Minnesota Orchestra musicians play Bloch

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
April 29, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — When it was premiered, it was called the "greatest piece in the genre since Brahms" but nowadays Bloch's Piano Quintet No. 1 is less often played.

A quintet from the Minnesota Orchestra plays it this Sunday evening at MacPhail in Minneapolis and gives us good reason to put this quintet front and center.

Bloch was a violin protege of Eugene Ysaye and put into his chamber music demanding virtuosic lines, full-bodied tutti fortes, emotion-laden devices like 'sul ponticello' and quarter-tones, as well as seemingly never-ending trills and runs.

Though the work is classical in formal style, there is a sense of non-stop energy that even in moments of repose seem to never let go.

Listen to the first movement of this miraculous quintet with Stephanie Arado and Celine Leathead, violins; Ben Ullery, viola; Janet Horvath, cello; and Susan Billmeyer, piano.

Janet begins the interview speaking about some of the complexities of the quintet.

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