Ernest Bloche migrated from Switzerland to America in 1916. He completed Suite Modale in 1956 in the last few years of his life. The piece has a French quality, but shows Hebrew influence also. Bloch's music is best known for its Jewish influences. "Modale" refers to the musical scales, modes, which were used before major-minor scales became popular. Flutist Elaine Shaffer commissioned the piece and at her request, Bloch orchestrated the piece for flute and strings.
There is a haunting beauty about this composition. Bloch was already seriously ill with cancer athhough he orchestrated it in 1959. The use of the old scale forms (Modal) rather than major or minor, gives it a piquant twist to the melodies. It is not a well-known piece, but it is certainly a nice one. Its four movements, by the way, have no particular titles. The four movements are closely linked and can be played with almost no break between them. The first, Moderato, is almost improvisatory with flowing passages for the flute echoed by the accompaniment. The second, Listesso Tempo is serenely thoughtful continuing in a gigue-like Allegro Giocoso. The last movement begins with a very short dirge-like Adagio, soon changing into an Allegro Deciso, rhythmical and gay, returning to the Adagio for a few measures. Again the Allegro takes over, slowing down to a Moderato, bringing back fragments of earlier themes.
This is a gorgeous arrangement for solo flute and piano, which is extremely melodic, has beautiful harmonies and is very "playable". It is is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).