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Thread: Frank Bridge

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    Default Frank Bridge


    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.

    [Article taken from All Music Guide]


    Here's yet another neglected English composer. He was an important influence to many people most notably Benjamin Britten. Are any of you familiar with Bridge's music? Have you heard of him?

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Being an organist, I am familiar with his organ works .. in particular the Adagio in E Major, a wonderful poetic piece that makes use of the full tonal resources (from pp to fff and back to ppp) of the organ requiring great skill by the performer in executing seamless registration changes.

    In all, I believe Bridge wrote 6 pieces for the organ.

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    Senior Member Taneyev's Avatar
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    Have his 4 quartets. Phantasie quartet, Novelletten, 3 Idyls and several short pieces, all for SQ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Being an organist, I am familiar with his organ works .. in particular the Adagio in E Major, a wonderful poetic piece that makes use of the full tonal resources (from pp to fff and back to ppp) of the organ requiring great skill by the performer in executing seamless registration changes.

    In all, I believe Bridge wrote 6 pieces for the organ.
    I'm not too familiar with Bridge's work, but one reason why I posted this thread was to at least get his name out there to some people who have never heard of him.

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    I've only heard about him in relation to his connection to Britten. The article which describes some of his music as dissonant, aggressive and exploring the paths originated by Schoenberg makes him one of those composers that I would definitely be interested in. So I'll get some of his music, if I see it anywhere...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    I've only heard about him in relation to his connection to Britten. The article which describes some of his music as dissonant, aggressive and exploring the paths originated by Schoenberg makes him one of those composers that I would definitely be interested in. So I'll get some of his music, if I see it anywhere...
    You will probably like him, Andre. I've known about him for a while, but still haven't explored any of his music. If you find anything, let me know your impressions of it.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirror Image View Post
    I'm not too familiar with Bridge's work, but one reason why I posted this thread was to at least get his name out there to some people who have never heard of him.
    Here's the Adagio (for organ)
    Kh
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    Junior Member taduy's Avatar
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    Bridge s " Great " , the only British composer I admire . He composed not much but all of them in my opinion have a good quality . I especially like the works he write for orchestra , ex : symphony poem ( Enter Spring , Summer ) , suite for orcheatra : The Sea - I like it more than Le Mer of Debussy , it s truly a neglect-masterpiece I have listened , so splendid , violent and heroic.....You can hear it at here
    Last edited by taduy; Sep-07-2011 at 17:46.

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    Thanks to Krummhorn for the Adagio. I love it. I have a CD which contains The Sea and Enter Spring conducted by Benjamin Britten. Both are pieces well worth knowing.
    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneBaroque View Post
    Thanks to Krummhorn for the Adagio. I love it. I have a CD which contains The Sea and Enter Spring conducted by Benjamin Britten. Both are pieces well worth knowing.
    I have the same CD. I also have the Naxos recordings of the string quartets.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I rate his later chamber works such as the last two string quartets and the second piano trio - the quartets especially are more stylistically radical than a lot of UK chamber music of the time but certainly not 'difficult'. Also very good is the pre-WWI cello sonata.

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    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    His piano music is great! Sometimes romantic, sometimes modern, sometimes both.

    Like The Dew Fairy, for example:


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    Senior Member nightscape's Avatar
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    Started listening to more of his music after being an admirer of "The Sea". Fantastic composer that should be much more well known.

    I have the Hickox CD set of his orchestral music. Wonderful!

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    Senior Member Avey's Avatar
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    Um, the quartets. Necessary. Thinking Mr. Bridge was a genius.
    Last edited by Avey; Jan-23-2016 at 04:11.

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    Such an amazing output, from the Fairy Tale Suite, to his masterful Sonata.

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