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Frank Bridge

February 26, 1879 - January 10, 1941
born in Brighton, England, composed during the Modern period
Frank Bridge studied violin and composition at the Royal College of Music, graduating in 1904. A scholarship enabled him to study with Charles Villiers Stanford for four years (1899-1903). Bridge quickly established a reputation as a gifted violist and conductor. In 1906, he played with the Joachim Quartet, and he was a member of the English String Quartet through 1915. He conducted some operas at the Savoy Theatre and Covent Garden, and when Sir Thomas Beecham organized his New Symphony Orchestra in 1906, he named Bridge as his assistant. Bridge also befriended Sir Henry Wood and occasionally substituted for him as conductor at Queen's Hall; Wood later became an important champion of Bridge's music. During this period, Bridge was writing mostly chamber music and songs. His few orchestral works of the time were much influenced by the French Impressionists; the first of them to become part of the standard repertoire was the suite The Sea (1911).

World War I was a traumatic time for Bridge, an ardent pacifist. One can hear more dissonance and darkness creeping into such works as the Cello Sonata in D minor (1913-1917) and the Quartet No. 2 in G minor (1915). After several years of near-silence, Bridge's next big work signaled a large shift in style. The Piano Sonata (1921-1924) was written in memory of composer Ernest Farrar, who was killed in action in France, in 1917. In it, one hears considerably more dissonance, abrupt changes of mood and tempo, and a more angular and aggressive sound. This stylistic evolution continued in works like the third (1926) and fourth (1937) string quartets, which flirt with Schoenberg-like atonality.

In his last two decades, Bridge composed, occasionally conducted, and did some traveling, including trips to the United States in 1923, 1934, and 1938. He also did some private teaching. Certainly his best-known pupil was Benjamin Britten, who was an 11-year-old prodigy when Bridge met him in 1924. Britten retained a great affection for his teacher, and paid tribute to him in the Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (1937), based on the second of the latter's Three Idylls for String Quartet (1906). Britten was also partly responsible for the subsequent interest in Bridge's music.

Among Bridge's later compositions were a lovely opera, The Christmas Rose (begun 1919, set aside for years and completed only in 1930), as well as several important chamber and orchestral works. His last completed composition was the Rebus Overture (1940); he also left a symphony for strings unfinished at his death. ~ Chris Morrison, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Bridge: Piano Music

