Ernest Bloch, famous American-Jewish composer, is now at work on a new musical setting for the Jewish services, which he expects to have ready within a year. Mr. Bloch began work on this music last Spring in California and is now continuing this task in Switzerland.
Gerald F. Warburg, son of Felix M. Warburg, commissioned Mr. Bloch to undertake this work when Mr. Warburg was in California last spring with the Stradivarius quartet, of which he is ‘cellist. Cantor Reuben R. Binder of Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco, also urged Mr. Bloch to undertake the project. Rabbi I. Newman of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York, who was rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco at that time, in explaining what new synagogual music by Mr. Bloch would mean, said:
“Mr. Bloch’s ‘Three Jewish Poems’, “Schelomo’, ‘Israel’ and ‘Abodah’, the last work having been written for Yehudi Menuhin, have placed him in the forefront as a masterful interpreter of the Hebraic spirit in music. It was natural that he should be asked to turn his mighty skill to the writing of synagogue music. During the six years that Mr. Bloch served as director of the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco he become fast friends with Cantor Binder, who aided him in preparing the historical sources for his new task.
“With characteristic thoroughness of research. Mr. Bloch is investigating Jewish literary and musical classics and, according to his own words, is immensely moved by what he finds.”