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Jewish IdentitiesNationalism, Racism, and Utopianism in Twentieth-Century Music$
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Klara Moricz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520250888

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520250888.001.0001

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The Confines of Judaism and the Elusiveness of Universality

The Confines of Judaism and the Elusiveness of Universality

The Sacred Service

(p.153) Chapter 5 The Confines of Judaism and the Elusiveness of Universality
Jewish Identities

Kálra Móricz

University of California Press

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

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