Title: Fairy Tale Suite, For Piano

1. Fairy Tale Suite, For Piano: The Princess: Allegretto Con Moto

2. Fairy Tale Suite, For Piano: The Ogre: Allegro Deciso

3. Fairy Tale Suite, For Piano: The Spell: Adagio E Sostenuto

4. Fairy Tale Suite, For Piano: The Prince: Allegro Giocoso

Title: Hour Glass

5. Hour Glass: Dusk: Molto Moderato

6. Hour Glass: The Dew Fairy: Allegretto Moderato E Rubato

7. Hour Glass: The Midnight Tide: Molto Lento

Title: Miniature Pastorals, For Piano, Set 1

8. Miniature Pastorals, For Piano, Set 1: Allegretto Con Moto

9. Miniature Pastorals, For Piano, Set 1: Tempo Di Valse

10. Miniature Pastorals, For Piano, Set 1: Allegretto Ben Moderato

Title: Lyrics (3) For Piano

11. Lyrics (3) For Piano: Heart's Ease: Andante Tranquillo-lento

12. Lyrics (3) For Piano: Dainty Rogue: Molto Allegro E Vivo

13. Lyrics (3) For Piano: The Hedgerow: Allegretto Moderato

Title: Pieces (3) For Piano

14. Pieces (3) For Piano: Columbine: Poco Lento-tempo Di Valse

15. Pieces (3) For Piano: Minuet: Tempo Di Minuetto

16. Pieces (3) For Piano: Romance: Andante Molto Moderato

Title: In Autumn, For Piano

17. In Autumn, For Piano: Retrospect: Adagio Ma Non Troppo

18. In Autumn, For Piano: Through The Eaves: Allegro Moderato E Rubato

Title: Poems (3) For Piano

19. Poems (3) For Piano: Solitude: Poco Adagio E Molto Espressivo

20. Poems (3) For Piano: Ecstasy: Lento E Sostenuto-allegro Con Moto

21. Poems (3) For Piano: Sunset: Adagio E Sostenuto

x

Track List: Bridge: Piano Music 2

Title: Piano Sonata, H. 160

1. Piano Sonata, H. 160: Lento Ma Non Troppo - Andante Ben Moderato - Ellegro Energico

2. Piano Sonata, H. 160: Andante Ben Moderato

3. Piano Sonata, H. 160: Lento - Allegro Ma Non Troppo

Title: Lament, For Piano, H. 117b

4. Lament, For Piano, H. 117b: Lament

Title: Improvisations (3) For Piano, Left Hand, H. 134

5. Improvisations (3) For Piano, Left Hand, H. 134: At Dawn

6. Improvisations (3) For Piano, Left Hand, H. 134: A Vigil

7. Improvisations (3) For Piano, Left Hand, H. 134: A Revel

Title: Sketches (3) For Piano, H. 68

8. Sketches (3) For Piano, H. 68: April

9. Sketches (3) For Piano, H. 68: Rosemary

10. Sketches (3) For Piano, H. 68: Valse Capricieuse

Title: Moderato, For Piano In E Minor, H. 29

11. Moderato, For Piano In E Minor, H. 29: Moderato

Title: Pensée Fugitive, For Piano In F Minor, H. 16

12. Pensée Fugitive, For Piano In F Minor, H. 16: Pensee Fugitive

Title: Scherzettino, For Piano In G Minor, H. 20

13. Scherzettino, For Piano In G Minor, H. 20: Scherzettino

x

Track List: Frank Bridge: Works for String Quartet

Title: Phantasie Quartet, For String Quartet In F Minor

1. Phantasie Quartet, For String Quartet In F Minor: I. Allegro Moderato

2. Phantasie Quartet, For String Quartet In F Minor: II. Andante Moderato

3. Phantasie Quartet, For String Quartet In F Minor: III. Allegro Ma Non Troppo

Title: Novelletten, For String Quartet

4. Novelletten, For String Quartet: I. Andante Moderato

5. Novelletten, For String Quartet: II. Allegretto

6. Novelletten, For String Quartet: III. Allegro Vivo

Title: Idylls (3) For String Quartet

7. Idylls (3) For String Quartet: I. Adagio Molto Espressivo

8. Idylls (3) For String Quartet: II. Allegretto Poco Lento

9. Idylls (3) For String Quartet: III. Allegro Con Moto

Title: An Irish Melody (Londonderry Air), For String Quartet, H 86

10. An Irish Melody (Londonderry Air), For String Quartet, H 86: Londonderry Air

Title: Sir Roger De Coverley, For String Quartet

11. Sir Roger De Coverley, For String Quartet: Sir Roger De Coverley

Title: Sally In Our Alley, For String Quartet

12. Sally In Our Alley, For String Quartet: Sally In Our Alley

Title: Cherry Ripe, For String Quartet, H 119b

13. Cherry Ripe, For String Quartet, H 119b: Cherry Ripe

Title: Pieces (3) For String Quartet

14. Pieces (3) For String Quartet: I. Allegretto

15. Pieces (3) For String Quartet: II. Moderato

16. Pieces (3) For String Quartet: III. Allegro Marcato

x

Track List: The Songs of Frank Bridge

Disc 1
Disc 2

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Beautiful!
Report as inappropriate
I like eating Bridge Mix candy when I listen to Ash Watts Bridge music { usually under a bridge }
Report as inappropriate
Love him! Both as a music lover and fellow violist!

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