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David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, March 2014

Bloch’s epic Symphony in C-sharp minor emerged in 1900, when the composer was just 20. Conductor Dalia Atlas considers it to be the composer’s orchestral masterpiece, which is saying a lot, and she conducts it like she means it. The work is a big, romantic effusion requiring a typically large orchestra and lasting nearly an hour. © 2014 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, March 2014

For those who may as yet be unacquainted with Bloch’s early Symphony from one or another of its very few previous recordings, a wonderful discovery awaits you in this new version. It’s hard to imagine this stupendous score from the pen of a 21-year-old composer being realized any more spectacularly than it is by Dalia Atlas and the London Symphony. Urgently recommended. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



Donald R Vroon
American Record Guide, January 2014

I am grateful to Dalia Atlas for finally giving us a recording worthy of this music (both pieces). The symphony…lasts almost 55 minutes in this recording—by far the most expansive performance. But it never loses tension or becomes dull. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Michael Round
International Record Review, December 2013

The LSO’s playing is lustily magnificent…Atlas and the LSO dispatch the set [Poems of the Sea] with expertise and aplomb…This superb production is a worthy addition to the Naxos Bloch library. Lovers of late-Romantic orchestral splendour should not hesitate. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine



BBC Music Magazine, December 2013

Dalia Atlas has made several distinguished recordings of Bloch’s music for Naxos and this new release, with its accomplished playing from the LSO, demonstrates her continuing commitment to the composer. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, November 2013

Anyone as yet unfamiliar with this lavishly orchestrated and detailed work will find imagining a symphonic Bruckner-Mahler-Strauss hybrid a good starting-point…the Symphony is…a work of stunning maturity as well as youthful vigour and big ideas.

After the sumptuous four-course Symphony, Poems of the Sea is pure H2O: refreshing, reflective, mysterious, elusive…With Abbey Road’s first-rate sound into the bargain, this Naxos recording makes runners-up of the competition in practically all regards. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, November 2013

In an intriguing program, Israeli conductor Dalia Atlas presents two astonishingly neglected works by Bloch that give us added insight into his character and his artistic aims.

The larger and more important of the two is his Symphony in C-sharp minor, a major work that clocks in at 54:38 in the present performance, but does not seem long at all under Professor Atlas’ baton. That’s due in part to the fact that the composer organized his material so skillfully, with themes that we hear throughout the symphony in new, fresh guises. A rhythmic motif consisting of two short followed by two long beats underlies most of the music. By turns dark and sorrowful, then filled with sweeping dynamic force, humorous, marchlike, pastoral, heroic, and triumphant, the symphony contains a lot of variety in mood and texture.

Dalia Atlas, here at the podium of the London Symphony Orchestra, conducts a persuasive performance based on her long acquaintance with this composer.

The companion work, Three Poems of the Sea, is a real charmer that packs a great deal of luminous material in a small space…Like Debussy, Bloch realizes that the sea is intriguing because it represents incessant, restless movement and mystery. © 2013 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Ivan March
Gramophone, October 2013

The LSO play Bloch’s Symphony in C sharp minor marvellously and Dalia Atlas conducts it with understanding and conviction.

…undoubtedly impressive, when played with such conviction and so well recorded too. © Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Film Music: The Neglected Art, September 2013

Hopefully this fine recording will encourage other major symphonies of the world to consider this one on their calendar for future performances. Hats off to the entire recording crew, the London Symphony, and Dalia Atlas for her fine conducting which shows how well she knows and loves these works. © 2013 Film Music: A Neglected Art Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, September 2013

Dalia Atlas’ inspired, sensitive and colorful Bloch recordings should find a large audience, so that both works would at the end be better known. They definitely deserve it! © Pizzicato



David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2013

Ernest Bloch remains one of today’s most undervalued of 20th-century composers, though his melodic style of writing did not readily fit into a changing musical world. Having been born in Switzerland in 1880, his early student years were spent in Germany, and there he fell under the influence of Richard Strauss, a fact that becomes abundantly clear in this early symphony completed when he was barely twenty. Lasting well over fifty minutes it was a large undertaking for one so young, but he was technically well-able to carry it off, while his thematic material was strong and dramatic in the outer movements. The first looks forward to Strauss in his later years, and if the following Andante resides too much in one attractive melodic idea, the scherzo is full of Brucknerian jagged vivacity. The finale abounds in grand gestures orchestrated with a red-blooded passion, and if you are addicted to music from this late Romantic era—which I am—then I urge you to hear the symphony. It is not the first recording, but with the London Symphony in superb form for the American conductor, Dalia Atlas, it easily becomes the top recommendation. Subsequently Bloch moved to study in Paris, and there fell under the spell of French Impressionism, and Debussy in particular. So it comes as no surprise that he followed in the footsteps of La Mer with his own Poems of the Sea, a work that came in versions for solo piano, and, at the other extreme, for large orchestra. As with La Mer it is in three movements, picturing different moods, yet he could not capture the dark danger that always lurks throughout the Debussy score. So a welcome addition to the sea repertoire but not a rival. Sound quality is outstanding. © 2013 David’s Review Corner




Jean-Claude Hulot
Diapason

With its particularly meticulous conducting and the superior quality of its orchestral playing, this new recording surpasses easily every previous one © Diapason






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