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Thomas Bloch

Olivier MESSIAEN Feuillet inedit n° 4
Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot . Bernard Wisson, piano

Thomas BLOCH (b. 1962)
Formule (1995)
Lude 9.6 (1998);
Sweet Suite (2003) for 9 ondes Martenot:
Thomas Bloch Waves Orchestra

Bernard WISSON (b. 1948) Kyriades
Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot . Bernard Wisson, piano
Paderewski Philharmonic Orchestra/ Fernand Quattrocchi

Michel REDOLFI (b. 1951) Mare Teno (2000)
Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot . Michel Redolfi, electroacoustic, Susan Belling, vocals

Lindsay COOPER (b. 1951) / Abdnlah SIDRAN (b. 1944) Nightmare (1994)
Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot
Phil Minton, voice. Lindsay Cooper, bassoon i synthesiser / mother's voice
Dean Brodrick, keyboards. Gerard Siracusa, marimba / percussion
Brian Abrahams, drums. Ademir Kenovic, phone's answering machine voice

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959)
Fantaisie (1944)
Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot
Bernard Wisson, piano. Marek Swatowski, oboe
Pomeranian Quartet/Fernand Quattrocchi, conductor

Olivier TOUCHARD (b. 1952) / Thomas BLOCH (b. 1962)
Euplotes 2 (1987 - 89)
Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot / cristal Baschet. Olivier Touchard, electroacoustic

Etienne ROLIN (b. 1952)
Space Forest Bound
Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot. Etienne Rolin, alto flute / soprano saxophone

Naxos 8.555779 [74 mins]

Here is a tour of an instrument familiar from Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony, but have you ever wondered whether there might be more to it?

Indeed there is, and the leading exponent is Thomas Bloch, pupil of Jeanne Loriod, and now professor of Ondes Martenot in Strasbourg, with a varied performing career in many branches of music, and on other rare instruments.

You won't like everything on this disc, but at £4.99, no matter. Messiaen is represented by a small piece and Martinu by a 15 min Fantasie with chamber ensemble. Bloch's own compositions put the instrument through its paces, and he even assembles nine Ondes Martenots for his Sweet Suite, which is a touch too sweet for my taste.

But the whole compilation is invigorating and wide ranging in performing styles of the day, as further indicated by the performers' biographies. There is a huge cast of collaborators and this will give pleasure and instruction to musical explorers.

Very fully documented, with absolutely everything you could ever want to know about this semi-obsolete instrument (no longer being produced). But do browse Thomas Bloch's excellent website in which all is revealed, including pictures of his ondes martenots and cristal Baschet, and a huge discography, which includes another from Naxos, on Glass Harmonica (Naxos 8.555295).



© Peter Grahame Woolf