The Confines of Judaism and the Elusiveness of Universality

Kálra Móricz

in Jewish Identities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520250888
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933682 | DOI:
The Confines of Judaism and the Elusiveness of Universality

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The debate about the extent to which Bloch was a “Jewish” or a “universalistic” composer intensified as a response to Bloch's Sacred Service. Paradoxically, it was the Sacred Service, the only composition Bloch wrote to a Jewish liturgical text, that represented most intensely the composer's aspirations to universality. However, considered by both Jews and non-Jews as deeply flawed for what was seen as a diluted racial expression, the Sacred Service demonstrated that, however scientifically untenable, race remained a strong enough cultural factor to hinder Bloch's universal claims.

Keywords: Bloch; Jewish liturgical text; Sacred Service; Jewish composer; racial expression

Chapter.  17308 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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