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Frank Bridge

Biography

Born: February 26, 1879; Brighton, England   Died: January 10, 1941; Eastbourne, London, England  
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 Read more 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. Read less
Bridge: Piano Trio No 2, Phantasie Trio, Miniatures / Wass, Liebeck, Chaushian
Release Date: 02/24/2009   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570792   Number of Discs: 1
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Bridge: The Sea, Enter Spring, Summer / Judd, Et Al
Release Date: 08/17/2004   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557167   Number of Discs: 1
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Bridge: Piano Sonata, Pensées Fugitives, Etc / Ashley Wass
Release Date: 05/29/2007   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557921   Number of Discs: 1
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Bax, Bridge: Piano Quintets / Ashley Wass, Tippett Quartet
Release Date: 11/16/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572474   Number of Discs: 1
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Bridge: Works For String Quartet / Maggini Quartet
Release Date: 04/23/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553718   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 170 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    British Piano Concertos
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2345 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Alun Hoddinott,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Gerald Finzi  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Philip Fowke,  Malcolm Binns,  Peter Katin  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Dommett,  Barry Wordsworth,  Nicholas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    The Songs Of Frank Bridge
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 22071 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Louise Winter,  Jamie MacDougall,  Gerald Finley,  Roger Vignoles  ... 
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  • 3.
    The Sea In Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578269 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Frank Bridge,  Claude Debussy,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Connolly,  István Kassai,  François-Joël Thiollier
    Conductor:  David Lloyd-Jones,  James Judd,  Jun Märkl,  Simon Wright  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Lyon National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Britten: Reflections / Thwaite, Jones
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573136 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Matthew Jones,  Annabel Thwaite
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  • 5.
    Dreamtime / David Aaron Carpenter
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1246 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frank Bridge,  Robert Mann
    Performer:  Rudiger Liebermann,  David Aaron Carpenter,  Bernhard Hartog,  Walter Küssner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra members
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  • 6.
    Britten The Performer - Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922102 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Thompson,  John Tobin,  Jenny Hill,  Robert Tear  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  Wandsworth School Choir  ... 
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  • 7.
    Bridge: Phantasy Piano Quartet; Cello Sonata; Violin Sonata / Nash Ensemble
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 68003 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
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  • 8.
    Frank Bridge: Sonata and Selected Pieces for Piano / Pascal Sigrist
    Label: Talent Records   Catalog: 113 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Pascal Sigrist
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  • 9.
    Phantasy - Bridge, Martinu, Schumann: Piano Quartets / Maraini Piano Quartet
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 13259 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Bohuslav Martinu,  Robert Schumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mariani Piano Quartet
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  • 10.
    In The Shadow Of War / Steven Isserlis
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1992 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Frank Bridge,  Stephen Hough
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Gábor Takács-Nagy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 11.
    The Voice Of Peter Pears
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1393 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Ford,  John Dowland,  Thomas Morley,  Philip Rosseter  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  Benjamin Britten
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  • 12.
    Label: Heritage   Catalog: 224 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Ford,  Philip Rosseter,  John Dowland,  Thomas Morley  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  Benjamin Britten
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  • 13.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete Decca Recordings [14 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001654200 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Zoe Vlachopoulos,  Ann Ayars,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Stiedry,  Reginald Jacques,  Boyd Neel,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Southern Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bach Choir  ... 
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  • 14.
    Mstislav Rostropovich - The Complete Decca Recordings  [5-CDs]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001649502 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Frank Bridge,  Claude Debussy,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Benjamin Britten,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 15.
    Bosmans, Bridge: Music For Cello And Piano / Mayke Rademaker, Matthijs Verschoor
    Label: Quintone   Catalog: 7002 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Henriëtte Bosmans
    Performer:  Mayke Rademaker,  Matthijs Verschoor
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  • 16.
    Great Cathedral Organs [13-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 0852952 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Louis-Claude Daquin,  Henry Purcell,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert  ... 
    Performer:  Noel Rawsthorne,  Francis Jackson,  Douglas Guest,  Simon Preston  ... 
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  • 17.
    Hamlet Echoes /  Doufexis,  Sachse, Heide
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553234 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Martin Loeffler,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Christian Jost  ... 
    Performer:  Stella Doufexis,  Pauline Sachse,  Daniel Heide
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  • 18.
    My Own Country / Felicity Lott, Graham Johnson
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 24 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Hubert Parry,  John Ireland,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Lott,  Graham Johnson
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  • 19.
    Songs / Kevin Kyle
    Label: Jcl Records   Catalog: 515 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Roger Quilter,  Robert Schumann,  Giuseppe Sarti  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Kyle,  Daniel Grimwood
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  • 20.
    The London String Quartet: 1917-1951 Recordings
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1253 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London String Quartet
    CD: $88.99
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  • 21.
    English Love - Songs Of Passion, Pain & Pleasure / Mark Stone
    Label: Stone Records   Catalog: 80000 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Barlow,  Frank Bridge,  Benjamin Britten,  George Butterworth  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Stone,  Stephen Barlow
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  • 22.
    Music By Bax, Bridge & Serle / Adamson
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3060 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Humphrey Searle,  Frank Bridge,  Arnold Bax
    Performer:  Philip Adamson
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  • 23.
    Art Songs Of The British Romantics / Wilson, Halliday
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1377 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Roger Quilter,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Stanley Wilson,  Malcolm Halliday
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  • 24.
    A Lesson In Love / Kate Royal, Malcolm Martineau
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48536 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Bolcom,  Robert Schumann,  Hugo Wolf,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Kate Royal,  Malcolm Martineau
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  • 25.
    Echoes Of Nightingales / Christine Brewer, Roger Vignoles
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67813 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sidney Homer,  Edwin McArthur,  Arthur Walter Kramer,  Mildred Lund Tyson  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Brewer,  Roger Vignoles
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