Frank Bridge


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
Browse 1-25 of 156 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Clarke, Bridge, & Vaughan Williams / Clein, Hadland
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 68253 Release Date: 01/04/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rebecca Clarke,  Frank Bridge,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Natalie Clein,  Christian Ihle Hadland
    CD: $21.99
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  • 2.
    Come to Me in My Dreams / Connolly, Middleton
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10944 Release Date: 07/06/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Muriel Herbert,  John Ireland,  Thomas Dunhill,  Herbert Howells  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Connolly,  Joseph Middleton
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  • 3.
    Elgar, Bridge & Ireland: Violin Sonatas / Stanzeleit, Thwaites
    Label: Meridian Records   Catalog: 84648 Release Date: 07/06/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Frank Bridge,  John Ireland
    Performer:  Susanne Stanzeleit,  John Thwaites
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  • 4.
    English Viola Music / Adrion, Inagawa
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553173 Release Date: 04/06/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  York Bowen,  Benjamin Dale,  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Gernot Adrion,  Yuki Inagawa
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  • 5.
    The Cello in Wartime / Isserlis, Shih
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2312 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Frank Bridge,  Gabriel Fauré,  Anton Webern  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis,  Connie Shih
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  • 6.
    The British Cello / Baillie, Thwaites
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 175 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest John Moeran,  Benjamin Britten,  Frank Bridge,  Richard R. Bennett  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Baillie,  John Thwaites
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  • 7.
    British Music for Violin & Piano / Howick, Ekins
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573790 Release Date: 09/08/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Frank Bridge,  Frederick Delius,  Cyril Scott  ... 
    Performer:  Clare Howick,  John Paul Ekins
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  • 8.
    Music for Two Violas / Mallinson, Wiesner
    Label: Meridian Records   Catalog: 84641 Release Date: 05/05/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gordon Jacob,  Fedor Druzhinin,  Edmund Rubbra,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Mallinson,  Matthias Wiesner,  Evgenia Startseva,  Oliver Lowe
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  • 9.
    Themes & Meditations / Hetzler, Fischer
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 700 Release Date: 05/05/2017  
    Composer:  Anthony Barfield,  Frank Bridge,  Anthony Plog,  Jan Bach
    Performer:  Mark Hetzler,  Martha Fischer
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  • 10.
    Hidden Treasures / Saint John String Quartet
    Label: Leaf Music   Catalog: 01 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Joaquin Turina,  Ernest MacMillan,  Healey Willan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saint John String Quartet
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  • 11.
    Nordic Suites / Ensemble Esperanza
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38227 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Frank Bridge,  Carl Nielsen,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Chouchane Siranossian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Esperanza
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  • 12.
    In Jest: Comic Art Songs / Kogan, Deaton
    Label: First Hand Records   Catalog: 42 Release Date: 01/27/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lee Hoiby,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Manuel Rosenthal  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Kogan,  Tyson Deaton
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  • 13.
    The Year 1917: Music in Turbulent Times
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4796969 Release Date: 01/27/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Béla Bartók,  Manuel de Falla,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Drake,  Ian Bostridge,  Eric Schneider,  Anna Prohaska  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Pierre Boulez,  Lorin Maazel,  William Steinberg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 14.
    Mstislav Rostropovich: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002593102 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 37
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Martha Argerich,  Rudolf Serkin,  Bruno Giuranna  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Herbert von Karajan,  Seiji Ozawa,  Paul Sacher  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Favourite English Strings / Oramo, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Alba Records   Catalog: 387 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gerald Finzi,  Frank Bridge
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
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  • 16.
    British Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2 / Little, Lane
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10899 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  John Ireland,  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  Piers Lane
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  • 17.
    Kathryn Stott: The Complete Solo Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875135622 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Kathryn Stott
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  • 18.
    British Music / Groves
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564614724 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Eric Coates,  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Henry Walford Davies  ... 
    Performer:  Noel Rawsthorne,  Anne Collins,  Patricia Hogan,  Claudia Lindsey  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Liverpool Chorus,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $94.49
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  • 19.
    If The Owl Calls Again / Christianne Stotijn
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 5054196393755 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Marx,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Fant de Kanter,  Maurice Delage  ... 
    Performer:  Christianne Stotijn,  Joseph Breinl,  Toon Fret,  Rick Stotijn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxalys
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  • 20.
    Midsummer Phantasy / Ensemble Contraste
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1126 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Frank Bridge,  Olivier Penard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Contraste
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  • 21.
    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  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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  ... 
    CD: $114.49
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