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Bridge: Suite For String Orchestra; Delius: Sonata For String Orchestra / Braithwaite


Release Date: 08/1992 
Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7139   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frank BridgeFrederick Delius
Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Although admired as both composer and conductor during his lifetime, Frank Bridge (1879— 1941) has been mostly known as the teacher of Benjamin Britten—his only composition student, by the way. Only in recent years has the hint of a revival come to the fore, and that modestly. In general, Bridge's image has been of a good craftsman writing harmless pastoral pieces of no particular depth. That is why this disc can amaze, because the little Shakespeare-inspired tone poem There Is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook proves to be a profound elegie to Ophelia, after she's drowned in Hamlet. It suggests the darker side of Arnold Bax's music, and is scored for wind quintet, harp, and strings.

The other three works of Bridge are of lighter
Read more stuff. His four-movement suite for strings is really a kind of serenade, of the sort so dear to Romantic Scandinavian composers. It's nice, pleasant music which aims at no more than that. Cherry Ripe, also for strings, offers a straight folk setting, three and a half minutes long, while Sir Roger De Coverly is more of the same, only in variation form.

The Delius sonata consists of Eric Fenby's arrangement of a discarded 1916 string quartet, completed in 1978. It's unusual Delius, less impressionistic than expected. Its half-hour running time offers lively music, rather more folksy than expected from the mature Delius. There is very little of the brooding, painfully sensual Delius here—which might be the reason he rejected it.

Performances are excellent, matching the best chamber orchestras of Europe or America. Good notes and a fine recording complete the picture of this outstanding release of minor British masterpieces.

-- Heuwell Tircuit, FANFARE [1/1993] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Suite for String Orchestra, H 93 by Frank Bridge
Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; England 
2.
Old English Songs (2): no 2, Cherry Ripe, H 119b by Frank Bridge
Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; England 
3.
Sir Roger de Coverley, H 155 by Frank Bridge
Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
4.
Sonata for Strings by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963/1978; England 
Notes: Arranged: Eric Fenby (from Delius' String Quartet). 
5.
There is a willow grows aslant the brook, H 174 by Frank Bridge
Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; England 

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