Suite No 1 for solo violin consists of four movements, played without a break: Preludio
; Andante tranquillo
; Allegro energico
. The brief prelude, grounded in a modified G minor, is rhapsodic in character, and evokes reminiscences of the melodic idiom in Voice in the Wilderness
(for cello and orchestra, 1936) and the Violin Concerto (1938). This leads directly into the largely monophonic second movement with its fluctuations between tonality and atonality. The Allegro
shifts to an E tonality, and is especially Bachian in its string crossing and chordal writing. This is followed by the short, reflective Andante
in the key of D minor, which leads into the vigorous finale, again in G minor. As in many of Bloch’s composite works, the cyclic element is present here, with restatements of themes from previous movements, and the works closes on a dramatic tierce de Picardie.
from notes by Alexander Knapp © 2007