Slippedisc comfort zone (11): A walk in the woods

Slippedisc comfort zone (11): A walk in the woods

Daily Comfort Zone

norman lebrecht

April 24, 2021

In Wagnerian memory of the German-Jewish composer Leo Blech, 150 years old this week.


  • David K. Nelson says:

    What a pleasant and evocative piece, well-suited to its title, one I had never encountered before. Personally I hear more Antonín Dvořák than Richard Wagner in the flowing and unfrustrated melodic lines, suggestions of Elgar in the orchestration, and an almost Italianate element in the wistful chord progressions, not unlike some of the verismo opera intermezzos.

    Blech was the conductor for Fritz Kreisler’s first (and best) recordings of the concertos of Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Rather too meandering a musical walk, for my taste.

  • Allan Leicht says:

    A very charming introduction to a composer-conductor who didn’t follow Korngold and company to Hollywood. Wonder why. Thanks!

    • Saxon says:

      He was very well known by the public in the 1930s, and rather popular. Hence the Nazi regime largely left him alone. While in Riga in 1937 he was warned not to come back; and then tipped off to flee to Stockholm in 1941, just before the German army got there.

      In the mid 1930s many Jews (and others) hoped that if they kept their heads-down that sooner-or-later things would calm down and Jews would be able to return to normal life. With hindsight, they were sadly mistaken.