He feels ten years younger and as if he doesn’t have the slightest health concern.
Pleasure trip in Switzerland at Griesalp: sketches of Helvetia and daily harvest of mushrooms.
September 15, the first quintet with piano is the high point of the Festival of Sienna organized by the International Society for Contemporary Music. It is played by the Brosa Quartet and Frank Mannheimer.
In Berlin on October 18, first German performance of the Concerto Grosso by Heinz Unger at the head of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin.
In New York the Malkin Trio and its friends reperform the first quintet with piano on October 31.
Back in San Francisco Bloch is overwhelmed with honors: on November 12 the directing committee of Schelomo votes a resolution covering him with praises.
Schelomo is performed in Los Angeles (local première) on November 8 and 9 by Georg Schnéevoigt directing the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Elsewhere, at the head of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Mengelberg performs the symphony Israël several times: November 28 and 30 and December 2 in New York, December 3 in Philadelphia; and December 4 in Baltimore.
At the beginning of December Bloch accompanies Yehudi Menuhin at his parents’ home who plays Bloch’s Nigun. It would take an entire book to express everything this evening meant for Bloch.
December 4 he composes Abodah-Une Mélodie de Yom Kippour which he gives to Yehudi.
December 5 Bloch attends a concert of Yehudi Menuhin at the Civic Auditorium of San Francisco.
Le Nigun is a triumph which must be repeated.
December 16 the world première of Abodah is given in Los Angeles by Yehudi Menuhin to whom the work is dedicated.
On December 17 a big banquet of 500 people is organized in his honor: all the well known of San Francisco are present.
December 20 Bloch attends the world première of America conducted by Alfred Hertz in the Exposition Auditorium of San Francisco in front of 10,000 listeners. It’s a triumph.
Unheard-of fact: some ten cities in the U.S. Simultaneously give the world première of America!
In his little San Francisco apartment he works relentlessly in spite of his ill health. He composes Helvetia in his free hours, sometimes until three o’clock in the morning.
On January 12 he has a big rush: on the radio he hears America presented and directed by Walter Damrosch.
Furtwängler at the head of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin presents Schelomo in Hamburg on February 5 with the assistance of the cellist Nicolai Graudan.
It’s the beginning of his liaison with Winifred Howe, a young professor of piano at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. At the end of March, 1929 he finishes the orchestration of Helvetia: thus he will have three major works. One dedicated to the country of his ancestors (Israël), the second to his country of birth (Helvetia) and the third to his adoptive county (America).
He sends Helvetia under the title of “The Mountains” to the contest of the Victor Company. He hopes it will win the prize. This time it’s worth it: $25,000. This would be the end of forced labor!
The Flonzaley Quartet gives its farewell tour in America and inserts in its last program the Pastorale from his first quartet. That is how in San Francisco on April 9, 1929 there are 3,000 enthusiastic listeners to applaud them.
The press tried one more time to demolish him. But it didn’t succeed: America was played 45 times all over the country. But all of this means nothing to Bloch because he isn’t paid anything. There are no author’s rights here.
He hopes for silence, for freedom. At the end of the month of June he leaves for three weeks for Vancouver Island, a lost corner of Canada.
For the first time he directs America with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra July 21 at the Woodland Theater of Hillsborough (near San Francisco) and July 23 at the Civic Auditorium of San Francisco.
He begins a correspondence with the Swiss writer Guy de Pourtalès who will become a true friend.
He leaves for France with Winifred on the De Grasse.
August 12, 1929 he arrives in Le Havre where his wife and his daughter Lucienne are waiting for him. They spend their vacation in Griesalp (Switzerland).
September 23: lunch at the home of Romain Rolland in Villeneuve. They speak about making a film together on the evolution of music; unfortunately this project fails.
He is invited with his family to Amsterdam because Mengelberg organizes a Bloch festival with the Concertgebouw. He performs Schelomo and Bloch’s First Symphony from October 16 to 23, 1929 in several Dutch cities.
He directs America on October 20, 1929 in Amsterdam. It’s a triumph.
He returns to San Francisco. He collapses soon after his arrival. Exhausted, he gives his classes at the price of a terrible effort of will.