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I have his Cantata of the Bitter Herbs. It's a well-done piece, to my ears, and very accessible, though I wish in the recording the choir didn't use so much vibrato. It reminds me of Mendelssohn's Elijah/Paulus works with some late Romanticism added. I haven't spent much time with the companion piece, Jephta, for no particular reason; I think I just forgot it was there.

Also, his Geographical Fugue is unique.
 

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I have now heard a fair bit of Toch's music. I have the cpo recording of his symphonies 5-7 and have enjoyed it immensely. I was less enamoured of his Cantata of the Bitter Herbs, which I felt was too long for the quality of the musical material. The Tanzsuite (on an excellent Naxos CD) is very slightly reminiscent of early (and contemporaneous) Shostakovitch, while Cello Concerto on the same CD is fascinating. I have yet to delve into the quartets.
 

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I heard a work by this composer a while back but I don't remember what it was, but I do remember liking it. Can anyone recommend any pieces for me?
I have a lot of his string quartets: Toch wrote a huge cycle (over 15 string quartets). I haven't got the complete set - most of the ones I have are done by the Verdi and the Buchburger Quartets.

I'm not sure I can recommen them: they are modern 20th century idiom. His language doesn't seem all that unique to me, and his material is not easy to remember. The composer he most reminds me of, is Mysclslaw (sp?) Weinberg (or Vainberg) in this genre.

If you do try the string quartets, no.s VIII & IX are perhaps easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have bought a cd with Leon Botstein conducting NDR Orchetra (Nord-Deutsche Rundfunk) - "Toch - Piano Concertos", but I should listen to it more, at first sight they are fast, vital, funny and that is all.

I have not heard any Mieczysław Weinberg's quartets yet.
 

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Have got - and like - the Cantata of the Bitter Herbs on Naxos (along with Jephta - aka symphony no. 5). Heard good things about the quartets - a pity CPO can't box them up like they did with his symphonies and bring the price down a bit. I've got my eye on the Naxos disc of his Cello Concerto - one of those I keep meaning to get but end up choosing something else.
 
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Toch's symphonies and string quartets are masterpieces, particularily Symphony No. 3 and quartets Nos. 9 and 11. If you are new to his music, these CDs are absolutely essential:

View attachment 93258
I just finished listening to the striking string quartet no. 11. Thanks for your recommendation. Buchberger Quartet's playing is very clear and intense. (I love their recordings of Haydn string quartets.)
 
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